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Monday, December 10, 2018

Fort Thomas Residents Host 3rd Annual Fundraiser for Teens in Need

By Jessie Stringfield-Eden 

Everyone loves a good happy hour...but you’ll especially love this holiday happy hour for a great cause!

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, Villedge is hosting their 3rd Annual Happy Hour Fundraiser at Union Hall (1311 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH) and although the nonprofit organization is located in Cincinnati, there are definitely strong ties to Fort Thomas.

For those who aren’t aware, Villedge is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing teens in need with after school creative experiences, fitness classes, job training, one-on-one counseling, family and community support and community based activities. Through partnerships with other organizations and access to experienced staff, the goal is to lift teens from tough situations and elevate them so they can reach their full potential with healthier lifestyles built on relationships, information, opportunities and support.

The goal of the event this year is to raise support for 15 boys who are participating in the program but currently lack the funding necessary for programming costs.

The founders of Villedge, Katie and Iloba Nzekwu, are dedicated to their mission of helping teens in need. “It’s going to take every one of us to stand in the gap for these teens so that the cycles of dysfunction and generational poverty end with them.”

The Nzekwus are also Fort Thomas residents who say they have been able to do so much with Villedge because of the tremendous amount of support from their very own ‘village’ — the Fort Thomas community. “As a transplant to Fort Thomas,  I love and appreciate the opportunity and people of this community. It’s because of the strength of this community that my husband and I have been able to pour so much of our time into Cincinnati because this community takes care of each other and our kids have so many people pouring into their lives from teachers to volunteers to neighbors,” said Katie, “This community has been our Village which has allowed us to create and be the Villedge for teens from the hardest of places, right across the river.”

The annual happy hour is their largest fundraiser of the year and this year, sponsors include; Cinfed, Tripack, Crossroads, CK Mondavi and Family, Jeff Ruby and Lou and Gretchen Meyer. Registration is required but tickets for the event are free with donations requested. The Nzekwus want others to know that they can make a huge difference for one teen just by paying for a monthly gift. “This year we are asking the community to commit to a recurring gift,” said Katie, “We have different price points that cover particular parts of the program that people can choose from so that our boys who are unfunded can continue to receive the support needed.”

A short presentation will take place at 6:15 p.m. Paid parking is available at meters or across the street at Mercer Garage. The event will take place in the Beer Hall at Union Hall. Learn more by visiting their website

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