2nd Annual Tasty Dog Challenge, Benefiting Oak Park PTOs, Debuts on March 5th
For the second year, going to one particular Oak Park restaurant is more than satisfying your appetite– at pre-appointed times it also represents a notable source of funding for Oak Park schools.
The Tasty Dog Challenge, which benefits Oak Park elementary schools in District 97, captured the attention of area residents last year – and raised $3,400 for Parent Teacher Organizations at eight elementary schools.
This year’s Challenge, which includes seven schools, begins on Saturday, March 5, which is Lincoln Elementary School’s designated date.
The 2011 Challenge edition promises to be even better, with $1 drawing prizes ranging from Chicago Bulls playoff tickets to Radio Flyer toys to memberships at the Tennis & Fitness Centre in Oak Park.
In addition, the winning school will receive a Spirit Desk ($3,000 value), which is donated by Heroes in the Hallway. The Spirit Desk is an anti-bullying program already in use in over 600 schools nationwide.
The Challenge was created by Hatch Elementary School parent Renee Domenz.
“When I conceived the idea for this event, I thought it would be a fun way to involve the community, regardless of whether or not they are affiliated with any of the schools,” Domenz said.
Whenever a customer mentions the day’s designated school, the Elementary-school Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) receives 15 percent of those sales, donated by Tasty Dog, 708 W. Lake St.
“My goal is to raise even more money for the schools this year, especially considering the increase in budget cuts that so many schools have received,” Domenz noted.
The Challenge lineup is set. In addition to Lincoln Elementary, there are confirmed dates for the PTOs representing Hatch (Saturday, March 12); Irving (Friday, March 18); Beye (Saturday, March 19); Whittier (Wednesday, April 6); Longfellow (Thursday, April 7); and Mann (Saturday, April 9).
The timeframes are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Challenges held on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for Challenges on weekdays.
The Drawing for ticket prizes will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, at the restaurant and will be open to the public.
A co-sponsor of the event, for the second time, is Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gloor Realty. BHG/Gloor Realty is contributing $300 in cash prizes, or $100 apiece to the three PTOs that generate the most fundraising.
“This is a great grassroots way to support children and education,” said Rich Gloor, BHG/Gloor Realty’s president. “Oak Park’s outstanding school system is one of the biggest reasons why people move here, so our involvement is simply one way of investing in our community.”
Domenz approached Gloor for support last year because when she and her family purchased their home, it was with the aid of Mary Howell, a BHG/Gloor Realty agent.
Incorporated into the Challenge for the first time this year is a $1 drawing. Prizes include two tickets to a Chicago Bulls playoff game, a baseball signed by Chicago Cubs players, a basketball signed by the Chicago Bulls, a bowling party at Circle Bowl in Forest Park; a behind-the-scenes tour of NBC's Channel 5; and a one-year family membership with the Oak Park Art League.
All orders qualify: dine-in, drive-thru and take-out. For those who prefer lighter fare, Tasty Dog offers healthy alternatives on its menu, such as homemade soup, veggie sandwiches, turkey burgers, wheat buns, salads and fruit cups that can be substituted for french fries on meal combinations.
Domenz created a website for the Challenge, complete with details on the event. Visit www.thetastydogchallenge.com to learn more about the effort and to volunteer your time to the cause.
Domenz can also be reached via email at email@example.com
Established in 1946 and with a current market presence encompassing 13 Chicago-area communities, Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate Gloor Realty is an independent, family-owned company. it is connected to www.bhgrealestate.com, a premier online destination for market and community information.