Washington Irving wrote “There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.”
Though Irving died 156 years ago, his beautiful words remain an accurate description of the ladies of Club Blue. Founder Jayme Bastian and her “Angels” will this year, after only five years, surpass the $1 million mark in grants given to Rockford-area organizations striving to lift children above the adversity in which they live. Bastian explains how it all began.
“Five years ago I was invited to attend a presentation and, low and behold, it was actually a presentation of an organization in town that takes care of abused children,” she said. “So I knew I had to do two things. I one, had to build awareness of this organization in this city, and I also had to raise money. So I invited every female in my address book, to my home. I showed the same video, with the same pictures, with Kleenex boxes all over the room, and people were astounded.”
Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey encouraged the entire city to support Club Blue.
“This is the most exciting news,” said Bridget Finn, also a Club Blue angel. “We’re partnering with the city of Rockford because we are a movement, and Mayor Morrissey recognizes that April is the Month-of-the-Child and wants to encourage Rockford citizens to take part in taking care of Rockford’s forgotten children.
“All municipal buildings in town, bridges and many of our sponsors will be lighting their businesses in blue for the month of April to encourage their patrons to take care of Rockford’s kids,” she said.
Club Blue will soon reach the $1 million mark in money raised and donated. But first, they were 10 women who did something. They would encourage you to do something as well. Anywhere you see a need, do something, anything. It will make a difference.
Below, Phil Masterton interviews people who receive Club Blue grants to help children in their community.