Elle Salon of Michigan City presented their Environmental Party at the Shady Creek Winery to raise funds for the the efforts of the Alliance for The Great Lakes. The Environmental Party offered music, a raffle, and a silent auction. Shady Creek Winery offered up their facilities for the event along with a full pizza bar and their staff-crafted wines.
The Alliance for The Great Lakes is the oldest Great Lakes organization that works to protect and restore the Great Lakes through the help of scientists, policy makers, community groups, citizens and businesses like Elle Salon that support it. The event brought over 150 people through social media and through word of mouth from Elle Salon employees and salon owner, Elle Hook.
“It is a good cause when we’re fortunate enough to have Lake Michigan right outside our back door. We might as well be here to help support it, help take care of it, make sure it’s here for future generations.” said Julie Wozniak, an attendee at the event.
Shady Creek Winery offers their entire indoor facility and outdoor grounds for fundraisers like this one, every year. The winery does on average, 60-70 fundraisers a year.
“For fundraisers, we try to be really supportive of the non-profit that’s raising funds. So in this case, we’ve offered up the facility for their use. We’re doing a give back, a ten percent give back on the revenue tonight. We’ll be writing a check back to The Great Lakes Alliance as a donation.” explained Tim Anderson, owner of Shady Creek Winery.
Elle Hook, owner of Elle Salon, chose the winery for her event in an effort to give back to her community and clients.
“Tim and Sue [Anderson] are clients of ours and we like to support our guests that come in. The wine is absolutely delicious and I just, I like the warmth of their venue and they’re just very inviting to people and it just works.” said Elle Hook.
Jessica Kosier came to the event with her friend Kate Brown to enjoy a girls night, some wine and to support The Great Lakes. “We’re mostly here to take in the event and enjoy the atmosphere.”
“I love the winery. We’re doing a tasting and they’ve all been delicious.” Kate said. Kate noted that her favorite wine so far during the tasting was the Rescue Dog Red and that she likes that the winery donates to the American Heart Association, which is notated on their wine menus.
Elle Salon has been raising money for the Alliance for The Great Lakes for ten years. However, Hook feels the salon’s fundraising has really taken off in the past few years.
“This is our third year we’ve been really successful with it. I think as like, when you first open a business you’re kind of timid asking people to donate, but our Great Lakes are right here and I feel we all should help to support the Alliance for The Great Lakes because they help to keep our Great Lakes clean.”
Elle Salon also sells Earth Month Candles to raise money to help build wells in different countries. “Because on average, most women walk about three mile just to have access to clean water. So, it’s a big deal and we are so fortunate that we just have access right at our kitchen sink.”
“As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more passionate about it.” Hook continued, “And I have a really strong team that helps to support me as well, and so, it’s just fun and it’s great because we have such a lovely community who likes to get together and have fun. And, I mean, on a rainy day like tonight you might as well rock it out.”
Hook expressed gratitude for all the support she has received for her fundraising.
“Last year, we raised about $1,600, so I’m hoping that this year we’ll raise even more. It’s a lot to take on but I have a lot of support. We hire an event coordinator, Brandi Hamman, who’s awesome. My husband is a huge supporter. He actually has his Fine Arts degree so he does all our marketing for it and then salon girls are all so lovely and beautiful that they’re just like my support.”