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Food for Health's Geneva fundraiser includes raffle of one-of-a-kind pendant

Event seeks to raise $100k

GENEVA – When Fox Valley Food for Health hosts its second annual Harvest Moon Dance fundraiser Nov. 10, it will include a one-of-a-kind necklace provided by State Street Jewelers in Geneva.

This is the second time the store has created a unique pendant necklace for the charity, State Street Jewelers Manager Martha Sanchez said.

“I designed it, Isaac Kornhauser physically created the piece,” Sanchez said. “What is involved with designing is getting the idea and playing around, sketching and coming up with ideas I like. I knew the theme was harvest moon. Last year, we did a little man in the moon face with a diamond shaped star. I like to stick with the moon theme, but I changed it up a little.”

Made of white and yellow gold, the crescent moon is set in a blue enameled background with three diamond stars.

“I personally love enamel work,” Sanchez said. “I talked to Isaac about it and he could create it with blue enamel work. … I thought it was just awesome. ... Last year, we did a little man in the moon face with a diamond-shaped star."

Jeff Hampton, the store's owner, used a carved wax mold to create last year's piece, Sanchez said.

"I like to stick with the moon theme, but change it up a little," Sanchez said.

Fox Valley Food for Health was founded in 2012 by Mary Fremgen and Susan Leigh, with the mission to provide meals to nourish the seriously ill, while empowering young adults in preparing the meals.

Since the program’s inception, more than 200 adults and 150 teens have volunteered approximately 45,000 hours and served 46,000 free meals.

Creating the piece had special meaning for Kornhauser, who is a cancer survivor himself.

He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2017, but it was caught early, he stated in a news release about the fundraiser.

After surgery and some complications, Kornhauser, fed himself through a tube for four months. Side effects of chemotherapy resulted in a numbness in his fingertips, making it hard to work, the release stated.

A year later, Kornhauser returned to work at State Street Jewelers and the best news for him is that he is in remission.

“Not very many people can say they ‘had’ pancreatic cancer. I feel pretty lucky about that,” he stated in the release.

The store’s support of Fox Valley Food for Health also extends to their family members, as Sanchez’s granddaughter, Emily Stewart, and coworker Marci Sterkel’s daughter, Annie Sterkel, were volunteer teen chefs last year as high school seniors.

Sterkel was so inspired, she is now attending culinary school at Elgin Community College, Sanchez said.

The moon pedant will be on display in October at State Street Jewelers, 230 W. State St., Geneva. The store will sell raffle tickets for a chance to win the pendant. Tickets are $20 each and the winner does not have to present to win.

Raffle tickets will also be sold at the Harvest Moon Dance, which will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. Nov. 10 at Eagle Brook Country Club, 2288 Fargo Blvd., Geneva. Tickets are $150 per person and are available online at

The gala raised nearly $80,000 last year and the goal this year is $100,000.

Entertainment will be provided by Otto Music and the evening includes an open bar, dinner, raffles, live and silent auctions.

Teen chefs will talk about how volunteering impacted their lives, as well as a client testimonial.

“We prepare, cook, and deliver specially designed meals to support healing and reduce stress in the families we serve,” Fox Valley Food for Health Executive Director Zac Cesario stated in the release. “All proceeds from the Harvest Moon Dance will go directly to supporting our mission by funding an increase in meals, vegetable production of our summer garden, and to support our volunteers.”

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