November 23, 2021

Ugly Sweater, Beautiful Mission

It’s sweater season at Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo and we’re delighted to launch the 7th annual Ugly Sweater event! Each year we gather in our ugliest of sweaters to bring awareness to our whole child approach of supporting students. This approach includes providing essentials such as warm winter-wear and supplies—just one of the dozens of ways that CIS supports kids in Kalamazoo.

Last year’s ugly sweater exhibit was such a hit that we decided to do it again!

If you walked around downtown last weekend or visited the holiday parade, you may have come across the 2021 Ugly Sweater Contest and Exhibit: Generosity is Always in Fashion. We launched the exhibit this past Friday and will run through December 7th. Note, voting runs through December 8th. This year’s exhibit is located on W. Michigan Avenue in the Exchange Building right next to Huntington Bank. These ugly creations are also being featured on the CIS Facebook page during “10 Days of Sweaters” starting next week.

Kalsec is this year’s presenting sponsor, helping to transform ugly sweaters into supporting a great mission.

In addition to presenting sponsor Kalsec, the following sponsors have each designed and hand-crafted ugly sweaters for the CIS exhibit to help raise vital funding for students (click the links to see their sweater): Abraxas, Chase, Edwards Garment, Emerging Leaders for Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, Humphrey Products, Kalsec, Miller-Davis Company, PNC, Unifab Corporation, and Western Michigan University Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Thanks to in-kind sponsors Huntington Bank (providing the storefront window) and Crossroads Mall (providing the mannequins).

You can visit all the sweaters virtually by visiting our event page here or in person and then cast your vote(s) for the ugliest sweater. Each dollar donated in support of a sweater is considered a vote.

Bringing back the Ugly Sweater Party!

We are excited to announce the return of the Ugly Sweater Party fundraiser, presented by Kalsec. New for this year, all sweater sponsors will be “modeling” their crafted sweaters for LIVE voting during the party.

Tickets are available for purchase now! Join us on Wednesday, December 8th from 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Bell’s Brewery for a great evening. Thank you to Soul Artistry for curating our music for the evening—we will be welcoming the band Fourth Feel for our entertainment.

Light appetizers will be provided (until supplies last) and drinks for purchase. Masks will be worn during the event unless guests are eating or drinking.

This will be the last opportunity to cast your sweater vote as we will crown the winner at the party! Voting concludes at 7:30 p.m. that evening and, at that time, the sweater with the most donations/votes will be crowned the 2021 winner.

Thank you to our 2021 sponsors and supporters! We couldn’t do this without you. Thank you for supporting our mission of surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.­

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