THE "HERSTORY" OF WITCHES
It seems simple enough, two lifelong friends, Kathy Mihelich and Judy Erwin take a road trip through Southern Illinois in 2009 to visit a cute Halloween themed shopping faire, support local small businesses, and enjoy one another’s company. Little did they know that this fun trip would cast the spell and become the phenomenon that is Witches Night Out. While recounting the adventures of that 2009 road trip, the spark of the witch-spell began to take shape: create a unique and affordable fundraising event to support social service organizations providing necessary services and support vital to the wellbeing of area women and children.
The magic of Witches Night Out began to take shape in 2010 as the date for the inaugural Witches Night Out was set for October 28. Kathy began the search for the correct ingredients in a 501(c)(3) sponsor, a venue suitable for such a creative event, artists to donate their talents and expertise, and to recruit friends and family as committee members. Judy began to gather together the ingredients of local vendors and hand-crafted artisans for the Witches Bazaar and Mystics to tell fortunes during the inaugural Witches Night Out.
The first annual Witches Night Out was held at the Joliet Renaissance Center on October 21, 2010. The spell had been cast! Over 600 of Kathy and Judy’s closest witchy friends and curious attendees descended on downtown Joliet for this magical party with the purpose of helping women. This spellbinding group of dedicated women were able to donate $14,000 to social service organizations that provide necessary services and support vital to the wellbeing of area women and children, and the community was enchanted with this unique and affordable women’s night out event.
In 2016, Kathy founded Events for a Cause, LLC a 501(c)(3) organization to oversee Witches Night Out. In a few short years, the Witches Night Out committee has grown from its original 16 members and United Way support staff to 40 committee members, recipient agency volunteers from five different service organizations, and its own501(c)(3) organization. The roles and faces have changed through the years with each member contributing invaluable time and effort to the event, some for a year or two, others embarking on their tenth year of service in 2019. In 2018, encouraged by overwhelming enthusiasm from the community, a second night of festivities was added to the yearly event culminating in the gathering of 3,000 witch attendees, sponsors, and volunteers. Through 2019, Witches Night Out has distributed over $466,000 to our recipient agencies through the dedication and support of sponsors, donors, volunteers, and attending Witches.
WHO WE ARE
The Witches Night Out Joliet committee is comprised of 30+ working and retired professional women from all walks of life who want to make a difference for women who are in need of assistance. Net proceeds from the Witches Night Out Joliet Joliet event go to Will County 501(c)(3) Recipient Agencies serving area women and children. The Recipient Agencies selected to receive Witches Night Out Joliet funds provide vital support and services to help women secure their independence, regain their dignity, and become self-sufficient.
OUR FOUNDING WITCHES
Sol Alba, Theresa Berkey, Catherine Caccavello, Maria Comolli, Barb Delaney (Co-Chair), Dante Dibarolo, Judy Erwin (Founder/Co-Chair), Mary Lou Gast, Roxane Geraci-Militello, Lauren McFarland, Kathy Mihelich (Founder/Co, -Chair, Nathan Mihelich, Palma Mihelich, Alexis (Mihelich) O'Brien, Jackie O'Hara, Corine Ventura