The family-friendly event features rib and chicken cook-off contests judged by local chefs and restaurant owners. C.A.T.I.F. will also offer other food and beverages as well as entertainment and children’s activities.
In 2009, after taking a course on self-expression in leadership, Palatine resident Kara Cermak decided to create C.A.T.I.F. The organization is comprised of several professional women from the area. They hold a silent auction in February and the family picnic in September to raise money for organizations that help women in need.
“I grew up with my mother and sister, and I now have two teenage daughters,” said Cermak. “I think all women should feel empowered, and maybe if we intervene early, we can help.”
C.A.T.I.F board member and Palatine resident Dina Wasmund echoes Cermak’s sentiments. “We try to pay it forward,” she said. Wasmund added that the picnic and cook-off allows C.A.T.I.F. to hold an event for the entire family, while the silent auction is more like a cocktail party.
This year’s picnic and cook-off will benefit Home of the Sparrow, a local organization that provides housing and support services for homeless women and their children.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to help,” Cermak said.
Last year, it rained during the entire picnic and cook-off. “It was poor timing, but we still had a decent turnout," said Wasmund.
This year, C.A.T.I.F. members are excited about the event's new location on Station Street near Lamplighter Inn Tavern & Grille
"We hope to see everybody there," said Cermak. "It’s a great chance to hang out in Palatine, and what’s better than that?”
C.A.T.I.F.'s picnic and cook-off takes place Sunday, Sept. 9 from 1 to 6 p.m. Sponsorships are available, and people can still register as contestants for the ribs and chicken cook-offs. For more information, visit C.A.T.I.F.'s website.