When several dozen local businesses come together for a good cause, miracles can happen.
That was the goal of a recent "happiest hour" night of giving hosted by Canal Winchester's RE/MAX One real estate agency, in partnership with the Canal Winchester Buffalo Wild Wings. The Aug. 22 networking night with the Canal Winchester Area Chamber of Commerce was organized in support of the Children's Miracle Network at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
Organizer Robin Mallory said the event originated out of the RE/MAX Corp.'s commitment to the children's charity.
"As a corporation, RE/MAX supports the Children's Miracle Network each year in the month of August and each agency is asked to participate," she said. "So instead of just doing something inside the agency, we reached out to as many local business vendors as we could to try and do something bigger."
The resulting event gave local business people and their families a chance to connect with each other while enjoying dinner, drinks and a charity raffle of donated items, she said.
"Unfortunately, sometimes we're just so busy in business that we don't even see the people we share offices with, so this was a good chance to reconnect with them and meet some new people, all in this socially conscious environment," Mallory said.
TransCounty Title Agency owner Pat John said his personal beliefs and his family are what inspired him to participate.
"I have five healthy kids that I'm thankful for, so I take every opportunity I can to pitch in for children's charities," John said. "Nationwide Children's Hospital is so critical to our community so I think, as a small-business owner, that it's important to connect with other businesses and contribute to charities like this."
John said the "happiest hour" was well attended and he was glad he was able to donate several items to further help raise funds.
"This was a good event. We're a homegrown company and when your community helps you grow, then you've got a responsibility to pay it back," he said.
By the end of the night, the "happiest hour" had raised more than $2,000 for the Children's Miracle Network at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"We want to always bring in more for the charity, so this is something we'll work to grow further next year," Mallory said. "We're hoping to expand it beyond a business networking focus next year as well and bringing in more general community involvement."
Additional information about the Children's Miracle Network is available online at childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.