photo of Thomas

In 1998 Thomas Martin,

a little boy with cancer from McHenry County, was asked if there was anything special he would like for Christmas. His simple wish was twenty-five new hats for the children who were going through chemotherapy with him.

The Hats Off For Thomas Chamber Mixer was established from his request. Over five hundred hats were donated at that first event. For the next six years the Hat Mixers grew to include live and silent auctions and the money raised was contributed to Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago for pediatric cancer research. In 2004 the Hat Mixer was replaced by a Gala and It's All About Kids, a 501 (C) 3 organization was formed.

Since the beginning we have raised more than ONE MILLION dollars, giving 100% of the profits to Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital for Pediatric Cancer Research, and to forty McHenry County families (so far…), facing the burden of medical care and other related costs.

The "Hats Off For Thomas" Gala is held annually with live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing. The income is split between Children's Memorial and McHenry County families who have a child with cancer.

The long term goal of It's All About Kids is to raise enough money to eventually help one family in each McHenry County school district who has a child with cancer. With your help this goal will become a reality.

Sponsorship levels are designed to appeal to a wide range of businesses and individuals. Will you please help us by being a sponsor? Your consideration and generosity is appreciated.

Who We Are

The long term goal of It's All About Kids is to raise enough money to eventually help one family in each McHenry County school district who has a child with cancer. With your help this goal will become a reality.

video screenshot of mark martin

Volunteer with us!

It's extremely rewarding. Click here for info.

Hats, Hats, Hats

Thanks To You. . .

We have received some 10,000 new hats that have been distributed at Children's Memorial Hospital. Hat donations are always encouraged. Hat donations will be accepted the night of the event and at drop-off locations (new hats only, please.) Sports hats for boys and girls are the most popular. But don't forget the tiny tots, too.

Currently, our local drop-off locations for hat donations are:

Renee's of Ridgefield Flower Shop
8505 Ridgefield Road, Crystal Lake, IL.
phone: 815.459.0180

Exceed Flooring
5186 Northwest Hwy., Crystal Lake, IL
phone: 815-459-3113