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Devon Hubbard Tessmer, a 2001 Crystal Lake Central graduate, has co-founded Project Front Line McHenry County, a grassroots coronavirus relief effort with a mission to aid local restaurants and give back to workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. Tessmer and a committee of four other community members have raised nearly $45,000 towards the cause.
After recognizing this area of need in the community, the Project Front Line team began collecting donations that have been put towards meals for healthcare workers all across the county.
“The idea was to raise money from the community and deploy that money at local restaurants to bring a little bit of happiness, joy, a smile to the front line workers,” said Tessmer.
To date, the team has supported 35 to 40 local restaurants and delivered food to approximately 4,000 front line workers. Tessmer and her team aim to raise $50,000 by the end of the Illinois stay-at-home order.
The project also collaborated with Crystal Lake Central art teacher, Kerry Parrish, who enlisted her art students to create thank you messages that appeared on hundreds of donations, and the deliveries aren’t done yet.
“We’re hoping to do one last final push, where we deliver to all of the hospitals in the county and all of the employees,” she said.
Aside from her career in business development at Exemplar, her family’s wealth management firm, Tessmer has always had a passion for philanthropy and giving back.
“I grew up with the ethos that you give back to your community more than you take, so I was lucky to be raised in Crystal Lake,” she said.