Trailblazer Charitable Foundation
The Trailblazer was established by Sam and Keith Blais, as a once a year, day long mini Olympics. The event allowed for friends to get together for a day of golf, bean bags, darts and bowling. This one day event continues to be the main event of the Foundation. Following the sudden passing of Sam Blais in 2001, the idea of changing the event to a charity was conceived. Beginning in the fall of 2001 excess proceeds from the event if any, were donated to charities such as Make a Wish Foundation and Clearbrook Academy. Then in 2008 there was a desire to take The Trailblazer to the next level. It was at that time, The Blais Family decided to create The Trailblazer Charitable Foundation.
The mission of The Board of Directors along with the many volunteers that make this effort possible is to raise funds through certain events. These funds shall go to help support local children and families in need of assistance. This charity may benefit people in many ways from the purchase of medical equipment to household goods and clothing. The Foundation may also from time to time donate funds to other charitable organizations or community groups with similar missions as directed by the Board.
The foundation currently operates a variety of fundraising events annually. They include a candlelight bowl that is held in the spring, the event that started it all The Trailblazer Golf and Sports outing which is to be held in June on Father’s Day weekend. The Foundation’s activities are conducted in the Chicagoland area and its beneficiaries are currently within the same geographical area. These activities are funded by entry participation fees specific to each event as well as sponsorship donations and raffles. The net proceeds from these events will then be distributed to identified and qualified recipients as designated by the Board of Directors.
It has long been a goal of the Foundation to involve the younger generation in our fundraising efforts and become active in the organization. This goal has been achieved with the establishment of Trailblazer Kids. Their first event was a Dance Marathon with proceeds to benefit The Lincoln Way Special Recreation Association.
Since the establishment of the Foundation in 2008 it has raised funds to help ease the financial burden of a Frankfort Family whose 10 year old son had terminal cancer; the foundation also purchased a Dynavox speech computer for an 8 year old downs syndrome boy who is also inflicted with a condition that severely limits his ability to speak.
This handheld device is programmed to verbalize his desired thoughts by touching pictures on a screen. In 2010 the foundation purchased hearing aids and speech assistance devices for several special needs children. These gifts have made a profound difference in these children’s lives by enhancing their ability to learn and communicate with others. To date the foundation has distributed in excess of $48,000.
Trailblazer Charitable Foundation Trailblazer Kids
Board of Directors
Keith Blais Marie Blais Sean Blais Kyle Blais
Peggy Blais Michael Powers Brendon Powers Kierstyn Blais
Tom Anderson Michele Powers Holly Anderson Kelly Anderson
Mike Blais Ken Alexa Ryan Blais Nick Anderson
Kevin Blais Pete Blais