Five years ago a group of 11 friends lost one of their own.
Cybil Gooden-Harvey died after a short but tragic battle with leukemia. During Gooden-Harvey’s illness her friends had begun planning a benefit in her honor.
She passed away just before the benefit was to be held.
That prompted the group of Dover High alums to donate the money that had been raised to support her children. Since then, the group has decided to stick together – continuing with their charity work and serving their community.
“We’ve always been this way,” said Rebecca Martin, one of the members of It’s All Good Delaware. “We’ve always wanted to give back. We’re not a big organization, we’re just a group of Dover High alums that want to help people.”
The group is now an official non-profit. They decided to name the organization It’s All Good in Delaware because “It’s all good” was Gooden-Harvey’s favorite phrase.
Over the past five years the organization has made donations to organizations such as Kay’s Kamp for Kids, a camp for children with cancer; the Food Bank of Delaware and Home of the Brave. The organization has donated almost $200,000 to charity, according to their website.
“We’ve helped about 51 families and we’ve donated to 21 organizations,” said Nancy Knight, the organization’s treasurer.
Last Christmas marked one of their biggest undertakings yet. The group bought, wrapped and delivered $1,000 worth of gifts to all 26 elementary schools in Kent County. They reached 199 kids with that one project, Knight said.
The organization also offers a helping hand to local families who need assistance with day-to-day needs – rent, food and bills.
“After we helped Cybil we had so much love in our hearts,” said Lynn Kriss, the group’s president. “We said ‘why don’t we just pay it forward for the enrichment of the whole community, for those who fall through the cracks.’ It’s just wonderful the feeling you get when you help someone else.”
The organization’s major fund raiser over the past five years has been their You Deserve a Night Out event. This year’s Cinco de Mayo-themed event will be held at Jonathan’s Landing on May 4. It will feature a piñata contest and a unique sombrero contest.
“We decided to try and get people together, to have really good entertainment and to give back,” Knight said.
Page 2 of 2 - A large portion of the money made from the event will be given to help fund the Can Do Playground, a playground for people with special needs, in Milford. The rest of the money will be used to support local families in need, Martin said.
Tickets for the event are $30. Bottomless beer mugs are $10 and bottomless wineglasses are $20. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres and music by The Funsters. The festivities will last from 7 p.m. to 11. p.m. Visit www.itsallgoodindelaware.com for tickets and more information.