BRACEVILLE, Ill. — Braidwood Station’s ‘Fishing for a Cure’ charity bass fishing tournament was canceled earlier this year due to COVID-19, but that didn’t stop employees at the Exelon Generation nuclear plant from giving generously to a local charity.
Employees at the power plant held virtual fundraising events and raised $41,000 for Special Connections of Grundy County, a charity that serves special needs individuals throughout Northern Illinois.
“We are overwhelmed at the generosity of Exelon, the employees at the plant and those who run the fishing tournament,” said Kelly Thompson, executive director of Special Connections. “I cannot express how grateful we are for this donation. It’s more money than our charity raises in a year, probably two years.”
Two years ago, Special Connections suffered a “huge loss” according to Thompson when the charity’s bus was destroyed in a car accident. The bus frequently transported Special Connections clients to Special Olympics competitions and other events across Illinois.
Thompson said in recent years volunteers have carpooled with multiple vehicles traveling to events, but that Special Connections clients have missed traveling together. Considering this year’s Exelon donation, Special Connections decided to use donations from Exelon’s ‘Fishing for a Cure’ to purchase a wheelchair-accessible bus for the charity.
“We have needed a new, accessible bus for a long time, and all of our folks are ecstatic to once again be able to travel together to and from events once the pandemic ends,” Thompson said. “Seeing their happiness and watching them interact with each other, it makes you feel great too.”
‘Fishing for a Cure’, Braidwood Station’s signature charitable event, has now raised nearly $670,000 since it began in 2002.
Braidwood Generating Station is one of six Illinois nuclear plants owned and operated by Exelon Generation producing carbon-free, reliable electricity for more than 11 million homes and businesses in the state. Together they provide more than $2 million each year to local charities through corporate philanthropy and employee donations. Braidwood is located 20 miles southwest of Joliet, Ill.