203. Good Works: Catlow Family Movie Event to Benefit Children with Diabetes

3 mins read

There’s a rare opportunity to bring the family to the Catlow Theater at 11 a.m. next Saturday, September 7th, for a one-day-only showing of the computer-animated comedy, Despicable Me.  The event is an effort on the part of Catlow owner, Tim O’Connor, and former Catlow employee and BHS grad, Casey Kozlowski, to raise money for a cause that hits close to home for the Catlow and many others in the Barrington area.  Proceeds will benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Tim, a diabetic himself, was quick to say yes when Casey approached him with the idea of hosting this benefit.

Post - Despicable Me at Catlow Theater
Catlow Theater JDRF Fundraiser on Saturday, September 7th, at 11 a.m.

Today, Casey lives in the Village of Barrington and works as a Walgreens pharmacist.  We asked her to share, in her own words, what motivated her to organize this fun family event.  She agreed, and even dug back into her personal photo archive to share a picture Tim took of her back in the day, during one of her shifts working at the Catlow.

A Cause Close to the Catlow, by Casey Kozlowski

My first “real” job was at the Catlow Theater. I was 16 years old and nobody else would hire me (I can’t imagine why—what with my limited after-school availability and zero work experience!). My parents ate at Boloney’s so often that owner Roberta Rapata must have felt she owed them one.

The Catlow Theater - 116 W. Main Street in Barrington, Illinois
The Catlow Theater – 116 W. Main Street in Barrington, Illinois

When I showed up to apply, Tim O’Connor, the owner of the Catlow, told me I could start that Friday. I spent my first shift running the soda machine as the other employees yelled out drink orders at me. We were playing “The Shawshank Redemption” to a sold-out crowd and that first hour was pretty much a blur.

After the movie started and things were cleaned up, Tim looked at me and said, “Not bad for your first day.” I had a job!

Casey Kozlowski Working at the Catlow Theater - Photographed by Tim O'Connor
Casey Kozlowski Working at the Catlow Theater – Photographed by Tim O’Connor

Fast forward to my first day at Walgreens a few years later – the company I would end up spending my career with.

My time at the Catlow prepared me well; rush hour in the pharmacy is not much different than the rush for concessions before the movie starts.

I live closer to the Catlow now than I did in high school, but with 2 young kids, don’t get there nearly as much as I would like.

Casey Kozlowski with her Family
Casey Kozlowski with her Family

But this isn’t a story of my work history. This is a story of how old friends can make a huge difference in the lives of kids here in Barrington, and all over the world.

I recently accepted a challenge at work to raise over $1000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). JDRF provides support to children and adults living with diabetes and funds research to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure this disease.

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Fortunately, neither of my children have been affected by this disease, but I have many friends and colleagues whose children have Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).

For those of you that don’t know, Type 1 Diabetes is a disease that affects the insulin producing cells of the pancreas. It is different from Type 2 Diabetes as it is typically genetic, diagnosed in childhood, and not based on lifestyle choices.

Most Type 1 diabetics have to give themselves insulin shots multiple times per day, and adjust the insulin dose based on what they eat.

Managing Diabetes - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Managing Diabetes – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Think of all the times per day you mindlessly eat something without thinking about it—Type 1 diabetics can not do that. They are constantly reminded of their disease every time a piece of food crosses their lips. Imagine how hard that must be! Now imagine having to deal with that at age 16. Or 12. Or 6.

So, I approached my old boss and friend, Tim O’Connor, to see if he would be willing to donate a show to raise money for such a great cause. Being diabetic himself (and because he’s just an awesome guy!) Tim was eager to help.

Catlow Owner, Tim O'Connor, in the Theater's Control Room
Catlow Owner, Tim O’Connor, in the Theater’s Control Room

He suggested we do a matinee of a family friendly movie and was even generous enough to offer popcorn and drinks for everyone who attends!

The family friendly event will take place at the Catlow Theater on Saturday, September 7th at 11am and will feature the original Despicable MeThe ticket price is $10 for all ages and includes a small popcorn and drink.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at catlowjdrf.ticketleap.com/tickets.

You can also pick up tickets, while supplies last, at Boloneys or the Catlow Theater box office, 114 W. Main Street in Barrington.

100% of the proceeds will benefit JDRF. Hope to see you all there!!

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