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Hi readers! This is Stephanie Castagnier, I’m a friend of Billy’s, but you probably know me from NBC’s The Apprentice, the 2010 season.  I wanted to share an event with you that I hold near and dear to my heart. On Tuesday, July 12th I have the distinct honor of speaking  at the Better Boys Foundation 50th Anniversary Celebration, and I can’t wait! I will be sharing my story of loosing my parents to AIDS and overcoming adversity as a child, I think this is the perfect platform to speak about my past. The Better Boys Foundation is truly an incredible, unique Chicago organization formed to serve kids in the North Lawndale neighborhood by providing academic, social, emotional and cultural guidance. Founded in the early ’60s by the legendary Buddy Hackett and local businessman Joe Kellman, the BBF has gone through several transformations and has grown substantially over the decades.

It’s amazing to think that it all began with the opening of a boxing gym! From there the foundation worked to create a free breakfast program for needy children, then went on in 1970 and formed the Farragut High School Outpost Classroom to help students that had dropped out, earn their GED’s. They have created scholarships, theatre programs, family based funds, temporary living facilities, teen-parent groups and even art based apprenticeships focused on film, dance, writing and more. It’s really quite impressive and heart warming to see the Better Boys Foundation progression through the years and makes me even more so looking forward to participating in next Tuesday’s festivities.

I hope you can all join me at Carnivale to commemorate the past 50 years of the BBF, it’s definitely going to be a fun evening! And an exciting twist…..guests will have the opportunity to step back in time to learn more about BBF’s beginnings in the 1960s and its evolution across five decades of dedicated service to the North Lawndale community, how cool is that? For more info and tickets please visit and I really hope to see you next week! Thanks….Stephanie

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