Ross School senior Dillon Kab is busy making a positive difference in the lives of children and families battling cancer. For her Senior Project, she started a company, Connecs LLC, that creates programs to raise money for nonprofits. Her first program, “Ties for a Cure,” benefits the Max Cure Foundation, which supports low-income and military families with a child battling cancer at the Stony Brook Pediatric Cancer Center. Her initial goal is to raise $25,000, and she has already sent the first monthly check for $2,000 to the charity. The support will typically be in the form of gift cards so the families can buy food and clothing.
The first 1,000 ties, which are 100 percent silk and sell for $25, were donated by John Brennan, a Southampton orthopedic surgeon, who was inspired by Dillon’s business savvy and charitable actions. She then approached local retail outlets, and two shops in Southampton (Therapy Life and Style and 27 Hampton Salon) now carry the dapper accessories. Dillon also sells the ties online at www.tiesforacure.com, and is hoping that the holiday season will bring a big spike in sales. At the recent SeptemberFest in Southampton, where Dillon set up in a booth, the manager of a big hotel said she planned to place an order for a large number of ties and give them as gifts to employees.
Dillon says the response from the community has been great. Earlier this month, a boutique owner stopped by her booth at Harborfest in Sag Harbor and was so impressed with the program that he intends to donate an additional quantity of ties. “This is such a great cause, because the money I’m raising directly benefits the families,” Dillon says. “It’s wonderful to be part of an organization that is doing so much to support children and families impacted by cancer.”
In addition to creating relationships to source and sell the merchandise, Dillon also set up and manages the online retail site and is actively promoting Connecs and Ties for a Cure on social media. She developed her business sense at an early age, growing up with parents who are entrepreneurs and involved with charitable organizations. “I felt compelled to combine my business skills with some of the charities that are close to my heart,” she says. “I wanted to contribute and make a difference with my work.”
Dillon hopes to extend Ties for a Cure’s reach to local stores across the East End of Long Island. She also plans to expand Connecs with new programs and products to help other nonprofits. Her next endeavor will support the Curing Retinal Blindness Foundation. Visit www.connecs.net for more information or to donate.