Our Origin Story 


In 2005, our Founder and President, John Terranova Jr, was thinking about his next move. He had recently left a career in local politics, and wanted to find another way to give back to his community.  Realizing that not all children and families were as lucky as his own, he decided he wanted to focus on helping kids and families who needed a bit more help. 


Combining some of his favorite loves, bocce, wine, cigars, and having fun with friends, he organized the first Annual Bocce Tournament, and created the Helping Kids and Families Fund.  Taking all the money raised from the tournament, raffles, and silent auction, the charity was able to donate money to Rockford MELD and create an emergency fund at his home Parish, St. Anthony of Padua in Rockford, IL.  The emergency fund allowed parishioners who needed help with bills or food get the money they needed with no judgment. 


Now, 19 years and over $103,000 dollars later, the fund has grown into a non-for-profit tax exempt organization that has donated funds to local and national charities and organizations,  gofundme pages and disaster relief around the world with a specific focus on those helping children and families.  While our annual Bocce Tournament is our best known event, the charity also raises funds through Charity Gaming Events in the Chicagoland area, Facebook Fundraisers specifically #GivingTuesday, and  generous donations from supporters.  It all comes down to our donors - and we thank you!!! 



Antonio Tarara, Alison Caltergerone, and Renate Toldo!
HKFF/ RISCA Scholarship Winners!


The Helping Kids and Families Fund             2022 Annual Financial Impact Report

As we begin 2023, the Helping Kids and Families Fund (HKFF) is happy to report that since 2005, through the support of our many, many friends (like you), we have been able to donate over $103,876.00 helping kids and families in need!

Whether the need was for help in meeting transportation costs for hospital visits, Christmas gifts for those without, assisting single parents, giving aid to the poor, hungry or those less fortunate, helping veterans, friends, those in hospitals and nursing homes, through your generous support, HKFF has been there to help.

In fact, last year 2022, the Helping Kids and Families Fund distributed over $14,500 helping and assisting those in need.

These distributions to help kids and families in need have included:


These distributions to help kids and families in need have included:

Local Family and Community assistance: (Mom’s, Dad’s & Kids programs (including help for foster and adoption programs): $6500

Helping the Hungry and Homeless: HKFF was able to give $3000 for shelter, supplies and purchased over 1100 meals in the Rockford and Springfield areas and donated resources for local food pantries.

Christmas gifts: $1850 (including “adopting” 7 local children for Christmas gifts and providing gifts, toys for kids in Rockford and Springfield, Illinois)

Targeted Programs: American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Rock House Kids, American Heart Assoc, St Jude’s Hospital, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), Suicide Prevention, Project Hope Ukraine, Senior living assistance: $2000

Helping those in Need: Winter clothing, blankets, School equipment, Daycare expenses, medical expenses, household supplies:  $1000


Your generosity supporting the Helping Kids and Families Fund (At our annual Bocce Tournament and dinner, the HKFF #Givingtuesday Facebook fundraiser, our charitable gaming events or by simply donating,) has helped make a difference in the lives of many individuals, locally, nationally and around the world.


With your continued support, so generously given since we began our charity in 2005, HKFF will continue on our mission:   Helping Kids and Families in Need!    


Thank you so very much for your caring generosity!



Helping Kids and Families Fund 

(HKFF) January 2023