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Fundraiser looks to connect local entrepreneurs

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — Local entrepreneurs have the opportunity to gather and network at a fundraiser this Sunday. Proceeds of the 'Community of Entrepreneurs' event will benefit Touching Soles, Inc., a nonprofit that focuses on providing shoes to needy middle school kids and also teaching them life lessons.

"I try to stick around the sixth to eighth grade because that's the impression stage," Touching Soles CEO Marquez Beeks said. "So, with Touching Soles, that's my main goal this time is to just encourage the youth to keep going. Don't let anybody tell you you can't do anything. And if I can do it, you can do it."

Beeks, a Boylan grad who played football at Fayetteville State University, says the goal is to bring together entrepreneurs and give them a chance to learn from one another and bounce ideas off each other, all while raising money to help kids in the community. Several items will be part of a raffle, including a Fred VanVleet autographed jersey and Dean Lowry autographed memorabilia.

The event takes place Sunday, July 11, at Klehm Arboretum from 1-4 p.m. Wristbands are $40 and food will be catered from Franchesco's. For tickets, call 815-988-4466.

Derek Bayne

Derek Bayne joined 13 WREX as the sports director in December of 2011. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and moved back to Illinois after working several years in North Carolina. For any sports story ideas or tips, you can email

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