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GratiTuesday: Tom Harness

Tom-Harness-Ugly-Christmas-Suit

Ugly Christmas Suit Guy

This should come as no surprise. Today’s GratiTuesday post is about Tom Harness. He’s the founder of Harness Digital Marketing and the creator of the Ugly Christmas Suit Guy fundraiser. It’s an effort he started almost by accident in 2014.

Harness-Hunsperger
Photo credit: Jenn Fortune Photography

Tom shares the full details in this recent interview. That first year he raised about $800 to help two groups, GumDrop for Kids and the Williamson County bicycle drive. By 2016, he raised more than $5,500 for The Promise food pantry in Marion, Illinois. This year, Tom has asked me to don an Ugly Christmas Suit by Shinesty. Together we will raise $7,500 for Children’s Home + Aid. That group works with 150 adoptive families in the lower 27 southern Illinois counties. You can make a donation here.

Harness-Honor-Guard
Courtesy: Brian Flath

I picked Tom to highlight today for more than just the Ugly Christmas Suit. Tom serves on several non-profit boards here in southern Illinois. He’s the second vice president of Southern Illinois Wellness (a group transitioning from Southern Illinois Women for Health & Wellness, Inc.). As an Army veteran, Tom serves on the Honor Guard, performing the rites at military funerals in our region. He also works with the Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois, area chambers of commerce and Hospice of Southern Illinois. Earlier this year he wowed the crowd with his team as Pitbull.

Harness-Pitbull
Photo credit: Liberty Village

These are just a few of the things Tom does in the community. We’ve co-emceed the Williamson County Relay for Life and judged the Southern Illinois Chili Cookoff for the last two years together. Tom also reaches out to aspiring entrepreneurs always offering words of advice and a helping hand. Thank you, Tom, for what you do for all of southern Illinois. Also, thank you to Beth and Snuggle Bunny for sharing your husband and dad with our community.

 

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kevinhunsblogger View All

I am a journalist with more than 20 years of experience and a professional blogger. I have been writing for most of my adult life. I have clients in several states and look forward to writing something for you soon.

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