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Grant Thornton launches Purple Paladins

Firm surprises Chicago nonprofit with more than $70,000 in support

Coming Up Rosies now able to bring ‘smile kits’ to thousands of children

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CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP has launched Purple Paladins – a national program that surprises up-and-coming nonprofits with funding, business advice and volunteer support, while also helping them share their stories with thousands of people.

The firm and its professionals kicked off Purple Paladins by surprising their first recipient – a Chicago nonprofit named Coming Up Rosies – with multiple donations adding up to more than $70,000. Coming Up Rosies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides ‘smile kits’ to hospitals so children – particularly those suffering from hair loss – can engage in therapeutic art activities to create custom head scarves, neck scarves and superhero capes based on their own unique designs.

“We started Purple Paladins to help real people who take on real issues,” said Brad Preber, interim CEO of Grant Thornton. “We are focusing on emerging nonprofits with noble ambitions. Our goal is simple: Help them go from start-up to sustainable.”

Preber explained that Coming Up Rosies represents exactly the kind of organization that Grant Thornton wants to support: “Coming Up Rosies was conceived in 2016 by Rosie Quinn, who was merely 5 years old at the time!”

Doctors had diagnosed Rosie with alopecia when she was 2 years old. The autoimmune disease causes baldness – and as Rosie grew up, strangers would stare at her or ask what was wrong with her.

“It’s the kind of attention no child wants,” commented Preber. “But Rosie’s situation gave her parents an idea: What if they surprised her with a head scarf using one of her favorite paintings?”

Her parents did exactly that – and when Rosie wore her scarf, strangers began to focus on her artwork and not on her hair loss. Rosie’s reaction was to start an organization to provide scarf-making and cape-making packages to other kids contending with hair loss. The idea quickly took flight with the help of Rosie’s mother, Paula Quinn – who became the executive director of Coming Up Rosies.

Rosie, now 8 years old, sees Grant Thornton’s donations as a way to provide more ‘smile kits’ to more children. “We want to donate to kids so we can make kids happy,” she said. “This is the biggest donation we’ve ever received and now we can help thousands more children smile and feel confident.”

Beyond the cash donations, Grant Thornton also made the largest head-scarf purchase in the nonprofit’s history – buying scarves for more than 3,000 attendees at an annual Grant Thornton conference. All proceeds from the sale supported Coming Up Rosies in its efforts to help and inspire children. Moreover, Grant Thornton is assisting Coming Up Rosies with volunteer support and business guidance to seed its growth. And Grant Thornton conducted a social-media campaign that raised unprecedented levels of awareness for Coming Up Rosies.

In addition to its financial and professional support, Grant Thornton arranged for Rosie to spend a memorable day with professional golfer Rickie Fowler – discussing her nonprofit with him and making a joint visit to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

“Spending the day with my new friend Rosie was as inspirational for me as I hope it was for her,” commented Fowler. “She’s a world-class champion who is doing amazing things and making a real difference. I am proud to be part of Grant Thornton’s efforts to support Rosie – and I share the firm’s commitment to empowering everyday heroes.”

The public can donate to Coming Up Rosies by visiting the nonprofit’s website.

The Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a term used in the Middle Ages to describe knights in armor, and from Grant Thornton’s purple-hued brand theme. Grant Thornton views modern-day paladins as leading champions of a cause.

Grant Thornton is currently identifying additional nonprofits for support through its Purple Paladins program.

To learn more about Purple Paladins or to nominate a nonprofit for potential support, visit Grant Thornton’s website.

About Grant Thornton LLP
Founded in Chicago in 1924, Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the world’s leading organizations of independent audit, tax and advisory firms. Grant Thornton, which has revenues in excess of $1.9 billion and operates more than 50 offices, works with a broad range of dynamic publicly and privately held companies, government agencies, financial institutions, and civic and religious organizations.

“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions.

Contact:
Jon Rucket
T +1 404 984 6249