For Select Brands President Bill Endres, the urgency of charity is something for which you are not always prepared. The 53-year small appliance industry veteran who founded Select Brands in 1998 has worked to cultivate for his company a charitable culture supporting causes impacting his Kansas City, MO-area community.
Then six years ago, things got very personal for Endres. Wyatt Hare, the then 6-year-old son of Endres’ godson, Daniel, took ill as his family was preparing a move to Chicago. Wyatt was diagnosed with an aggressive form of pediatric brain cancer.
After emergency surgery to remove the tumor, several rounds of treatment and a second surgery to address a benign vascular lesion, Wyatt is active and doing well, Endres said. Wyatt plans to join his family when Endres receives the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 Housewares Charity Foundation Gala at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago on the evening of Monday, March 6.
“I didn’t know much about it at the time,” Endres said of pediatric brain tumors. “It was a gut punch, and I had had no control over it.”
Taking control of a family health crisis that is part of a much more widespread pediatric disease than most people might be aware, Endres said, motivated the creation of Winning With Wyatt, a foundation dedicated to pediatric brain tumor research, including a program at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Part of the proceeds from the 2023 HCF gala will go to Winning With Wyatt.
“Thirteen children are diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer every day in the U.S.,” Endres said. “For the Housewares Charity Foundation to recognize this important cause is something very meaningful to so many people. [Winning With Wyatt] may not be the biggest charity, but it is growing rapidly.”
Endres, former chairman of the International Housewares Association board of directors, began his housewares career in 1970 with a five-year run at Corning Glass. Before starting Select Brands in 1998, he spent 22 years with Crock-Pot creator Rival Company, for which he rose to senior/vp and a board member.
Select Brands develops and markets small appliances under owned, licensed and private-label brands.
Endres emphasized how HCF was undeterred during the pandemic and continued its fundraising activities even while the Inspired Home Show and HCF gala were on hiatus.
“I am honored and humbled to be named a Lifetime Achievement recipient,” Endres said. “All of us in this industry should be proud that the HCF continued to give during the pandemic even though our annual event has not taken place in the past three years. It will be great to restart the tradition of our fundraising dinner.”
“It is a worthy endeavor for our industry to recognize the need of others and to be able to give back to our communities for those in need,” Endres continued. “This says much about our industry and our members. Sharing in the common goal to give to those in need and to address debilitating diseases defines us as a caring industry that wants to help make our world a better place.”
Click here for more information about the Housewares Charity Foundation and to purchase tickets to the 2023 HCF Gala.