Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Cache' Connections is featured in the Peoria Journal Star
PEKIN - Markita Hicks of Plainfield had nearly given up on finding a husband when the man of her dreams walked into a singles event she didn't even attend.
Lucky for her, the owners of Cache Connections, a Pekin-based online Christian dating service, knew Hicks well enough to recognize the potential for a connection. After dating for five months, Hicks and her husband, Darrick, were married last year and now are the parents of six-month old twins.
"We're just overjoyed. If they wouldn't have been looking out for me, I would never have met my husband," Markita, a 36-year-old musician, said in a recent phone interview. "I believe Cache Connections is like salvation because they're dedicated to helping single Christians meet people who are looking for similar things in life."
Entrepreneurs Kim Whitaker and Linda Martin launched Cache Connections as a personalized matchmaking service in 2007 and have nurtured it into a multi-state business that now serves more than 6,000 clients online and helps thousands more through events that offer relationship advice and a chance to meet like-minded singles in person.
The business has yet to make a profit, but the two say bringing Christians together is a God-inspired passion they've made personal sacrifices to pursue. Both happily married with grown children, they want to help others find that happiness as well.
Part of what makes Cache Connections unique are the events they host, which are open to non-members and range from large expos that attract upwards of 400 people to small eight-person dinner parties. Whitaker and Martin organize two to five events monthly in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Georgia, Florida and Ohio. They're hosting a conference and expo May 20 at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Peoria and have other events planned in May and June in Springfield, Naperville and Cincinatti, Ohio.
"Events were not part of our original plan," admitted Whitaker. "But people really like the face-to-face meetings."
Dan Murphy, a 49-year-old single Cache Connections member from Naperville, said the events "take online dating from window shopping to the facility that it should be - an opportunity to communicate with people you've just met."
Murphy also likes that Whitaker and Martin personally attend most of the events. "It shows that they are committed to this, and it kind of invites me to be more committed, too," he said.
Cache Connections has even recreated the Dating Game a few times, giving a bachelor or bachelorette a chance to blindly question three potential dates sequestered behind a curtain.
Pekinite Phillis DeWitt, a nurse and widowed mother of 13 biological and adopted children, was a reluctant contestant at a Dating Game event last year.
"I told them I was going to wear a Big Bird costume, and I was going to say that I have 13 children by 10 different men," DeWitt recalled, laughing.
Whatever DeWitt did say enticed bachelor Craig Nelson to pick her for a date. She didn't know, however, that Nelson had already been attracted to her online profile but was scared off by her large brood, Martin said.
"He pretended he was going to pass out when he realized it was me," DeWitt said. "Evidently, he got past the 13 children, because we dated about four months before we got married."
Whitaker and Martin were invited to both the Hicks' and the DeWitt/Nelson weddings and even were asked by the Hicks to "release them from a life of singleness to a life of marriage."
The two figure they've played a part in at least 10 marriages and impacted hundreds of lives. CLICK HERE to read the entire article.