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Promenade Bolingbrook ‘Community Day’ empowers local nonprofit

Published: Friday, July 26, 2013 10:38 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:48 a.m. CST
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Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com P.O.W.E.R. Connection Director Jerry Basel gives Promenade Bolingbrook employees Nick Mueller and Kris Kuchler a tour of the food pantry, warehouse and computer lab July 17. As part of their Community Day, Promenade Bolingbrook employees volunteered for Power Connection, which helps low income Illinois residents with food, clothing, computer skills, and other resources.
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Erica Benson-ebenson@shawmedia.com Promenade Bolingbrook employee Kurt Sommerville volunteers by putting up shelves for clothing at P.O.W.E.R. Connection. As part of their Community Day, Promenade Bolingbrook employees volunteered for Power Connection, which helps low income Illinois residents with food, clothing, computer skills, and other resources.

BOLINGBROOK – The Promenade Bolingbrook staff knows a good organization when they see one.

Housing more than 75 retailers and restaurants in their mixed use shopping center, the Promenade Bolingbrook staff is accustomed to attracting and marketing large corporations. But, on July 17, eight Promenade employees spent the day giving back to a local nonprofit organization.

Every year since the Promenade opened in 2007, staff members have participated in “Community Day,” an annual day of community service spearheaded by their corporate owners Forest City, Inc. – which recently announced that more than 1,000 of its associates completed service projects nationwide.

Locally, Promenade staff donated time and energy to Bolingbrook’s P.O.W.E.R. Connection, a faith-based community organization that seeks to empower low-income or marginalized residents by providing job skills training, educational training, and food and clothing.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 17, eight Promenade employees volunteered at P.O.W.E.R. Connection, organizing donated clothing and installing shelves. After the service day, Promenade General Manager Tom Castagnoli donated a walk-in freezer, which will be used in P.O.W.E.R. Connection’s food pantry.

Community Day coordinator and Promenade Bolingbrook Director of Marketing Kris Kuchler expressed admiration for P.O.W.E.R. Connection and the services the nonprofit offers the Bolingbrook community

“P.O.W.E.R. Connection helps everyone,” Kuchler said. “They do so many different things here. They teach people life skills such as forklift operation training and computer skills that will help them secure a job. Also, they have a food and clothing pantry.”

In previous community service outings, Promenade staff assisted members of DuPage Township, helped at a local Campfire Girls site and volunteered at the Bolingbrook Park District.

For the past two years, the group has volunteered at the P.O.W.E.R. Connection, and Castagnoli said he became actively involved with the nonprofit after donating clothing racks and mannequins to them about three years ago.

“A few years back, the Promenade had a couple dozen clothing fixtures that were in good condition but going unused,” Castagnoli said. “After donating to the P.O.W.E.R. Connection, I learned about all the amazing things they do for the community.”

Jerry Basel, who founded P.O.W.E.R. Connection in 2003, says that volunteers are a crucial part of the nonprofit and what keeps it afloat.

“We are so thankful for organizations like the Promenade, the various church groups and mission trips that choose to volunteer at P.O.W.E.R. Connection,” Basel said. “It is because of their benevolence and the dedication of our amazing staff that we are about to hit our 10-year anniversary in August.”

To learn more about the P.O.W.E.R. Connection, visit thepowerconnection.org.

For more information about the Promenade Bolingbrook, visit thepromenadebolingbrook.com.

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