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Gbur: Volunteer to fundraise for WDSRA

Community voice

DuPage County is an exceptional area in which to work, live and play. There are a wealth of organizations whose missions strive to make our communities better for all residents through programs in service and leadership. Many of them are responsible for monetary donations made to groups with missions that align with theirs. Western DuPage Special Recreation Association is fortunate to frequently be a beneficiary of the generosity of these groups.

This is why, on occasion, we ask our supporters to volunteer for other organizations and events. These events are a “win-win” in that the sponsoring organization does all of the planning and we just need volunteers to “show up” and help. Often the number of volunteers working on behalf of WDSRA directly impacts the donations we receive.

A perfect example is Ribfest, the wildly popular four-day event sponsored by the Exchange Club of Naperville. Over the years, many of our staff, Foundation Board trustees and friends have volunteered their time on behalf of WDSRA. In fact, members of our Rec & Roll adult day program annually give their time to help set up tables in preparation for the massive crowds waiting to descend on Knoch Park July 3 to 6. My first year on the job I had the opportunity to be one of 50-plus not-for-profits who received a check to support our programming. WDSRA has been a recipient for many years before and after that.

Towards the end of the summer, the same thing happens with the Naperville Jaycees Last Fling celebration. We ask supporters to consider volunteering on our behalf. It’s a win for everyone. Volunteers contribute their time at the event and get to enjoy the festivities after their shift; the Jaycees staff their event with volunteers; the community at large enjoys a favorite four-day family fun festival; and groups, like WDSRA, receive funding that goes right back into the community.

We know that our greatest resource at WDSRA is the wonderful group of people who make up the extended WDSRA family. It is a powerful network of families, donors, sponsors, part-time staff, volunteers, and everyone that has somehow touched and/or been touched by WDSRA over the past 37 years. We also recognize that there are many big-hearted people who just want to help in a very quiet way.

We invite you all to volunteer on WDSRA’s behalf at either of these two summer festivals. Your involvement will determine the size of the donation. Be sure to mention that you are volunteering on behalf of WDSRA.

This is truly an example of community working together!

Sandy Gbur is the executive director of Western DuPage Special Recreation Association.

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