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Rotary Club of Wheaton grants $15,000 to local charities

On June 7, the Rotary Club of Wheaton granted $15,000 to 11 local charities at the 3rd Annual Grant Recipient Lunch.
 
The Club also recognized the Wheaton Park District’s Sensory Garden & Play for All Playground after recently completing a $25,000 commitment to the district’s Sensory Garden & Play for All Park. Additionally, the Club granted Mercy Ships the $33,000 raised at the 2016 Annual Christmas Inn Fundraiser’s Fund A Need. Mercy Ships is an international organization dedicated to helping individuals living in poverty who need medical attention.
 
The Rotary Club of Wheaton has a long history of giving back to the community both locally and internationally. In addition to the above mentioned grants, the Club has supported students in their junior and senior years of college who are residents in District 200 with over $200,000 in scholarships in the last 20 years. The Club’s annual Fund A Need has raised and distributed nearly $125,000 for five projects that touched our hearts.
Club members work very hard to raise these fund but do not just stop at writing checks. Many of the club members have been on international trips, providing supplies, mixing cement and helping to build buildings - in other words, getting down and dirty.
 
One of the most recent trips was with several members who went to Mexico and Belize to distribute 280 wheelchairs, often lifting the broken and twisted bodies from the dusty plastic chairs that have no support into a wheelchair that gives them instant mobility. Long-time club member and past district governor Gordon Schrubbe has been a part of a Peru project for young at risk girls for many years that the club also supports annually.
 
The distribution of grant funds on June 7 represents a portion of what all of the club members have contributed to over the years. The $25,000 distributed to 11 local organizations was raised at the Club’s Annual Christmas Inn fundraiser and was given to the following organizations: CASA of DuPage County, Operation Safe Celebration, Friends of Therapeutic Equine Activities, Three Fires Council Boy Scouts, Synapse House, B.R. Ryall YMCA, DuPage Senior Citizens Council, DuPage Habitat for Humanity, NAMI DuPage, Friends of the DuPage County Fair, and Claire Woods Academy. 

Rotary Clubs of Wheaton Donate $20,000 to Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation

Through the swirl of color in the air, runners and spectators at the Wheaton Park District’s Fun Run in Color 2017 on April 22 saw two oversized checks.
 

They represented a $20,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Wheaton to the Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit developing the fully accessible Sensory Garden Playground at 2751 Navistar Dr. in Lisle. The funds will support efforts to build the playground’s next phase: a treehouse where children of all abilities can reach for the sky.

“It is all about service above self, the Rotary motto,” said Rotary Club of Wheaton AM member Jim Hebert. “The Fun Run [in Color] and other fundraising events enable us to effectively support many of our community not-for-profit organizations. We are especially pleased to support the Play For All [Playground & Garden] Foundation.”

Jim Hebert and Steve Charvat of the Wheaton Rotary Club presented their checks at the run’s after-party on Karlskoga Ave., which included DJ entertainment, vendors, post-race refreshments, and a series of final color throws. The race had kicked off at 9A with more than 1,000 runners and nearly 1,000 spectators, many dressed in colors drawing from all stripes of the rainbow.

Kristina Nemetz, Superintendent of Marketing & Special Events at the Wheaton Park District, said the district’s special events benefit the local economy and community.

“Each year, we give back more than $90,000 in event proceeds to nonprofits that make a difference in our community,” Nemetz said, “from CASA DuPage to The Cosley Foundation, Inc., DuPage County Historical Museum Foundation, Inc., and the Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation, in support of the Sensory Garden Playground.”

Charvat saw a chance to donate and have an impact.

“The Sensory Garden [Playground] project was a unique opportunity for our clubs to get behind from the very beginning,” he said. “Rotary prides itself on being part of a solution and making a difference in the lives of others. This project seemed ideal and we are pleased to be involved.”

Learn more about the Play For All Playground & Garden Foundation at playforalldupage.org.

Wheaton Rotary funds 2 years of mobile food pantries for District 200

READ THE FULL DAILY HERALD ARTICLE HERE. 
 
The Wheaton Rotary Club caught wind of the need and started fundraising to sponsor mobile food trucks for District 200 that would include eggs and milk, which come at a higher price. Each visit costs about $1,700 and feeds up to 250 families for a week.
 
"I said that we needed to do 12," Rotary President Sheri Billing said. "The reality is summer is the most important time because now these kids aren't going to school, they're not getting the breakfast, they're not getting the lunch, and they're probably not going to summer camp because there's probably not money to do that, either."
But the club went above and beyond, gathering enough money to fund two years' worth of mobile pantries that will serve the District 200 community.

Donation to Library

Our club was proud to donate a farmstand to the Wheaton Public Library's Children's Department. The children's department at the library is a dynamic, welcoming environment. Children have a vast selection of books to read and check-out; but the space is also a place for young children to learn through play. There are puzzles, maps and other pieces of furniture, like the fruit stand. 
 
The farmstand was created by Wheaton Rotarian, Tom Newman. As you can see, children are already enjoying the farmstand. Next up - a work bench!