Wheaton Park District Gives Back In 2017


February 7, 2018

Wheaton, Ill. – The special events of the Wheaton Park District range from 5K runs to golf outings to weekend festivals and more, but it’s the giving aspect of these events that make them so special.

For many of the events, local nonprofits are the recipients of the money raised, plus play a large role in volunteering and providing sponsorships.

Wheaton Brew Fest, which drew more than 1,500 people, raised $13,000 to support the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children of DuPage County. CASA is the only agency in DuPage County training volunteers to speak in the interests of abused, neglected, dependent and vulnerable children in the court system as it believes every child has the right to a safe and permanent home.

“Because of the support from community partners such as the Wheaton Park District and the Brew Fest event, CASA is able to advocate for 100% of the children who find themselves in the court system through no fault of their own,” CASA Executive Director Lisa M. Drake said.

Funds received through this partnership assists CASA in recruiting, screening and training at least 30 new volunteers annually as well as supporting all assigned volunteers. Last year CASA served 340 abused, neglected and vulnerable children in DuPage. Support from this year’s Brew Fest allowed CASA to give eight children the gift of an advocate.

“CASA doesn’t need more clients to serve, but it can always use more friends. The Wheaton Park District is truly a powerful friend to powerless children thanks to Brew Fest,” Drake said.

The spring’s Fun Run works alongside the Wheaton Rotary Club, where 100% of funds raised are used for scholarships and giving to not-for-profit organizations. Although funds raised by this year’s Fun Run are escrowed for use in the following fiscal year, the Rotary Club’s current fiscal year has raised $10,000 for collegiate and vocational scholarships and almost $17,000 has been raised for the NFP organizations including Bridge Communities, DuPage PADS, People’s Resource Center, Clare Woods Academy and more.

Taste of Wheaton fills several blocks of the downtown area with carnival rides, local food, live entertainment and the chance to give back to the community.

“Taste of Wheaton is the critical source of revenue enabling us to meet our mission to facilitate marketing opportunities, support collaboration and improve our economy,” Wheaton Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kerry O’Brien said.

December’s Reindeer Run is co-sponsored by Wheaton Lions Club, who supports local organizations that help people with sight, hearing and diabetic disorders. Several organizations that have been supported by Wheaton Lions Charities includes Hadley School for the Blind, Eye and Ear Foundation, Midwest Shelter for Homeless Vets and Humanitarian Service Projects. For the 2017 event, an estimated $20,000 was raised.

The Wheaton Park District Special Events staff was able to support the generation of more than $166,000 in revenue to charitable organization partners in 2017. The events also provided an increase in sponsorship, attendance and economic impact.

“The Wheaton Park District is grateful for our outstanding special event partnerships,” Superintendent of Marketing and Special Events Kristina Nemetz said. “The impact we can make together is far greater than what we can do alone. To know that in 2017 more than $166,000 was generated for charitable causes is inspiring. It makes the hard work that goes into each of these events worth it knowing we are making a difference for so many organizations and people both locally and nationally.”

Photo © Wheaton Park District 2017

Written By: Gina Catalano