Thanks to the generosity of 36 donors on Giving Tuesday, the Fox Valley Park Foundation received $5,980 to help enrich the lives of under-served residents in our community, including military veterans and children.
The monies donated will enable:
- 30 children to receive free swimming lessons
- 30 children to attend summer playground camp
- 6 children to receive tuition assistance for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) preschool
- 6 veterans to enroll in a fitness program
Thank you for your kindness – and your willingness to support those who otherwise may not have had an opportunity to participate in these life-enrichment programs.
Learn to Swim
More than 100 underserved children learned to swim – a life skill, confidence-builder and source of pure joy. Thanks to partnerships with Wayside Cross and Rotary Club of Aurora, we underwrote the expenses and all children received five one-hour lessons at no cost. The lessons were taught by the District’s certified aquatics instructors at Splash Country Water Park. One particularly touching story involved 12-year-old Enrique Lessner. Read our full story here.
Summer Playground Camps
The six-week camp, positioned at three of our parks and attended by 138 children, culminated with a fun-filled afternoon at Greene Field Park. Fox Valley Park District staff, members of the Aurora Kiwanis Club and the campers engaged in a spirited game of kickball, enjoyed free ice cream and – as a surprise bonus – the kids were showered by the hose of a water tanker, courtesy of members of the Aurora Fire Department, who were in the area and dropped by to join the fun on a toasty summer day. Through the Fox Valley Park Foundation’s annual Golf For Kids Fundraiser, Aurora Kiwanis and generous donors, kids participated in the Summer Playground Camps at minimal cost. Highlights of the program included various activities, arts and crafts, sports and field trips to the Brookfield Zoo, Bounce Town and outdoor water parks. Grant monies and funds from local donors also enabled us to add a personal safety and “stranger danger” element for the campers – a series of lessons led by FVPD police officers.
Free Summer Camps for Children in Shelters
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t offer this program – because homelessness and domestic violence wouldn’t exist. But for the third straight year, we opened our popular, 10-week Summer Blast Camp at Prisco Community Center to children who live at Hesed House and Mutual Ground. A five-week session for residents typically costs $715, but all fees were waived for kids in shelters, thanks to a generous donor. The goal of the camp is to produce a “normal” day for children who endure a difficult home life – or have no home at all. Their personal situation is protected, for only camp counselors are aware of their varying backgrounds. At camp, the kids engage in sports, games, arts and crafts, along with weekly special event days and fieldtrips.
Free Sports Saturdays
Our winter version of Summer Playground Camps, Free Sports Saturdays provide a supervised environment for children to interact and participate in activities that include sports, crafts and general fitness. We partnered with six schools throughout Aurora and North Aurora to offer this no-cost, 11-week program for resident families with children in grades 1 through 5. The format is similar to an open gym concept, though FVPD instructors are on hand to teach and assist, as children strengthen their athletic skills. Thanks to donations including support from the Rotary Club of Aurora, Sports Saturdays provide an opportunity to get out of the house and do what they love most – play!