The Fox Valley Park Foundation directly supports the Fox Valley Park District’s pillar of social equity, in which it is committed to providing residents with access to all — the opportunity to engage in programs they otherwise might not be able to afford.
In the last two years alone, the foundation has awarded more than $100,000 in grants toward a variety of critical community needs, and this week the foundation’s Board of Directors approved grant requests to nine FVPD-sponsored programs and events, totaling $52,000, for use in 2020.
These funds were sourced through the foundation’s annual Golf for Kids fundraiser — which celebrated its 25th year in June at Orchard Valley Golf Course — to help support recreational opportunities for the under-served youth and veterans in the community.
“The real value comes in the participation by students, families and veterans who find a program of value tailored to them, at an affordable price and available in a location accessible to them,” said LuAnne Kelsey, the Foundation’s chairman. “When we speak of under-served residents, all these factors – and more – come into play with social equity. All residents deserve an opportunity to participate at some level.
“The foundation grants supplement funding for approved programs, sometimes funding the program in its entirety. The Golf for Kids event provides the financial support to bring these potential opportunities to realization.”
A breakdown of the programs and the grant funds each will receive in 2020:
- Heroes in Health ($1,500): Providing veterans a way of transitioning back to their community and engaging with other former service members through fitness.
- Mindfulness and Meditation ($2,500): Providing cancer survivors and those diagnosed a holistic option to healing, which includes using yoga to clear toxins from treatment, reducing stress and anxiety, and providing a gentle exercise option.
- Pop-Up Programs in the Park ($3,020): Providing fun, safe and new activities that help keep kids active and learning something new while having fun with friends and peers.
- Jesse “The Law” Torres Boxing Club Program ($5,000): Providing the boxing club with an updated facility to train as members participate in the program, which promotes physical fitness through boxing and gives kids and teens a safe outlet from gangs or drugs, and by keeping them off the streets.
- Move to Learn ($5,100): Based on the “Motion Evolution” concept, classes for crawling children through age 7 will include the educational basics (numbers, letters, colors and shapes), physical gross motor basics (running, jumping, climbing, rolling, swinging, hanging and balance), and sensory stimulation (sight, sound, texture and physical movement).
- Aurora Housing Authority Summer Camp ($5,380): Activities at three public-housing complexes, targeting high-risk youth and teens, will range from group games, arts and crafts, nature walks and walking field trips, along with a specific sport or activity each week.
- Preschool Program for 4’s ($7,000): Offering 4-year-olds in the Creative/Nature Play Preschool program two days of activities per week at the Prisco Community Center; 10 students will be fully funded by the grant monies.
- Sports Saturday Program ($10,000): A free, 11-week program offered to community members who reside within West Aurora School District 129 and East Aurora School District 131, providing ways for children to remain active in the winter months when outdoor activities may be limited due to weather restraints.
- Summer Playgrounds Camp ($12,500): Camps offered at four parks throughout the district for six weeks during the summer, when children 6 to 11 participate in arts and crafts, group games, sports and Friday field trips.
“For some residents, another door has been opened to them,” Kelsey said.
About the Fox Valley Park Foundation
The foundation, established in 1981, is a standalone non-profit 501(c)(3) organization which serves the Fox Valley Park District and its residents. The foundation is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of Park District commissioners and volunteer members from the community at large. The foundation is expanding its reach and mission to be more diverse and impactful across a wide spectrum of community needs.