Volapalooza

People from all over the county recently gathered to celebrate and promote volunteerism.

The DuPage community foundation, Giving DuPage, and The Community Memorial Foundation held the second bi-annual Volapalooza event at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall.

Sports personality from WBBM, Jeff Joniak, emceed the festivities and the Food Network’s Chef Jeff gave the keynote address.

The night culminated with the 2013 Spirit of Volunteerism Awards that rewarded three local not-for-profits who use volunteers to serve their missions with grant money.

“We had 30 applicants this year,” said Barb Szczepaniak, Director of Programs for The DuPage Community Foundation. “We put them into three sections the smaller operating budges, the medium sized operating budgets and the large sized operating budgets. We had a committee that read all the applications and looked for the organization that was leveraging their volunteers to the most degree.”

The RE:NEW Project from Glen Ellyn received $10,000 for their work with refugee women.

Loaves & Fishes Community Food Pantry’s grant was for $20,000 to support their efforts to end hunger.

“In this current fiscal year, closing in on June 30th, our volunteers will have done 75,000 hours of service,” said Loaves & Fishes Executive Director Charles McLimans.

And $30,000 was given to DuPage PADS to help homeless citizens of DuPage County.

Event organizers plan to hold the next Volapalooza event in 2015.

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