Volapalooza

So often volunteers are seen but not heard. This was not the case at Dupage County’s Volapalooza, an event honoring more than four-hundred of the area’s volunteers.

Nearly forty organizations attended the inaugural event, but only a few walked with a special award.

The event featured guest speakers including Michael Jordan’s mom Dolaris Jordan, entertainment, and an awards ceremony.

The presentation of the “Spirit of Volunteerism” awards highlighted the night.

More than sixty organizations competed for the coveted prizes. CASA of Dupage won the smallest of three awards of twenty thousand dollars, with the People’s
Resource Center winning thirty thousand dollars, and the Dupage Citizen’s Council winning the biggest reward of sixty thousand.

The People’s Resource Center, an organization that provides services for Dupage’s low-income residents, took home the thirty-thousand dollar prize.

“It doesn’t take a degree or any special experience to make a difference in your community,” said Kim Perez Executive Director at the People’s Resource Center.

“Programs that we have at the center have come about because they are the idea of a volunteer.”

Naperville North Freshmen Jamie Randell tried to make a difference by helping the Dupage Children’s Museum. She created a video promoting the largely volunteer based not-for-profit.

Her video won the viral volunteerism video award at Volapalooza.

“I was in my basement and saw the white board and thought it would be a cute idea to kind of do it and add narration,” said the Randell.
Volapalooza also featured a snapshot mural capturing volunteers in action. Local photographer Sean Schmidt took the 30 photos, fittingly for free.

“You have to look at each picture individually to see what volunteerism looks like as an entire entity.”

Now that Volapalooza is over these organizations will go back to doing what they do best, humbly volunteering until they are recognized again next year.

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