Just like my belief that a good citizen does not just take from their country but also gives back, lead me to join the Navy. My belief that a good resident does not just take from their community but gives back, has lead me to seek out community groups that give back to the community.
I had been told many good things about Naperville before moving here and one of those was the Naperville Jaycees, which is why after a few months of getting settled in I reached out to this organization and did my first volunteer work in Naperville for this organization at the Last Fling.
As a member of the Jaycees the one charity event I have volunteered for every year, since moving to Naperville, has been the Last Fling. In those 26 years I have only missed volunteering at this event twice. The first time was after 911 when I was mobilized and spent the Last Fling in the Persian Gulf. The second time was this past fall when this event was canceled because of the Pandemic.
My volunteer contributions to the Last Fling have involved Jaycee Food, Entertainment Stage, Business Expo, Finance, Photography, Ticketing, Transport, Parade, Rooter 5K and Security. My volunteer contributions with the Jaycees over the years have also included the Haunted House, Easter Egg Hunt, Mardi Gra, Pumpkin Carving, Poker Nights and Food Pantry. I have been a Chairperson, Co-Chair and just another worker bee at these events.
The Jaycees have lead me to volunteering to support other event hosted by other organizations in our community; Rotary Ride, Rotary Octoberfest, Exchange Club Ribfest, Feed My Starving Children, West Suburban Irish St Patrick’s Day Parade, Naperville ½ Marathon, and Ale Fest.
I have also tried to support community organizations by attending their events. Like the Jaycees Lobster Day, Naper Settlement Naper Days, Naperpallooza, Soups On, Live Center fundraiser, Safety Town fundraiser, West Suburban Irish Emerald Dinner, Infant Welfare Society events and Peot Foundation Day at the Races.
I have tried to be a good resident to our community and hope that with respect to these efforts the sum of my successes is greater then the sum of my screw-ups. The Rotary International has two adopted motto: “Service Above Self” and “He Profits Most Who Serves Best”. I don’t know how to measure the profits of giving, probably because I haven’t really spent much time trying, but it has not prevented me from believing that trying your best to serve is the right thing to do as a person, a Christian, a citizen and a resident. So I will keep trying no matter what the future brings.