AURORA – Some people care and show it through their works and deeds. That’s just what 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley accomplished recently by surprising the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association with a donation of a little more than $12,000.
The donation was made Jan. 15 at a meeting of the Aktion Club, a division of Kiwanis for adults with developmental disabilities, at the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association in Aurora. Around 40 members of the Aktion Club were able to watch the unexpected event unfold.
“This was quite a surprise,” said Carolyn Nagle, executive director for the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association. “… They were all so excited.”
Theoni Limouris, a co-founder of 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley, said that two members – Sandra Jelm and Nanci Vaughn – championed the idea of donating to the FVSRA during a quarterly meeting held Jan. 8 after the name of the organization was one of three drawn from a vase. Jelm and Vaughn spoke about the FVSRA’s programming, how it gives parents some relief and how it serves both children and adults. The approximately 150 club members, who each donate $100, then voted on where to give their money and chose the FVSRA.
The funds will go to help equip a sensory room for the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association located inside the Vaughan Athletic Center, 2121 W. Indian Trail, Aurora, for relaxation and de-escalation, which especially can help individuals with autism, Nagle said. The FVSRA currently is finalizing the details on a dedicated room for the sensory equipment that the FVSRA is in the process of purchasing, according to Nagle.
Equipment in the room will include different types of projectors that show peaceful scenes; they could feature a stream running through a forest carrying leaves along the surface or that ripples as someone steps into the water, Nagle said. There also will be different kinds of sensory tools that are stimulating or relaxing, including certain types of toys and a weighted vest that aids in comforting someone when they are over-stimulated.
This isn’t the FVSRA’s first brush with 100 Women Who Care. Two years ago, the 100 Women Who Care Geneva group donated $13,500. Nagle said the donations “totally enhance the program,” adding that the ultimate goal is between $85,000 and $95,000.
“This certainly gets us on our way to open the door to get grants,” Nagle said. “We are very appreciative of 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley.”
In the past, 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley has donated to organizations including Mutual Ground, Simply Destinee, Rise from the Ashes, Cal’s Angels, Fox Valley Food For Health, CASA and Batavia United Way, according to the 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley website, www.100womenwhocarefoxvalley.org.
Limouris said that someone can get involved with 100 Women Who Care Fox Valley by attending one of the quarterly meetings or filling out an application on the website.
“It’s just a really great way to make a huge impact in a short amount of time for an organization,” she said. “The best thing about it is that they are being surprised when they least expect it. When someone asks me about our organization, I say it’s a cross between ‘Shark Tank’ and Publishers Clearing House.”