UPDATED March 3, 2017 / With 14 round tables set for 10, the Pavilion at Meson Sabika provided the perfect setting for another Exchange Club of Naperville Allocation Luncheon, a time to present grants to the nonprofit social service agencies that benefit from funds raised at the annual Ribfest.

Above / The group photo is comprised of many individuals from the 26-member Allocations Committee as well as grant recipients who attended the annual Allocation Luncheon where nonprofit groups were awarded grants from funds raised at 2016 Ribfest last July. Exchangites Bob Black and Barry Greenberg, far right, served as co-chairmen of the 2016 Allocations Committee.

$1,192,000 is the biggest check yet from Ribfest.

After two informative presentations by the directors of Project HELP and the Edward Care Center, two nonprofit initiatives that have been identified and supported by the Exchange Club of Naperville for their special needs, approximately 40 grant recipients, one by one, stepped up to the podium with words of gratitude for the impact the Exchange Club of Naperville and its major fundraiser, Ribfest, have had on their mission. Every grant had been determined based on need, geographic area served and its mission to be sure it fit the dedication and aim of Exchange Club to prevent child abuse and domestic violence.

Some appreciative nonprofit representatives greeted the microphone with rap and poetry, others recited letters from less fortunate mothers who are more fortunate now. Over and over, the unified attitude of gratitude expressed by the grant recipients was a reminder of how very blessed this community is to benefit from the Exchange Club of Naperville and the devoted group of volunteers and patrons attracted to Ribfest every year.

According to Exchange Club President Bob Pschirrer this year’s proceeds were the most generous ever. Under the leadership of 2016 Ribfest Chair Jen Cavalier, the four-day festival earned $1,192,000.

Of that $1.2 million, $800,000 directly goes back into the community via programs, services and scholarships; including Americanism projects to recognize police officers and firefighters for exemplary service as well as the One Nation Under God Breakfast and the September 11 Observance.

2017 Grant Recipients from 2016 Ribfest

Today’s grant recipients included Project HELP, Edward Care Center, KidsMatter, Almost Home Kids, Alive Teen Center, Royal Family Kids’ Camp c/o First Baptist Church Geneva, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Our Children’s Homestead, Mutual Ground, Teen Parent Connection, LifeSpring (Wayside Cross), CASA of DuPage, Rise from the Ashes, Youth Outlook, WDSRA, Literacy DuPage, Humanitarian Service Project, Breaking Free, Respite Endowment, DuPage Children’s Museum, DuPage PADS, NAMI DuPage, DuPage Legal Aid.

And Loaves & Fishes CARES Programs, Community Career Center, Family Shelter Service, Turning Pointe Autism Foundation, Families Helping Families, VNA Health Care-Healthy Families Illinois, Hesed House, Ray Graham, The Education Center, Naperville Area Humane Society, Naperville Education Foundation (NEF), Gigi’s Playhouse, Sharing Connections, 360 Youth Services and SamaraCARE (new name for Samaritan Interfaith Counseling).

2017 Ribfest celebrates 30 years of Exchange Club, thanks to volunteers

Thanks to Ribfest volunteers & sponsors!

The 2017 Ribfest will celebrate the first 30 years of Exchange Club from June 30 to July 3 at Knoch Park. Exchangite Diane Simmons is serving as the event’s chair. For everything you need to know as the event develops for its 30th year, visit www.Ribfest.net.

More than 4,000 volunteers fill shifts to assist the Exchange Club every year. Volunteer opportunities—beer tents, ID tents, clean up, gates, etc.— are now available.

To volunteer, simply visit www.Ribfest.net, follow the prompts and choose an “opportunity.”

PHOTO GALLERY by Jim Hoch / 2017 Allocation Luncheon at Meson Sabika, March 3, 2017


Originally Posted Feb. 6, 2017 /The Exchange Club of Naperville will hold its Annual Allocation Lunch at 11:30AM on Fri., March 3, at Meson Sabika, 1025 Aurora Ave.

The Allocations Committee, made up of 27 club members, reviews donation requests and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors and Membership for fund disbursement.

This special luncheon will feature grant recipients from 47 agencies in attendance to tell their stories, including how the funds raised at Ribfest will benefit their nonprofit agencies. Their brief presentations make big impressions, all reminders that those long days working at Ribfest are meaningful and worthwhile.

Every organization that receives a grant also volunteers at Ribfest, planned this year for June 30 through July 3, again at Knoch Park. We are proud of the work these organizations do and pleased that our club is able to help them achieve their goals.

The Allocations Luncheon welcomes the public. Lunch is $25 per person. RSVP at (630) 779-2702 by Feb. 24. Payment may be made at the event with cash or a check.

Anyone interested in becoming a Ribfest sponsor can contact Sponsors@ribfest.net or call (630) 777-9637.

Furthermore, Exchange Club always is looking for new members. If you want to meet new friends and get involved in Naperville, contact me at EmyTrotz@gmail.com. Through the Programs of Service – Americanism, Community Service, and Youth Programs – members support activities that benefit youth, promote pride in our country, and honor military and public service providers, to name a few. Exchange’s National Project is the prevention of child abuse.

—Emy Trotz


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