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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Equal Fun for Everyone – Parades inspire a sense of belonging for WDSRA participants


If someone were to ask me to describe the community of Naperville in one word, that word might be vibrant. Merriam-Webster defines vibrant as “pulsating with life, vigor, or activity.” To me, that is Naperville – especially in the summertime.

WDSRA parade
WDSRA invites program participants and their families, as well as WDSRA volunteers and partners, to join them in community parades.

Summer in Naperville means (people are) out and about, celebrating and taking pride in community. What more visible way is there to show this pride other than community parades? As neighbors, friends, and families line the streets (to watch parades), community members also play in bands, ride on floats and walk with organizations or clubs.

Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) participates in about ten parades each year throughout the communities we serve. As a proud part of the Naperville community, we will again be part of the Jaycees’ Last Fling Labor Day Parade (September 2nd – visit www.lastfling.org). Look for our participants, staff, and volunteers in our festive WDSRA t-shirts, walking with our colorful float and handing out candy.

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At WDSRA, one of our most purposeful tenets is to give those with disabilities the opportunity to become actively engaged in their communities. Through participation in parades, our participants see themselves as integral parts of the very pulse of community life, creating within them a sense of belonging. And this feeling contributes to greater self-esteem and an all-round happier person. We believe that Naperville understands the greater good that parades inspire – a celebration of all people within the community.

WDSRA is a longtime partner of the Naperville Park District and provides engaging, community-based recreational programs and inclusion services for children, teens and adults with special needs. Visit www.wdsra.com for more info.


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Terri Gregory
Terri Gregoryhttp://www.wdsra.com
Terri Gregory is Community Relations Supervisor for Western DuPage Special Recreation Association. WDSRA offers recreational opportunities for adults and children with special needs through programs and inclusion services. WDSRA is a cooperative extension of nine park districts. Almost 30 percent of WDSRA’s participants are from Naperville. Contact her at WDSRA via (630) 681-0962 or terrig@wdsra.com.


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