When you hear the word Exchange, usually a volunteer organization doesn’t come to mind.

Let me tell you a little about Exchange as it’s associated with the Exchange Club of Naperville.

Exchange was founded on March 27, 1911, in Detroit, Michigan, by businessmen who wanted to “exchange” ideas. Exchange had its beginnings as a luncheon gathering of businessmen known as the Booster’s Club. Desiring to “exchange” ideas, the

Members shared stories, provided business advice to one another and began to dream about what they might accomplish with their collective talents and mutual interests. For over 106 years, the volunteer efforts of Exchange Club members have supported the needs of the country and of local communities.

Today with 700 clubs and over 21,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, Exchange is the country’s oldest service organization operating exclusively in the United States. Exchange sponsors activities designed to benefit, award and develop our nation’s youth, promote crime prevention, serve senior citizens and recognize military and public safety service providers. Exchange also promotes Americanism programs, and its national project is the prevention of child abuse.

The Exchange Club of Naperville was chartered on September 25, 1987. Fifty men and women gathered to support the mission of prevention of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence and it all began. Our club is celebrating 31 years. This year we’ll also host our 31st Ribfest.

The first Ribfest was held over Father’s Day weekend in 1988. This community festival with its Main Stage entertainment has grown into a Naperville tradition. The dates this year for Ribfest are July 4 throught July 7. Fireworks will be displayed on July 4th.

One more thing! Please join Club President Robin Choquette, the Exchange Club Board of Directors and me in congratulating fellow Exchangite and board member Peggy McGuire. Peggy has been named the West Suburban Philanthropic Network Nonprofit Executive of the Year for her leadership with Project Help DuPage.

To learn more about Exchange, contact me at EmyTrotz@gmail.com.