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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Dunkin’ for joy in Naperville at the DuPage Children’s Museum

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Above / Robert Navarro, Director of Operations with Dunkin’ Brands and Midwest Co-Chair of Joy in Childhood Foundation; Alex Smigelski, co-chair of the Joy in Childhood Foundation and a Dunkin’ franchisee; Raj Patel, Dunkin’ franchisee in Naperville; Melissa Bruce, Midwest Regional VP, Dunkin’ Brands; Sarah Orleans, President/CEO, DuPage Children’s Museum; and Thomas Sullivan, Director of Education and Programs at DuPage Children’s Museum, shared moments of joy for the Family Night Out Project.


Today the Joy in Childhood Foundation, powered by Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, awarded a great big check to the DuPage Children’s Museum, aimed to bring the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness via 150 supporting organizations nationwide. 

With a facsimile of $25,000 check in hand, representatives from Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins also noted they’d brought donuts by the dozen and coffee to share with the staff at the DuPage Children’s Museum immediately following the check presentation.

And, boy, was there joy in Naperville! The 3-minute video of engaged and happy kids learning by playing at colorful exhibits throughout the DCM enhanced the presentation.

The grant for the DuPage Children’s Museum will help support The Family Night Out Project will provide evenings of play and learning for young children with illnesses, special needs, or disabilities and their families. These evenings serve as a reprieve from these families’ every-day activities and enable them to have fun, use the Museum’s exhibits, create together, and have the option of engaging with other local families who have a child dealing with illness or disabilities.

During the evening program, now held monthly, explained Tom Sullivan, DCM provides the families with sealed, allergy-free snacks served in the café area, offers story and music time, mutes some lighting and sounds for children with sensory sensitivities, and provides additional special activities and cool-down spaces.

Attendance is free but limited to 225 individuals in order to keep the space crowd-free, less noisy, appropriately lighted and easily accessible for children using wheelchairs and those individuals who benefit from more open space to move.

The Joy in Childhood Foundation awards grants through its regional chapters focusing on programs such as the DCM Family NIght Out that bring joy to kids when they need it most, said Alex Smigelski, co-chair of the Joy in Childhood Foundation and a Dunkin’ franchisee.

The grants fund programs designed to help kids struggling with hunger or illness experience or any number of sensory challenges with the joys of childhood.

For a full list of the 2018 grant recipients, click here.

Joy in Childhood Foundation since 2006 

The Joy in Childhood Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, powered by Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins.

The Foundation’s goal is to provide the simple joys of childhood to kids battling hunger or illness. The Foundation brings together a wide range of stakeholders — including franchisees, crew members, employees, partners and guests — and partners with food banks, children’s hospitals, and nonprofit organizations directly committed to serving kids to fund joyful environments and joyful experiences for kids when they need it most. Since launching in 2006, the Joy in Childhood Foundation has granted more than $18 million to hundreds of national and local charities across the country.

For more information, visit www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/.

The big red door serves as a welcoming entrance to the joys at the DuPage Children’s Museum.

DuPage Children’s Museum

The Museum helps develop curiosity, creativity, thinking, and problem solving in young children through its mission: “DuPage Children’s Museum ignites the potential of all children to learn through hands-on exploration by integrating art, math, and science.”

Interactive exhibits and programs make learning fun for children and adults playing together. DCM serves over 300,000 visitors annually representing all 50 states and 575 zip codes in Illinois. DCM’s reach and support represent well beyond the Chicagoland area. The Museum’s impact extends across cultural, financial, and educational boundaries. It touches the lives of children from all regions, providing the building blocks for success in school and life.

The Museum is located at 301 N. Washington Street in Naperville, www.dupagechildrens.org or call (630) 637-8000.

Story submitted, in part, by the DuPage Children’s Museum and Lauren Koeller, VP, Media Relations, MACLYN. PN Photos.


Editor’s Note / DuPage Children’s Museum will present “Play Soiree,” a themed Benefit Ball with silent and live auctions, beginning at 6:30PM Sat., April 6, 2019, at The Esplanade Lake Ballroom in Downers Grove. Reservations are $350 per person or $3,500 for a table of 10 and due by March 22, 2019. For information about the annual benefit to “dine, dance and play the night away,” visit www.dupagechildrens.org/benefitball.

In addition, DuPage Children’s Museum Board of Directors has announced the planned  retirement of President & CEO Sarah Orleans intended for later this year. Orleans’ leadership began as a three-year term as president and extended two years to ensure a strong transition for the next president. Succession planning has been a top priority of the board’s long-range strategic plan.

When the DCM received the grant from the Joy for Childhood Foundation, Orleans said she’d made the announcement to Museum staff, saying that when she accepted thr position five years ago, she agreed to lead the Museum for three years through strategic planning for the next leader.”

She intends to be fully engaged with the Museum until the new CEO is on board this fall. 

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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.
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