One of the things I enjoy most about my job is getting to know our participants and families. My heart soars when a participant shares the highlights of their latest soccer game or how much fun they had with friends at the last dance. There are also times I am brought to tears, albeit happy ones, when a family member shares what it meant to see their loved one as part of that soccer team or laughing with friends at that dance.
Recently my conversations with several families have centered around how much they depend on scholarships to participate. While their situations vary, without scholarships special recreation might not be a part of their lives at all. That would be devastating as it could lead to significant limitations in behavior, growth, development, and overall health and well-being.
Some families only need scholarship assistance for a short time – others will continue to count on it for years. And of course, there are new families coming to us all the time.
We at Western DuPage Special Recreation Association (WDSRA) want everyone to have access to programs regardless of their financial challenges. We never want the ability to pay to interfere with someone’s access to special recreation.
I am excited to share the launching of the new WDSRA Scholarship Endowment with a fund balance goal of $750,000. Once in place, that figure and the earnings it produces, will fulfill our typical annual scholarship needs and more in perpetuity. The goal is to be fully funded by 2026, which coincides with WDSRA’s 50th anniversary.
It is an ambitious, but worthy, goal. It will create ACCESS and sustain HOPE for current and future families.
We are working diligently to cultivate partners who share in our vision. In fact, we already have several commitments. One of our amazing partners – the Wintrust group of banks represented by the local Wheaton Bank & Trust charter – has committed to a donation of $25,000. Additionally, more than $55,000 was raised at the 2023 Bash in March. We are off to a great start!
If you would like to learn more or help us reach our goal, visit https://www.wdsra.com/wdsra-foundation/wdsra-scholarship-endowment/.
To learn more about WDSRA, visit www.wdsra.com.