This is the national cause for Exchange Clubs and our local club has helped a child abuse prevention center become a reality in the Joliet area, while also aiding the Child Advocacy Center in Kane County, the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, and many other programs benefiting children from broken families. Our contributions laid the foundation for the Single Moms Support Group offered by TriCity Family Services, and our club leaders helped organize the first Naperville Exchange Club, which has gone on to become the largest in the state and has raised millions of dollars for child abuse prevention with its RibFest.
When you see youngsters waving small American flags at the popular Swedish Days parade in Geneva each summer, it is because our club members have walked the parade route handing those out as patriotic reminders of our great homeland. We also recognize individuals and businesses in the community who display the American flag properly year-round in our "So Proudly We Hail" program.
We also install Freedom Shrines at many area schools, libraries and public gathering places. This donation is a wonderful gift that illustrates all of the important documents in American history. Our outdoor Freedom Shrine is on display at the St. Charles Freedom Walk along the Fox River, near the St. Charles Police Station.
Our Accepting the Challenge of Excellence (ACE) awards breakfast is one of our favorites of the year, as we host students from all of our area schools who have been chosen by their advisers or teachers as students who have overcome major challenges in their lives to forge ahead and excel in school.
These are not your top honors students or consistent high achievers. These are students who are almost always are under the radar of the school districts and have faced financial, physical or emotional challenges to reach their academic goals.
Exchangites give time and resources throughout the year volunteering at various organizational and civics events and activities. From ringing the bell for the Salvation Army on a cold December night, to marshaling traffic at 5k charity run on a hot July day...Exchangites are ready to jump in and help out wherever and whenever we can be of help.
We have established annual events that support our funding of local child-abuse prevention and family-support programs. We have hosted a spaghetti dinner each fall for nearly 20 years at the Moose Lodge in St. Charles and it has consistently drawn as many as 400 patrons.
Our annual Draw-Down dinner raises more than $15,000 each year for our programs. For the Draw-Down we sell 100 or more raffle numbers that put participants in a game that could net $1,000 or more in prize money.
We also get involved in other community events and programs that result in funds that the club can donate to worthy organizations.