Inaugural Volapalooza Inspires Volunteer Community
May. 31, 2011 -

On May 10, 2011, community members, volunteers and the not-for-profits they serve gathered for the very first Volapalooza: A Celebration of Volunteerism at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage. The event was held to celebrate the joy of giving and the spirit of volunteerism by honoring those people who give their time and talents to help those in need. Nearly 300 people were treated to live music, renowned speakers, videos, photos and stories about the outstanding contributions volunteers make in DuPage County.

Attendees listened to songs by The West Towns Chorus (, a premier men’s singing group based in Downers Grove. As an all volunteer organization, The West Towns Chorus’ four part a cappella harmony in the barbershop style was a perfect fit for Volapalooza. Guests also had the pleasure of viewing videos submitted by high school students that explained why they volunteer, where they volunteer and what they love about volunteering. The contest, sponsored by Giving DuPage ( and DeVry University (, was won by Jamie Randell, a freshman at Naperville North High School, with a submission entitled “Super Volunteer.”

Dick and Florence Nogaj, authors of “Don’t Retire, Get Inspired: One Couple’s Extraordinary Journey to Make a Difference,” shared their story with attendees. As founders of the DuPage affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, as well as volunteers on numerous projects across the country, the Nogajs encouraged those in attendance to give back – of their time, talent and treasure – throughout their lives.

Additionally, attendees heard from Deloris Jordan, mother of NBA star Michael Jordan and president of the James R. Jordan Foundation. Mrs. Jordan shared her experiences working with volunteers through the James R. Jordan Foundation which is dedicated to strengthening families, motivating youth and ensuring high quality academic opportunities for children in underserved communities. She thanked all of the volunteers in attendance for their selfless service to the community.

The final highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Spirit of Volunteerism Awards. Sponsored by Harris Bank, The DuPage Community Foundation (DCF), and various private donors, the Spirit of Volunteerism Award was created to recognize not-for-profit organizations.  in DuPage County that have benefitted from extraordinary volunteer leadership. Three groups – CASA of DuPage County, Inc.; People’s Resource Center; and DuPage Senior Citizen’s Council – were awarded $10,000, $20,000, and $30,000 grants respectively.  

“The economic challenges over the past few years have forced not-for- profit organizations to become more creative in their utilization of resources. As a result, volunteers have played an increasingly integral role in helping these organizations better serve their constituents,” said David M. McGowan, president of The DuPage Community Foundation. “When a donor approached us with the idea for Volapalooza and the Spirit of Volunteer Awards, we knew DCF had to be a part of it.”

To view a webpage of this story including photos please click here


About the Foundation:


Established in 1986, The DuPage Community Foundation is a publicly-supported 501 (c)(3) organization to which contributions are tax deductible. It was created to benefit the people of DuPage County and receives contributions and bequests into a permanent endowment from individuals, corporations, organizations and foundations wishing to make lasting contributions to the people of DuPage. The earnings on these funds are then used, in accordance with donor wishes, for the Foundation's grantmaking and community leadership activities.


The DuPage Community Foundation seeks to raise the quality of life throughout DuPage County by fostering philanthropy, connecting donors to area needs and building community partnerships. Based on the American virtues of volunteerism and philanthropy, the Foundation fosters a legacy of support for the people of DuPage County by making grants to not-for-profit organizations working in the areas of arts and culture, education, environment, health, and human services. Since its inception the Foundation has built its endowment to more than $37 million and awarded nearly $12 million in grants to not-for-profit agencies serving the residents of DuPage County and beyond.


For further information about the Foundation or to arrange future media opportunities, please contact Jeff Hartman, manager of development, at 630-665-5556 or