It’s been 25 years since Mark Milligan and Bob Wahlgren set out to help one homeless family turn their life around. Since then, they evolved that mission into what’s now Bridge Communities, one of the nation’s leading organizations dedicated to helping homeless families achieve their dreams of self-sufficiency.
And now, the time has come to celebrate! Dust off your dancing shoes and join us for Bridge Communities’ Silver Jubilee, an evening to remember! On Friday, October 4, we’ll gather at Esplanade Lakes by Doubletree in Downers Grove.
Local Favorite will be playing all your favorite tunes. But before we hit the dance floor, we’ll hear from Mark Milligan and other special guests, reflecting back and looking forward to the promising future that lies ahead for Bridge. You’ll also have the chance to bid on phenomenal live auction packages, like a two-case wine cellar starter, a luxury trip to Florida, a private chef’s dinner, and a Chicago sports ticket spectacular. You can even enter to win a gorgeous silver bangle bracelet valued at $500!
Silver Jubilee tickets are on sale now for $75 per person. Questions? Call Amy at (630) 545-0610 ext. 12 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the past five years, Glen Ellyn has fallen in love with the Annual Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Cook-Off. It’s no surprise. These guys really know how to cook up an event!
The free, family-friendly event takes place Saturday, September 14th from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Glenwood parking lot next to Bridge Communities in downtown Glen Ellyn. Bring your bag chairs, relax, and hang out for the afternoon. This year, they’ve even added a Piglet Playland where kids can play, sponsored by WDCB.
Over 60 teams will compete this year for the coveted prizes of Best Ribs, Best Dish, Best Homemade Sauce, plus a bonus People’s Choice Award to the competitor with the crowd’s favorite BBQ sauce. Best Ribs and Best Homemade Sauce will be judged by Kansas City BBQ Society certified judges.
While grilled and smoked meats will take the spotlight, there’s much more to the event than just BBQ. You can buy food from vendors like Brand on the Run, Smokin’ Wills, Skuddlebutt’s, Tap House Grill, and Husky Hog BBQ.
This year’s blues band lineup is better than ever, featuring Amy Kelly with the Bill Ande Band and Cadillac Dave and His Chicago Red Hots, both returning this year, along with Fruteland Jackson and Chainsaw Dupont also performing.
Cornhole enthusiasts can get their bags on by entering the perennial favorite bags tournament for a $30 minimum donation (more is always appreciated!). Now in its third year, the Bags Tournament welcomes two-person teams for a double elimination format competition. The Tournament begins at 11:30 a.m. and ends with the final four at approximately 4:00 p.m. Winners will be announced on the main stage along with the BBQ competition winners. Details and the tournament application can be found at www.glenellynbackyardbbq.com. The Cornhole Tournament is generously sponsored by Glen Ellyn Bank & Trust.
The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ is an unofficial community gathering run by neighborhood volunteers dedicated to helping their community. That’s why they chose Bridge Communities as the event’s beneficiary. And we’re so grateful that they did!
Do you have a passion for kids? do you have a few hours to spare each month? We need YOU!
Bridge Communities needs volunteers interested in working with school age children for its Learning Resource Centers in Naperville and Westmont.
Bridge uses its Learning Resource Centers to supplement learning experiences for children in its Transitional Housing Program, which helps homeless families cross the bridge to self-sufficiency. Single working mothers are often challenged to be able to give their children extra time to assist with homework and other learning activities; the Learning Resource Centers are places Bridge kids can go for help with homework, to practice reading, and to participate in a variety of fun activities.
If you’ve got two to three hours available approximately twice a month and want to make a difference in kids’ lives, please contact Sharon Drucker, Children’s Activities Coordinator for Bridge Communities, at Sharon.email@example.com or (630) 618-8194.
At their most recent meeting in July, Naperville’s 100+ Women Who Care selected Bridge Communities as the recipient of that quarter’s donations.
At each meeting, three worthy causes are nominated by members of 100+ WWC. Each of the three nominating members is then allowed five minutes to present information about the organization she nominated and explain why she believes it is worthy of the donations.
By secret ballot, each member votes for the organization which she most believes we should donate to. Ballots are counted and majority vote determines the beneficiary.
Each member writes a $100 check to the chosen organization, which are then presented to the director of that chosen organization.
The money was donated for summer enrichment programs and opportunities for the kids of Bridge, including day camps, daycare summer fees, and park district sport’s fees. Bridge Communities is extremely grateful to these generous women of Naperville for believing in our mission to help homeless families cross the bridge to brighter futures.
Thank you, 100+ WWC!
Corpus Christi Police Department called me yesterday and gave me a conditional offer of employment, pending some evaluations. The academy begins August 26th.
I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity; it has not been an easy journey, as you all know. But I am ready for this new chapter in our lives. The kids are very excited. My last day at work will be August 9th, I plan on driving to Texas on the 11th, staying with family until I am able to save up money for an apartment.
I definitely could not have done this without God and my Bridge Communities family’s support and kind words of encouragement. For that, I thank you all. I will be far away but will carry you guys in my heart, and we will still be in touch. I hope this is the beginning of many great things to come for the boys and I, and I pray that God gives me the opportunity one day to give back to future Bridge families and people in need.
Lucy and the boys
DuPage Academic Achievement Workgroup Network (DAAWN) hosted Math Camp at Bridge Communities’ Westmont Learning Resource Center June 17th through June 28th. At Math Camp, kids from the community, including four Bridge kids, worked at stations, rotating every 20 minutes. With guidance from DAAWN volunteers, they worked on math concepts such as area, perimeter, measurement and conversion, volume and fractions, including hands-on activities like building cubes and squares and finding the perimeters and areas of these shapes. The kids also worked on computers doing individualized assignments.
Bridge Communities has been partnering with DAAWN for over a year. DAAWN held weekly tutoring sessions for some Bridge kids, using a Bridge LRC as a host site.
DAAWN also hosted a “Community Volunteer Day” in May, in which they served Bridge families by providing a half-day of Saturday childcare that included games, activities, a meal and gift bags for parents.
Bridge Communities is grateful to DAAWN for its creativity and generosity to our client families. THANK YOU!
Connections is your link to what’s happening at Bridge Communities. Published twice a year, Connections newsletter shares stories of client successes, introduces you to Bridge staff and volunteers, and informs you about new initiatives and annual events.
If you don’t already receive Connections in your mailbox, we can add you to our mailing list; simply email Heather Wachter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can view current and past issues Connections online at http://bridgecommunities.org/News-events/Newsletter.html.
Thank you for your support of Bridge Communities’ mission to help homeless families cross the bridge to a brighter future. We couldn’t do it without you!