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Community Christmas Meal for Naperville Seniors and Families in Need Expands This Year

More reservations than expected; donations still welcomed to help fund program

The YMCA and Naperville Park District, through the generous support of community donors and volunteers, are continuing the annual tradition of providing a special Christmas meal for Naperville seniors and families in need this year, although by home meal delivery instead of a luncheon event.  

Not surprisingly, given the ongoing pandemic and job losses in the community, the number of requests for Christmas meals surpassed 200, which was the initial limit, based on the anticipated donations; approximately 260 people have registered this year to receive a meal.

“We want to thank everyone who donated funds to help make Christmas special for those who are alone or in need,” said Ray McGury, executive director of the Naperville Park District. “We also want to let the community know that donations are still welcome to help fund the growth in this program.”

The Community Christmas Meal is funded each year entirely through donations from area residents and businesses.

Those who would like to contribute to the Community Christmas Meal program may donate online at by clicking the “Online Registration” tab and then the “Donations” tab which lists the “Community Christmas Lunch” as one of the active campaigns. Donations may be made online through December 31, 2020. Checks also may be sent to Naperville Park District at 320 W. Jackson Ave., Naperville IL, 60540. Checks should be made out to Naperville Park District with “Christmas Meal” on the memo line.

"The YMCA is proud to partner with the Naperville Park District again to bring joy to families in our community,” added Stephanie Kuzelis, executive director of the Fry Family YMCA.  “This year especially, in the midst of a pandemic, we believe it is necessary to safely continue traditions to bring our community together as one.  A special thank you to the donors and volunteers who make this joyous event possible."  


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Funds raised through the Naperville Parks Foundation support the Naperville Park District’s Fee Assistance Program. The Naperville Parks Foundation supports the recreation needs and desires of the residents of Naperville – encouraging health and wellness, fitness, family time, and fun. The Foundation supports the mission of making recreation of all kinds accessible to everyone across the community, regardless of socioeconomic circumstances.

On Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 Naperville Park District officials heard the good news for which they have been waiting for many months: the District has achieved national accreditation through the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA).

The decision was announced at the NRPA national conference in Atlanta following a formal hearing before the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA).

Naperville is only the second park district in Illinois to earn this distinction and the 104th nationally accredited agency in the nation; there are more than 10,000 recreation agencies in the United States. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies accredits a handful of park agencies each year that have completed a multi-step process involving a self-review by the agency, a site visit, and an evaluation and formal report by the Commission.

“We are extremely proud to bring this honor to Naperville,” said Park District Executive Director Ray McGury. “It’s an affirmation of our high standards and also an encouragement to continue bringing high quality recreation and parks experiences to our community.”

The Park District’s accreditation process began approximately one year ago and included an extensive self-evaluation by staff and a 5-day visit from CAPRA reviewers this past July. Maintaining the accreditation requires annual reports and 5- and 10-year reviews.

Park District staff members noted that the CAPRA process has helped them see the big picture, focus on long term goals and plans, review plans more regularly, organize documents so that they are accessible and useable, and collaborate more effectively with other departments and outside organizations.

Our Mission
We provide recreation and park experiences that promote healthy lives, healthy minds and a healthy community.
Our Vision
To be a national leader in parks and recreation providing and promoting high quality experiences and facilities at a great value to our community.
Core Values
Health and Wellness, Environmental Education, Stewardship and Sustainability, Community Enrichment, Public Safety, Accessibility, Personal Growth and Enrichment.
© 2021 Naperville Park District