AURORA — For his years of support of Fox Valley United Way (FVUW) and the social service agencies it funds, and for demonstrating the spirit of caring, Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner was the first recipient of the Thomas J. Weisner Humanitarian Award given by the FVUW.
Weisner accepted the award during the FVUW’s Annual Recognition Breakfast where it celebrated a community that cares May 19.
Fox Valley United Way Executive Director Mike Meyer said Wisner’s tenure as mayor of Aurora has exemplified how the hearts of a humanitarian can change an entire community.
“His dedication to economic revitalization, sustainable development, and safer and stronger neighborhoods has raised Aurora to a new level of exceptionalism that benefits all of us. Yet it is his consistent and engage support of Fox Valley United Way that proves that he truly live united,” Meyer said.
Weisner chose not to speak to the more than 400 attendants at the breakfast, instead, humbly said, “thank you.”
This was the debut of the award. Meyer said future recipients will show the same caring spirit as Weisner.
Other organizations and individuals honored, included the Gustafson Family Foundation with the LIVE UNITED award and Maria Deleon-Mazo as the Outstanding Community Volunteer Award.
Though it had been previously announced, FVUW’s Board of Directors Chair Julie Proscia reminded guests the United Way of Central Kane County is merging with the FVUW, effective Aug. 1.
“I cannot tell you how honored we were they trusted us to be able to service their area, and their agencies,” Proscia explained. “They felt, and we believe, that we’re a partner that can do so because we have an organizational capacity, and the leadership to both manage the fundraising, innovative programs and volunteer recruitment in their areas.”
As it does every year, the FVUW gave awards of appreciation to organizations that helped make its annual events a success, like its Campaign Kick-Off with its cardboard boat race; Holiday Assistance Program and Souper Bowl of Caring.
The Fox Valley Building and Construction Trades Council was honored for its monetary and gift card donations for the Holiday Assistance Program.
“Every family that we help gets a gift card so they can buy groceries. Most families we help are on food assistance, and this gives them the opportunity to actually go out and purchase groceries at the store for a holiday meal,” Meyer explained.
There were 81 businesses, organizations, individuals and families who helped sponsor 127 families in need, and helped 316 children have a wonderful holiday.