Archive for the ‘community development’ Category

This Week’s News for Aurora Chamber Members

Monday, September 18th, 2017
Header
September 18, 2017
In This Issue

 

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Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora Limousine
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Beans Greens Proteins
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Steel Hockey Team
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
Pure Skin Solutions, LLC
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

Beans Greens Proteins (Elite)
Andrew Schoenwetter
300 E. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora
(630) 692-9879
Restaurants & Taverns

SupportTechs, LLC
Melinda Kruder
1 E. Benton, Aurora
(630) 240-9215

Art Bar 39 Illinois
Michelle Fitzsimons
Aurora
(630) 730-5962
Entertainment

Ultimate Sports Dome II
Tom Clifford
100 Route 30, Aurora
(630) 820-8624
Sports & Recreation

LeaderOne Financial Corp.
Eric Orozco
69 E. Downer Place, 1st Floor, Aurora
(630) 908-7060
Mortgages Companies

A Town Smoke
Jay Gadhiya
4432 E. New York St. Aurora
(630) 618-1687
Retail

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

What You Need to Know:
Emergency Preparedness
Emergency PreparednessWhen business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A continuity plan to continue business is essential. This WYNTK seminar will assist businesses and organizations in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.
Premier Members
Premier Members
Calendar of Events
Grand Opening: Garage 31
Monday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
102 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora
Sponsored by Endiro Coffee35th Anniversary: Lindstrom Chiropractic
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
1965 W, Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.Grand Opening: Huntington Bank
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 – 10 a.m.
2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 8:30 a.m.

WYNTK: Emergency Preparedness Plannings
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by City Segment

5th Anniversary: McLaughlin & Associates
Thursday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
495 N. Commons Dr. Ste. 103, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:15 p.m.

Jump Start Your Membership Profile
Tuesday, Oct. 3, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Chamber Offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd, Aurora

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.Visit the Chamber blog:

Illinois: Gambling

Illinois Education

Illinois: Opioid Epidemic

Economic Development: Amazon

Reps. Currie, Sente to Retire; AG Madigan Out

Procurement Streamlining a Win for Illinois Business

Ill. Senate, House Release Fall Veto Schedules

New UI Process Streamlines Tax Experience

U.S. Chamber: Tax Reform

U.S. Chamber: Overtime Rule Update

New Form I-9 Required by Sept. 18, 2017

Join Us for an Ill. Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Oct. 18
Gubernatorial Candidate ForumOn Wednesday, Oct. 18, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce will join Daily Herald Media Group, Business Ledger, ABC-7 News and several other business organizations to host a gubernatorial candidate forum focusing on business-related issues facing Illinois. The event will be from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Victoria in the Park, 1700 Elmhurst Road, Mount Prospect.

Candidates confirmed to attend include J.B. Pritzker, Daniel Biss, Ameya Pawar, Bob Daiber, Scott Drury, Alexander Paterakis, Chris Kennedy, and Tio Hardiman.

$25 admission includes breakfast, networking, and forum. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/democratic-gubernatorial -candidate-forum-tickets-37242741041. When ordering your ticket(s), enter Aurora in the Promo Code box.

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.World-Renowned Artist Paints Multicultural Mural in Aurora

GAR Museum Earns Top Honors from Ill. Assoc. of Museums

Naperville Heritage Society Receives $1,000,000 for Naper Settlement’s Heritage Gateway

EEI Announces Newly Licensed Professional Engineer

Martin Lipton Joins Team at Konen Insurance

Making Global Local: Third Annual Exports Conference

Residents Invited to Explore Opportunities Sept. 16 at Volunteer Mania Fair

Nicholas Knudtson Joins Team at Konen Insurance

West High to Host World Language Career Expo

Waubonsee to Host Aurora Downtown Career Fair This Month

Join Us for an Ill. Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Oct. 18

West Aurora School District 129 Approved for Federal Registered Apprenticeship Program

Fox Valley Mall, Simply Destinee Partner for the Shining a Light on Suicide

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

Thermamax, Inc. Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Don’t Take the Bait: Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Illinois: Gambling

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

COGFA releases annual report on “Wagering in Illinois.” The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) closely monitors public-sector revenue streams, including taxes and fees paid by gamblers and gambling facilities. This is a very significant sector of the U.S. economy for both the public and the private sector, with Illinois tax revenues from gambling activities rising in FY17 (ended June 30, 2017) to $1.31 billion. This was up 7.9% from FY16.

While gaming tax revenues increased overall, the 2017 annual report shows continued changes in the types of gambling that are yielding growing streams of tax revenue. Video gaming has continued to grow as a share of overall State wagering tax revenues, up from 9.1% of total State gambling taxes in FY14 to 22.6% in FY17. Video gaming tax revenues are now the second-largest component of overall Illinois wagering tax revenues, behind the Illinois State Lottery (56.3% of the FY17 total). However, Lottery ticket sales and state revenues are largely flat, while the revenues of video gaming parlors and the taxes they generate continue to increase.

Some revenue streams are declining in trends associated with changes in the gambling industry. State taxes on the overall horse racing “handle,” reflecting bets on races in Illinois and (through intertrack and off-track betting) out-of-state races, continue to decline. In FY17, Illinois collected only $6 million in total taxes in horse racing, less than 0.5% of its total gaming revenues. Admissions to casino riverboats, adjusted gross riverboat casino receipts (riverboat AGRs), and taxes on riverboat AGRs also declined in FY17. COGFA analysts believe that increased competition from video gaming continues to be a major contributing factor toward changes in the Illinois riverboat casino industry.

Illinois: Opioid Epidemic

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Toll of heroin, opioid abuse continues to increase in Illinois. Public health officials counted 1,889 people who died from opioid overdoses in Illinois in 2016.

Illinois is fighting back through implementation of the new Prescription Monitoring Program, mandated by the General Assembly in 2015 to cut down and eliminate multiple scripts of opiates and other potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals to a single patient. Law enforcement is taking steps, coordinated by the Criminal Justice Information Authority, to reduce opioid use in Illinois and make police contacts into a gateway to abuse treatment.

Through 2017 Executive Order #5, Gov. Bruce Rauner has created the Governor’s Opioid Prevention and Intervention Task Force. To be chaired by Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, the Task Force will develop an Opioid Action Plan to increase the coordination of state and local governments in the fight against opioid abuse.

World-Renowned Artist Paints Multicultural Mural in Aurora

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The City of Aurora, Ward 2 Alderman Juany Garza, and the Aurora Public Library are hosting artist Alejandro Loccoco of Guadalajara, Mexico, as he paints a mural, titled “Heart of America,” at the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library of Aurora.

The 13-foot by 40-foot mural is being painted on a west wall on the second floor of the library at 101 S. River St. in downtown Aurora.

Loccoco will present a program on the meaning and creation of the mural at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in Rooms 125-126 in the Santori Library. The dual language presentation will be presented in English and Spanish.

When Loccoco arrived at the Aurora Public Library this week, he hugged the wall on which he would create the mural, saying that he was happy the mural would be located indoors.

“Outdoor murals change over time,” Loccoco said Wednesday. “This mural will still be here when we’re gone.”

The mural was proposed to Second Ward Alderman Juany Garza by Pedro Garcia Aguilar, general coordinator of the Council of Hispanic Communities. The council is working on several cultural exchanges with Aurora, including the mural project.

“I’m very happy that after all these months, the mural will soon be a reality,” Garza said. It’s exciting to see that an excellent artist such as Mr. Loccoco is interested in our city. This mural is an awesome blessing.”

“Since the mural will be in a public building that is a destination for thousands, it will be an asset that can enrich our diverse community in many ways,” said Dan Barreiro, chief community services officer for the City of Aurora.

Loccoco began creating the mural with a mixed acrylic and charcoal technique on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The public will not be able to view the artist while he works, as he wishes the mural to be viewed in its entirety when it is completed at the end of the month.

The mural was inspired by the union of cultures, languages and customs of both people born in the United States and those coming from all of Latin America, Loccoco said, adding that he wants to honor and seek bonds of friendship and dignity between different cultures and races.

“We are pleased that Mr. Loccoco chose the City of Aurora and the Aurora Public Library to host this original work,” said Library Director Daisy Porter-Reynolds. “We love that he appreciates Aurora’s diversity and rich Hispanic heritage as much as we do, and we are honored that the Santori Library was asked to provide the canvas for his creativity.”

For more information, please call Aurora Public Library, 630-264-4125.

GAR Museum Earns Top Honors from Ill. Assoc. of Museums

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

The Aurora Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum (GAR) has been named the  2017 Small Institution of the Year by the Illinois Association of Museums (IAM).

“The IAM Awards Committee and Executive Board were impressed with efforts and outcomes of the City of Aurora and its dedicated citizens to restore and reopen this important historic building and preserve and tell the many stories it interprets,” the IAM said in its announcement of the honor.

The Aurora GAR Memorial Museum was built in 1877-78 as a tribute to the brave Aurora men who fought in the Civil War. Seven hundred men from 70 different Union Army regiments would become members of the Aurora GAR Post. Over the years, the GAR Hall fell into disrepair, and was closed because of safety concerns. After a 15-year $3.5-million restoration effort, the Museum was reopened to the public on Memorial Day 2016.

“The stalwart efforts to reopen the GAR have not gone unnoticed,” said Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “Visitors are in awe as they tour the museum. Statewide organizations such as the Illinois Association of Museums and Landmarks Illinois have deemed it worthy of recognition. Certainly, everyone who was involved in the restoration efforts must be applauded for their work to preserve one of Aurora’s most treasured historic assets.”

Today, the GAR Museum at 23 E. Downer Place in downtown Aurora presents a dozen exhibits focusing on the local soldiers who served in the Civil War and on the growing community of Aurora in the mid and late 1800s. The Museum is open — for free — from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and from 5 to 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. The Museum also is open for tours by community and school groups, Monday through Friday.

The 2017 Small Institution of the Year award will be presented to the City at an awards dinner sponsored by the Illinois Association of Museums in October.

This is the second state award presented to the GAR Museum in the past year. In 2016, Landmarks Illinois, a statewide historic preservation organization, presented its President’s Award for Preservation to the Aurora GAR project.

Naperville Heritage Society Receives $1,000,000 for Naper Settlement’s Heritage Gateway

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

We are incredibly excited to announce that the Naperville Heritage Society received a generous combined grant award and gifts totaling $1,000,000 in support of the museum’s Heritage Gateway and Innovation Hall. The gift comes from the Tellabs Foundation, and Christopher and Christine Birck and The Birck Family Fund at The Chicago Community Foundation.

The proposed state-of-the-art welcome center will host digital and interactive exhibitions that will tell the dynamic history of Naperville’s growth in the 20th and 21st century. The center’s exhibition space, Innovation Hall, will have a digital wall that will be a repository for stories, files and photos. Visitors can upload and archive their own story through the digital wall and share how they have made their own mark in history.

For more information or to donate (financially, or through oral histories or with artifacts), please email us.

 

Your Weekly Chamber Member Newsletter

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Header
September 12, 2017
In This Issue

 

Quick Links

Follow Us!
Facebook Twitter Blog

Elite Members

For more information contact the chamber.

95.9 The River
Above Board Indoor Environmental
Accurate Personnel
Advance Auto Parts
Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.
Aurora Bank & Trust
Aurora Limousine
Aurora University
Baird & Warner – Holli Thurston
Caterpillar, Inc.
Chicago Steel Hockey Team
City Segment
ComEd
Company 251
Copy King Office Solutions, Inc.
CyrusOne
Do or Dye Designs
Dolan & Murphy
Downtown Auroran Magazine
Eagle Digital Marketing
Endiro Coffee
First Secure Community Bank
Ice Miller LLP
Kluber Architects & Engineers
Konen Insurance Agency, Inc.
Magnetrol International, Inc.
Meyer Wealth Advisors
Mitutoyo America Corporation
Mooney & Thomas P.C.
Old Second National Bank
OnLight Aurora
Painters District Council 30
Paramount Arts Centre
Pilmer Real Estate
Pipe Fitters Local 597
Plum Landing Retirement Community
Presence Mercy Medical Center
Pure Skin Solutions, LLC
R.C. Wegman Construction Company
Rasmussen College
Rich Harvest Farms
Rush-Copley Medical Center
S&S Metal Recyclers II
ServPro of Aurora
Sign*A*Rama
SmithAmundsen, LLC
Steffes & Associates Language and Translation (SALT)
Two Brothers Roundhouse
Valley Fastener Group, LLC
The Voice
Waubonsee Community College
Weldstar Company
WSPY

Welcome New Members

M14Hoops
Matt Miller
2414 Church Road, Aurora
(331) 281-0192
Sports & Recreation

Pure Skin Solutions, LLC
Fatimah Kahiga
26 S. Stolp Avenue, Aurora
(630) 907-7454
Beauty Services

Meadow Lake Dental Care
Susan Schramm
3941 75 Street, Ste. 102
Aurora 60504
(630) 851-5130
Dentists

 

Contact Us

Mail: 43 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180
Fax: (630) 256-3189
www.aurorachamber.com

 

 

What You Need to Know:
Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness

When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers that defect to the competition. A continuity plan to continue business is essential. This WYNTK seminar will assist businesses and organizations in developing a preparedness program by providing tools to create a plan that addresses the impact of many hazards.

Sept. 15: Wellness Works Conference for Employers
Wellness Works
Premier Members
Premier Members
Calendar of Events
Ambassadors Committee
Thursday, Sept. 14, 3 p.m.
Tracy’s Bistro, 4424 E. New York St., Aurora

Grand Opening: 500 Station Blvd.
Wednesday, Sept. 14, 4 – 8 p.m.
675 Station Blvd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:30 p.m.

2017 Wellness Works Conference
Friday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Prisco Community Center, Aurora

Grand Opening: Garage 31
Monday, Sept. 18, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
102 S. Lincolnway, North Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 11:30 a.m.

Coffee & Connections
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 8:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Painters District Council #30, 1905 Sequoia Drive, Aurora

35th Anniversary: Lindstrom Chiropractic
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
1965 W, Downer Pl., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4 p.m.

Grand Opening: Huntington Bank
Thursday, Sept. 21, 8 – 10 a.m.
2430 W. Indian Trail Rd., Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 8:30 a.m.

WYNTK: Emergency Preparedness Plannings
Tuesday, Sept. 26, 8:30 – 10 a.m.
Chamber offices, 43 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora

Fox Valley Networking Professionals
Thursday, Sept. 28, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Pomegranate Restaurant, 55 S. Commons Dr., Aurora
Sponsored by City Segment

5th Anniversary: McLaughlin & Associates
Thursday, Sept. 28, 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.
495 N. Commons Dr. Ste. 103, Aurora
Ribbon Cutting @ 4:15 p.m.

Public Policy Update
For the latest in public policy news, be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Visit the Chamber blog:

Procurement Streamlining a Win for Illinois Business

Ill. Senate, House Release Fall Veto Schedules

New UI Process Streamlines Tax Experience

One More Leaves Ill. GA

Social Security Expedites Decisions to Those with Serious Disabilities

U.S. Chamber: Tax Reform

U.S. Chamber: Overtime Rule Update

New Form I-9 Required by Sept. 18, 2017

Make Your Voice Heard; Submit NAFTA Comments

Gov. Rauner Takes Action on Several Bills

This Week: Gov. Signs Education Bill

Join Us for an Ill. Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Oct. 18
Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce will join Daily Herald Media Group, Business Ledger, ABC-7 News and several other business organizations to host a gubernatorial candidate forum focusing on business-related issues facing Illinois. The event will be from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Victoria in the Park, 1700 Elmhurst Road, Mount Prospect. Candidates confirmed to attend include J.B. Pritzker, Daniel Biss, Ameya Pawar, Bob Daiber, Scott Drury, Alexander Paterakis, Chris Kennedy, and Tio Hardiman. $25 admission includes breakfast, networking, and forum. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/democratic-gubernatorial -candidate-forum-tickets-37242741041. When ordering your ticket(s), enter Aurora in the Promo Code box.

Member News
If you have news to share with your fellow members, please forward to info@aurorachamber.com. Be sure and check out our blog and social media for what’s happening in our region.

Making Global Local: Third Annual Exports Conference

Aurora Fire, Police to Host Sept. 11 Memorial

Residents Invited to Explore Opportunities Sept. 16 at Volunteer Mania Fair

Nicholas Knudtson Joins Team at Konen Insurance

Aurora Named one of the Best Cities to Raise a Family

VNA Health Care Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture

West High to Host World Language Career Expo

Waubonsee to Host Aurora Downtown Career Fair This Month

Join Us for an Ill. Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Forum on Oct. 18

VNA Recognized for Quality Achievements, Awarded $171K by HRSA

IMSA, Tellabs Foundation Announce Next Generation Innovators Award Winners

West Aurora School District 129 Approved for Federal Registered Apprenticeship Program

Fox Valley Mall, Simply Destinee Partner for the Shining a Light on Suicide

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme Announced: ‘Inclusion Drives Innovation’

Park Renovations Coming to Meadow Lake; New Park at Randall Highlands

Thermamax, Inc. Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Don’t Take the Bait: Watch Out for the W-2 Email Scam

Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce | 43 W. Galena Blvd. Aurora, Illinois 60506
Phone: (630) 256-3180 Fax: (630) 256-3189 | www.aurorachamber.com
This email was sent by Bee Atomic on behalf of Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Residents Invited to Explore Opportunities Sept. 16 at Volunteer Mania Fair

Friday, September 8th, 2017

The Fox Valley Park District is inviting residents to learn how they can make a difference in their communities when the second annual Volunteer Mania Fair is held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Ave.).

More than 40 local organizations offering volunteer and service opportunities will convene, making for a “one-stop-shopping” event. Individuals will be able to connect with representatives and learn details on a wide variety of opportunities available.

“We want to make it so every individual can find something they’re passionate about and make a difference,” said Debbie Smith, Community Outreach Manager for the park district. “Every individual has unique skills and abilities, and all those contributions combined can make a huge impact.

“People see value in serving, and the Fox Valley region is fortunate to have so many active volunteers who care,” Smith added. “It’s great to get involved, and very rewarding.”

The free event is being run in conjunction with Aurora University, Volunteer Fox Valley, and the Fox Valley United Way. For more information, contact Debbie Smith at dsmith@fvpd.net or 630-966-4555.

Aurora Fire, Police to Host Sept. 11 Memorial

Friday, September 8th, 2017
The Aurora Fire Department and the Aurora Police Department will host Aurora’s annual September 11 Memorial Ceremony on Monday. 

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 11, Aurora’s public safety officials will be joined by Mayor Richard C. Irvin and community members at the Aurora Central Fire Station, 75. N. Broadway.

Marking the 16th anniversary of the tragedies in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania, the ceremony will feature a special Presentation of Colors and Wreath Laying Ceremony by the Aurora Fire and Police Honor Guards with remarks from Aurora Fire Chief Gary Krienitz, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman, and Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin.

“On this solemn occasion, we will stand together to reflect on that fateful day and honor those who lost their lives, “said Mayor Irvin, a veteran of the United States Army. “We will also remember the families of those who perished and all whose lives were forever changed after experiencing the tragedies of September 11, 2001.”

The ceremony will be held at the main flagpole on the grounds of the Aurora Central Fire Station, 75. N. Broadway.

VNA Health Care Receives Grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture

Friday, September 8th, 2017

VNA Health Care recently received a $488,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to help Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants increase their purchases of fruits and vegetables. The funding comes from the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

The grant supports VNA’s innovative program FreshFirst, a partnership with the City of Aurora. The program provides 450 SNAP participant families with weekly education classes and 20 weeks of fresh fruit and vegetable prescriptions. The prescriptions are exchanged for tokens valued at $25 per week to redeem at the Aurora Farmer’s Market. Through the partnership with the City of Aurora, VNA hosts a Farmer’s Market every Wednesday while the program meets. The tokens can be redeemed on-site at VNA or at one of the other Farmer’s Market locations in Aurora.

“FreshFirst is a fun way for both children and adults to learn about the health benefits of eating fresh produce. It gives participants and their families the opportunity to try new vegetables and fruits, and learn why they should make the effort to eat healthy,” says Ann Cheverton, Vice President of Specialty Care and Wellness Services.

Families participating in FreshFirst come to a free nutrition education class in VNA’s Healthy Lifestyle Center and Kitchen at 400 N. Highland Avenue every Wednesday. The class includes a cooking demonstration using fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market stand at VNA.

VNA focused on recruiting pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers along with families with small children to participate in FreshFirst.  The grant supports three years of the program, with an estimated total impact of 1,800 individuals.

VNA offers free wellness classes with cooking demonstrations to the general public at 400 N. Highland Avenue in Aurora. Visit our website at www.vnahealth.com and click on the calendar for the complete schedule.

VNA Health Care operates 10 clinics in suburban Chicago and serves over 65,000 people a year. VNA is nationally ranked as a top performing health center as a result of patient outcomes such as prenatal care, adolescent weight screening and counseling, vascular disease treatment, blood pressure control, healthy birthweights, and asthma care. VNA’s combination of convenience (by appointment or walk-in), patient-centered technology and expert care delivered with respect and compassion have led to these results. VNA is accredited by The Joint Commission.

The Aurora Farmers Market is the oldest Farmers Market in Illinois. The Market offers fresh produce, specialty food products, artisan crafts, and more. For more information on Aurora’s Farmers Market log onto the City’s website at www.aurora-il.org or call (630) 256-INFO (4636).