Chassidy Mangers, a Kaneland High School graduate, Elburn resident, and current student of Augustana College, represents the best of our communities and is an example of the type of â€œsmall-town valuesâ€ that are so hard to articulate but easy to recognize.
Mangers will be a sophomore when she returns to Augustana College this fall. She was a member of the first group of Adaptive PE Leaders at Kaneland, working with special-needs students in their physical education classes. Additionally, she cares for special-needs children during the summer.
She took her educational and professional background in working with special-needs children, and combined it with her passion for the same to create a formal dance called the Summer Bash, held at the end of July. The Summer Bash focused on children with special needs and their families.
Mangers sent formal invitations through the mail directly to the children, inviting them to the dance held at the Blackberry Township facilities.
The girls arrived early so they could have their hair, make-up and nails done by volunteers. Games and music kicked off the event, which included a DJ (DJ Bizzle) and professional photographer (First Street Photos), both of whom also volunteered their time. Suzyâ€™s Pizza of Plano donated pizza for the evening, and each guest left that night with a summer-themed door prize and gift bag.
When asked about the work to put together the event, Mangers focused on those other than herself, which seems to be the way for those who devote their time and effort to serve others.
â€œThis event would not have been possible without the help from the numerous volunteers and local donations,â€ she said.
While that may be true, and while the donations of time, effort, pizza and services helped make the event a success, it was Mangersâ€™ passion and desire to serve the families in her community that pulled it all together.
â€œMy goal is that the children would have a lot of fun andÂ be able to experience something new. The evening was all for them,â€ she said. â€œIt was very rewarding to see all of the guests dancing on the dance floor. Words can not describe what an enjoyable evening we all had.â€
It took months of planning and work from Mangers and a whole host of volunteers. These are the types of people that reflect the values of our Kaneland communities, and serve as reminders that there are few, if any, goals more admirable than wanting to put smiles on the faces of children and families.