Western DuPage Special Recreation Association was in a quandary. After the not-for-profit organization's parade float experienced a sudden demise during last summer's busy parade season, the staff at WDSRA was desperate to find a volunteer who possessed the unique talents and skills that matched the unusual job description of "parade float builder."
Enter Steve Brockman, owner of Expert Plumbing in Naperville. Brockman heard about WDSRA's need during a meeting at the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and stepped up to construct a new parade float for the agency.
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Brockman has years of experience building floats in various themes. Because his business frequently participates in Naperville parades, he has made over 30 floats over the years. He worked with WDSRA staff to design a new look that creatively expressed the organization's mission.
"I wanted people who look at the float to immediately know what WDSRA does," says Brockman. WDSRA provides recreational programs and inclusion services for children, teens and adults with special needs. The new float features a bright yellow sun with figures involved in recreational pursuits such as bowling, baseball, wheelchair basketball, art, dance, animal interaction. A butterfly graces the side of the sun and is painted with a puzzle piece pattern – a symbol of autism awareness.
WDSRA participates in ten parades per year. The new float made her debut in the Rose Parade in Roselle on June 1st. Upcoming parades for 2014 include Warrenville on July 3; Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, and Carol Stream on July 4; West Chicago on July 13; Naperville on September 1 (and again closer to the holidays); Bloomingdale on September 6; and Winfield on September 7.
Volunteers and WDSRA participants are encouraged to walk in parades with WDSRA staff. Information can be found at www.wdsra.com.