How to get involved in new Wheaton alumni association
Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 graduates of all ages are being invited to join a newly formed Wheaton Warrenville Alumni Association.
The group is a joint effort of the district and the Student Excellence Foundation, formerly known as the NEW 200 Foundation.
Erica Loiacono, the district's director of public relations, said the primary goal of the association is to engage alumni through volunteer opportunities, social gatherings, sharing stories, connecting on social media or donating money.
"We hope to create an opportunity for everybody," she said. "It's a great way for people to feel connected to their schools, to their community."
Loiacono said at least two formal alumni groups already exist for Wheaton North and the former Wheaton Central. Organizers are encouraging anybody who knows of additional groups to reach out, so they can determine how all alumni can work together under the new umbrella group.
Student Excellence Foundation board member Steve Johnson said he thinks getting involved with the alumni group or the Student Excellence Foundation benefits taxpayers because it helps them become better informed about what is going on in the district and helps them feel like they are making a difference.
"I think when you get involved in an organization like this you find out there are many opportunities to do things that you like to do anyway," he said. "That's ultimately what I want people to recognize, that it's an opportunity to enrich yourself through helping others."
The best first step to getting involved, organizers say, is to follow the Wheaton Warrenville Alumni Association on Facebook and sign up for e-newsletters through cusd200.org. Alumni also can direct ideas and questions to email@example.com.
Organizers already have put together a working list of volunteer opportunities for alumni, including being a guest speaker at the high schools and middle schools in entrepreneurship classes and on career days, and serving as judges at two annual middle school entrepreneurship expos.
Regular social and networking events are being planned, too. The first is being scheduled after an August football game between Wheaton Warrenville South and Wheaton North. There is a possibility the association will be able to help with the publicity and organization of class reunions as well.
In addition, organizers are hopeful the association will help boost the district's donor base by informing alumni about various needs in the district.
"This is a community where people like to help," Johnson said. "You just have to get the information to them and if we can do that effectively I think we'll find people from a wide range of ages who can do all different things."