DuPage Children's Museum volunteer makes a difference

  • Dave Dumford began volunteering at the DuPage Children's Museum in 2001 and since then has spent 10,000 hours helping design, build or repair exhibits.

    Dave Dumford began volunteering at the DuPage Children's Museum in 2001 and since then has spent 10,000 hours helping design, build or repair exhibits. Courtesy of DuPage Children's Museum

  • The DuPage Children's Museum depends heavily on volunteers to help children reach their potential through hands-on play.

      The DuPage Children's Museum depends heavily on volunteers to help children reach their potential through hands-on play. Mark Black | Staff Photographer/Nocember 2017

 
By Jaime Johnson
DuPage Children’s Museum
Posted4/26/2018 1:15 PM

Dave Dumford began volunteering at the DuPage Children's Museum in November 2001 at the suggestion of his daughter.

You know, something to keep dad busy.

 

Now, 16 years later, Dumford has logged 10,000 hours of service to the museum and his engineering background has proved to be an enormous asset.

He loves working with his hands, so the museum's workshop is a natural environment for him. On a typical day, you can find Dumford sanding and cutting wood, building or repairing exhibits, and socializing with fellow volunteers he has known for years.

When a new exhibition is ready for installation on the museum floor, Dumford is almost always helping staff members complete the project before its public debut. In fact, there are very few exhibits at the Naperville-based facility he hasn't had some involvement with designing, building, or repairing.

"I am 76 years old now, been retired for 28 years, and I feel the need to contribute back and help others," Dumford said.

"It is fun to watch the kids try to figure out how to work an exhibit that I have helped build. I don't see any reason to stop volunteering."

Dumford and his wife, Susan, are members of the museum's Legacy Circle, which recognizes individuals who have committed themselves to continuing the museum's work by investing in its future through their estate plans.

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When he's not working at the museum, Dumford is a passionate fisherman and involved with his church.

Volunteers such as Dumford become part of the museum's effort to ignite the full learning potential of children through hands-on play. The museum, 301 N. Washington St. near downtown Naperville, offers a variety of opportunities that match best with a volunteer's passion and skills.

Whether interacting with visitors or working behind the scenes, volunteers can make a lasting impact on the lives of children.

"DCM is dependent upon the generous support of others," volunteer coordinator Jessica Greenlaw said. "Words can't express how thankful we are to Dave for his undivided devotion to DCM over the many years."

Volunteer opportunities are available for teens, adults, groups, and corporations. To learn more, contact Greenlaw at jgreenlaw@dupagechildrensmuseum.org or call (630) 637-8000, ext. 4640.

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