“Our son is excited to attend his NSSRA activities for hours (and sometimes days) before they happen. NSSRA’s new location won’t be a drop-off spot for him; instead, it will be where everything — his smile, the spring in his step and his social life — picks up.
In the past, we have wanted to sign our son up for NSSRA activities but did not because we live in southeast Wilmette and the driving time, distance or childcare for our three other children was too daunting. The new, central location of NSSRA is both a cause for excitement and a relief. It will be more practical and convenient for us to get our son to the NSSRA activities he loves, and we can do so without sacrificing the needs and activities of his siblings who also deserve our time and attention.”
– Kristen & Rick Dean, parents of Linus
“A new building for NSSRA enhances the entire special recreation experience. It provides much needed visibility for NSSRA. Right in the middle of our 13 partner communities, and on a major thoroughfare, NSSRA will be seen by countless new people. Hopefully, the result will be new participants, new staff and new donors. This is why we need a new building.”
– Sue Hartemayer, mother of NSSRA participant, Kirk, and NSSRA Foundation Board Director since 1997
“You only have to look at the faces of our participants and their families to realize what an impact NSSRA has made in their lives. NSSRA’s partner agencies have been extraordinary in their support of programming and providing facilities, but now is the time for all of us to help provide for NSSRA’s future needs with a financial contribution.”
– Ed Bettenhausen, President, NSSRA Foundation Board of Directors
“One of the main reasons our family moved from Chicago to Northbrook 10 years ago was because of NSSRA, and over the years the organization has exceeded our expectations in so many ways. The new building will give Maddy, our daughter, the opportunity to socialize with her peers in a space designed for her and her friends. These hang out times will provide Maddy and other participants a sense of independence and autonomy they may not have had with NSSRA before.
With evening programs, parents will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their children are meeting in a space that is safe and secure. The days of participants waiting in the car with their parents for the bus to depart are gone. The days of parents waiting in the parking lot for the bus to arrive are gone.
This building, this home, will be a welcome and positive change for the NSSRA community, but what will not change is NSSRA’s commitment to excellence, dedication and joy for our loved ones.”
– Randi & Tom Gillespie, parents of Maddy and Capital Committee members
“Having twins and trying to get them both into the same programs has never been easy with NSSRA’s limited space. There have been many times when only one was enrolled and the other waitlisted. I never want to let either of them down, so we always enroll only both of them or neither of them.
Too, I advocate NSSRA programs to so many parents. It’s disheartening when they come back to me saying there wasn’t enough space to enroll their child. Having a new home for NSSRA not only means new and exciting programs for the kids, but also reduced wait-lists for us and other families with children who have become dear to our hearts.”
– Lorena Beltrano, parent of Sophia & Luciano
“This new building is critical to realizing the mission of NSSRA. NSSRA and NSSRA Foundation’s partnership has created a lasting legacy of support for our participants, responsible financial stewardship, and creative thinking to achieve our goals. NSSRA’s new home is a tribute to all those who have supported our mission over the last 50 years, and to those who continue to support creating an environment of belonging through play for children, teens and adults with disabilities.”
– Kris Ford, Chair, NSSRA Board of Directors
“I have seen NSSRA grow and expand tremendously over the years, and the new facility will allow more participants to enjoy all the benefits NSSRA programs have to offer. I believe having a building to call our own will encourage collaboration and camaraderie with our families. NSSRA has completely changed the lives of so many participants, families and staff, and the new building will only help them continue to do so.”
– Ellie Britton, part-time staff for over seven years and Associate Board member
“I was first exposed to NSSRA as a kid when my friend, Quinn, joined Gator Basketball. My personal interest in the organization grew last year when a student group I helped lead raised almost $6,000 for NSSRA! There is an even greater need to support NSSRA with this new building so that we can make it a dedicated place for participants to learn and grow. The new facility will create a strong link between the NSSRA community and its surrounding communities, and create a more inclusive environment for everyone.”
– Will Zordani, community member