Gratitude Page

Thank you to everyone who has supported the work of Opportunity House.  Here are some of the people who are making a difference in the lives of our clients for which we are truly grateful:

*Congratulations to Chuck DeGraf on his retirement! Chuck started working at Opportunity House in 1981. He has been a steady, patient, talented and caring member of our staff who has dedicated his entire career to helping individuals with developmental disabilities. While we will miss him, we wish him all the best in this new chapter in his life. From all of us at Opportunity House, “Thanks Chuck!”

*Thanks to the Knights of Columbus Council #15153, St. James Parish in Lee, Illinois for the generous donation from their fundraiser benefitting individuals with intellectual disabilities. Presenting is Steve Voris (right), Financial Secretary for the Knights of Columbus, to Bob Shipman, Executive Director of Opportunity House. Efforts like these go a long way in benefiting our clients. Thanks again to everyone at the Knights of Columbus, St. James Parish!


*Thanks to Tom Knoebl (left), General Manager of Barbed Wire Harley-Davidson for hosting a Chili Cook-off and donating the proceeds to Opportunity House. Our community continues to come through in support of our clients and we really appreciate it. Thanks again to Tom and everyone at Barbed Wire Harley-Davidson!

*Thanks to Dynasty Entertainment for putting on 4 great shows this Fall to benefit Opportunity House (Diamonds for Cash – Tribute to Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash, Heartache Tonight – Eagles Tribute, Shawn Klush – Elvis Tribute, and Liverpool Legends – Beatles Tribute). Like many within our community, and some outside, they just wanted to do something to help, and they succeeded. Thanks again!

Thank you goes to the NAPA Oil Change Charity for their donation of $441 to Opportunity House. This group of businesses raises funds each month for a difference local organization and this month is OH! Pictured are (left to right) Dana Doty – Archer Alignment, Jon Bockman – Bockman’s Auto Care, John Volkert – Barb City Auto, Bob Shipman – Opportunity House, and Tim King of NAPA. Participants not pictured are Mike’s Auto & Truck Repair II, University Shell, The Motor Works of DeKalb, Ritz’s Southtown Auto, and 3-D Auto Repair. Thanks to all for your generous support of Opportunity House!

*Thanks to Elliott Marsh for his Eagle Scout Project of building 6 sets of floor to ceiling shelving units at 2 of our group homes. Storage is always a premium so these will be extremely helpful. Elliott raised the funds himself for the project and presented a check for the remainder to Jim Dombek – Philanthropy Committee Chair (left), Bob Shipman – Executive Director (left-center) and Tom Matya – Board Chair (right) of Opportunity House. Thanks again Elliott and good luck!

*We would like to thank the Sycamore and DeKalb Chambers of Commerce for setting up this “Ribbon Cutting” event to celebrate our newly remodeled facility. The renovation involved a great deal of time and effort by many people in and around the community, and we are grateful to all who have supported this project. Thanks also to everyone who attended the ribbon cutting and sharing in our excitement!

*Thanks to everyone at the Waterman State Bank for not only being a sponsor for our golf outing, but also for the creative generosity of their employees who ran a “Jeans Day” every Friday for 3 months. Each employee would pay $5 to wear jeans to work on Fridays. They raised $360! Thanks so much for thinking of us!


*Thanks to the DeKalb Elks Lodge #765 for hosting a comedy show featuring comic impressionist Bob Jay on July 29th. Proceeds from the show were donated by the Elks to Opportunity House. A check for $900 was presented by Elk members Layne Klatt and Steve Olsen to our Executive Director Bob Shipman. It was a fun evening for a great cause. Thanks to all who attended and to everyone at the DeKalb Elks Lodge!

*Thanks again to the volunteers from the Target Distribution Center for their support of our mission at Opportunity House. These 12 individuals helped clean the exterior windows of our newly remodeled facility as well as helped clean our original building at 202 Lucas Street after our move. We are grateful for their generous gift of time and effort. Thanks to all!

*We would like to thank the Daily Chronicle of DeKalb County for their support not only in helping to promote events and activities for Opportunity House, but also other nonprofit organizations around the area. Their commitment to the community is obvious and we would like to say “Thanks!”

*Thanks to the Target Distribution Center in DeKalb! They support not only Opportunity House, but many nonprofit organizations around the area. From helping to clean around our facilities, to landscaping work at a group home (Kishwaukee United Way Day of Caring), to a grant award for $1,500 to support our Learning for Life program, Target truly does give back to the community and we are grateful for their support.

*Thanks to Blackhawk Moving and Storage for making the move smooth and easy! Over three days, we moved everyone from the admin building to the new facility. Over that time, they were organized, patient, helpful and friendly. Thanks for making an often stressful event run smoothly!

*We would like to thank Skip Schramer of ServiceMaster by Skip! He provided two large dumpsters in support of our upcoming move to the new facility (saving close to $1,000)! Our community continues to step up and we are truly grateful. Thanks Skip!

*Thanks to the Women of the Moose in Sycamore for hosting a Spaghetti Dinner to benefit Opportunity House. Attending the check presentation are (left to right) Becky Ziegler, Darlene Harmon, Erica Mitchell, Bob Shipman (Executive Director of Opportunity House) and Cheryl Collum. The check is in the amount of $700 (that’s a lot of spaghetti!). Thanks also to all who attended as it will go to making a difference in the lives of our clients. Thanks again to the Women of the Moose!

*A great big THANK YOU goes to the Kiwanis Club of DeKalb who presented a check for a pledge of $10,000 to Opportunity House in support of the “Building a Better Future” renovation project. Pictured is (left to right) Mark Meier, Gary Vander Meer, Bob Shipman (Executive Director of Opportunity House), and Tarryn Thaden. This is yet another example of the caring community support that is moving us closer to our goal. Thanks again to the DeKalb Kiwanis Club.

*Just a quick “THANK YOU” to everyone who attended the Art Show. It was a great success and the Artists were proud to show off their work. In learning about art, each artist was taught to ask 3 questions when looking at a work of art; What is going on in the painting? How do you know / what do you see that makes you think that? What else is happening? Then they took that information and created their own works. BEAUTIFUL! Thanks to Carla Raynor, Carol Parsons, staff members and the Artists who helped make this not only an enjoyable evening, but an educational one as well.

*Thanks to Jeff Dobie of Fatty’s in DeKalb and all of his staff for hosting our New Year’s Eve Bash! We would also like to thank everyone who attended, making it an enjoyable event for a great cause. With delicious food, good friends and solid entertainment from Back Country Roads, the evening was a success! The photo shows Jeff presenting a proceeds check to Bob Shipman (our Executive Director) in the amount of $1,143! Thanks again Jeff and we are already looking forward to next year!

*We are grateful to Shannon Vanatta for leading the 11th Annual District Charity Volleyball Event this year, with the goal of raising money for Special Olympics. Their team effort raised $6,151 which is $2,000 more than last year! Fantastic!! We would like to thank the following people for their efforts in support of the event: Annie Miller, Debbie Klock, Becky Steczo, Jack Weaver, Katherine Katz, and Roger & Christie Kyler, as well as all who participated. Suffice it to say that these caring individuals are making a huge contribution to improving the quality of life for our clients. That is our mission. Be sure to place it on your calendar for next year. Thanks again Shannon and everyone who helped to make this a great success!

*Thanks to the DeKalb County Community Foundation (DCCF) who recently presented a check in the amount of $25,000 on a pledge of $100,000 to Opportunity House in support of the “Building a Better Future” construction project. Pictured is (left to right) Mark Mannebach, DCCF board member, Bob Shipman, Executive Director of Opportunity House, and Anita Zurbrugg, DCCF Program Director. The renovation project will benefit programs and services for adults with developmental disabilities.

*Special THANKS goes to MorningStar Media Group, Ltd. in Sycamore for their support of our website. They have been very generous with their time as we adjust and revise the site, and their patient support has saved us a tremendous amount of time. We are fortunate to receive so much help and support from our local community and MorningStar Media is a great example of that. Thanks again!


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