Kiwanis helps Sugar Grove Park District with donation for accessible swing

Sugar Grove Park District and the  Kiwanis of Sugar Grove Township installed a new accessible swing at Chelsea Park May 23, 2024.

Children love playgrounds.

Sugar Grove Park District Executive Director Scott Nadeau also loves them and the Kiwanis of Sugar Grove Township loves helping children.

They’re hopeful those who use the new accessible swing at Chelsea Park love it as much as they do.

Nadeau led a ribbon-cutting May 23 for the swing, which has a Kiwanis plaque hung on the post next to it that says “Accessible Swing donated by Kiwanis.”

“This is the first playground that I’ve been able to sink my teeth into to have a replacement in town,” Nadeau said. “I love playgrounds. I’m very excited about them. I really am humbled and thankful that the Kiwanis Club went through the motions to make sure we were going to meet the needs of all or even more of our youth in the community and that’s to support us by donating and installing an accessible swing.”

Nadeau, who also is a director and charter member of the Kiwanis, said while meeting with fellow Kiwanis they said they’d like to do this for every playground the Sugar Grove Park District replaces.

“We’ll have to see how that goes moving forward,” he said. “I don’t want to say that they made a promise to do that but it’s humbling to know that they’d be willing to dedicate their hard-earned fundraising money toward that objective.”

“Accessible Swing donated by Kiwanis" reads the plate on a new swing at Chelsea Park in Sugar Grove.  The Kiwanis of Sugar Grove Township worked with the Sugar Grove Park District on getting the new swing installed.

Tom Sorfleet, president and charter member of Kiwanis of Sugar Grove Township, said the goal of the Kiwanis is to support children not only nationwide but also at home in Sugar Grove.

“The whole goal of the club is to support the children in the community,” he said. “So when we talked with Scott and their needs, we recognized that helping [the park district] out and making sure that there was an accessible swing was one of the priorities and made sense for us as Kiwanis.”

The Kiwanis created a committee for the endeavor with Director Vanessa Wiskerchen, Secretary Karen Pritchard and Nadeau.

“We met to discuss the best way Kiwanis could support our playground and we finally landed on the accessible swing,” Nadeau said. “The park district has five accessible swings in stock and this is the first one hung. We have four more intended for the next four playgrounds to be replaced and Kiwanis is going to be associated with all four of those.”

Nadeau said as the park district moves forward on replacing playgrounds those sites should have accessible equipment to accommodate all children.

“We would love to continue that partnership. Again, very honored, very humbled and very thankful for the support from the Kiwanis Club of Sugar Grove Township,” Nadeau said.

Wiskerchen said she was excited to see the swing in person. She attended the ribbon-cutting along with fellow Kiwanis club members, Sugar Grove Park District staff and commissioners and Village President Jen Konen.

“It’s always fun to see an idea become real life,” Wiskerchen said. “That is truly the exciting part. As a Kiwanian, I have an opportunity to contribute to kids and our community. I enjoy providing children with experiences to better our community and children’s lives.”

Other Kiwanis endeavors

The Kiwanis are a busy bunch. In addition to their involvement with the swing, they awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Kaneland High School senior Connor Anderson.

“We were pretty proud of that,” Sorfleet said. “And our next big thing is we’re helping out the Kaneland Foundation and supporting them at their gala on June 8.”

Those looking to help support the efforts of the Kiwanis can get involved by visiting

“We meet on the second Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at my [Farmers Insurance] office and the fourth Thursday of the month, we meet at noon in my office,” Sorfleet said. “And we take donations. We’re always willing to help out.”

The Kiwanis are collecting travel-size personal items for the unhoused. They are accepting toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, bar soap, dental floss, mouthwash, disposable razors, shampoo/conditioner, feminine hygiene products and gallon-size storage bags.

“You can drop those items off at the library,” Sorflett said. “And we’ll also be at the Sugar Grove Fire Open House on June 21 taking those donations and we’ll make sure those go to the unhoused. We’re just out there to support. If there’s a need for children, that’s what we’re there for.”