Other cities might have a “Welcome to —” sign at the city limits with service club logos. Naperville has a mural on Washington Street at Van Buren Avenue. The title has two meanings: A welcome from the city’s clubs and a declaration that Naperville loves its volunteers.
The piece by Ernest Claycomb and Jennifer Richmond is actually two installations: the originals at ground level and enlargements at the top of the wall. The original paintings were scanned and enhanced with faux architectural elements before being printed on a vinyl banner. “Volunteers Welcome” illustrates seven service clubs with long histories in town.Rotary
Paul P. Harris started a service club in 1905 in Chicago with rotating meeting sites. Naperville’s first Rotary club was founded in 1941, followed by Sunrise in 1991, Downtown/4:44 in 2007 and After Dark in 2017. Their Harmony Park was just installed at Rotary Hill.Lions
Another Chicago businessman, Melvin Jones, started the club in 1917. Lion’s focus on vision care dates to a 1925 challenge from Helen Keller. Naperville’s chapter was founded in 1948 and they host the annual Turkey Trot 5K.Exchange Club
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, their national project is the prevention of child abuse. Naperville’s group started in 1987. Exchange has hosted Ribfest since 1988, but 2019 is their last event at Knoch Park as they look for a new venue.Jaycees
“JC” stands for the Junior Chamber of Commerce launched in 1920 for young men. Women were included in 1984 and the local chapter opened in 1964. Rick Motta and the Naperville Chamber organized the Last Fling in 1966 and passed it on to the Jaycees in 1981. Kiwanis
Born in 1915, again in Detroit, the local club was founded in 1955. Kiwanis host an annual Pancake Festival, including a showcase of junior high bands and choirs.Woman’s Club
Started as a literary meeting of local women in 1897, the Woman’s Club provided the first books for Nichols Library. In June, they will host their 60th annual Fine Arts Fair.Junior Woman’s Club
Nationally, Juniors were created in 1932 to encourage service among younger women and Naperville’s chapter started in 1967. They launched Safety Town programs in 1978 with Officer Friendly George Pradel and facilitated Safety Town’s permanent home in 1996.