In Your Community

Roy Bailey and Rudy Dubis scramble each year to find a place for the Batavia ACCESS Committee Toy Drive.

Not just in the fall, when giving to the drive revs up. They need space all year to store items.

"If this is a really great program, can we have a home somewhere?" Bailey asked.

Bailey spoke Tuesday at the Batavia committee of the whole meeting. Mayor Jeff Schielke arranged for seven nonprofit organizations to outline opportunities for Batavians to help out.

The presentations were recorded by BATV for its TV channels and

"There is no other town in the state of Illinois that can do the things Batavia does," a proud Bailey said.

Toy drive

Bailey said the toy drive has operated in 27 places in its 68-year life. Toys are stored "in a hidden place," he said.

What he would like donated is a permanent home, ideally of about 9,000 square space.

Last year the drive helped 600 kids from 300 families.

Write to the committee in care of Batavia City Administrator Laura Newman, Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave.

Food pantry

The Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet serves 320 families a month.

Volunteers welcome people and help them select items, volunteer Eileen Pasero said.

The pantry also needs help sorting and stocking donations.

On April 14 and 15 it needs greeters and stockers for Food Sharing Days. Greeters will stand outside grocery stores and ask people to buy certain items and donate them to the pantry.

The pantry and closet are at 100 Flinn Drive. Volunteer at


The Fourth of July fireworks show is run by volunteers.

"People would be amazed that the work is done by about 10 to 12 people each year," committee member Linda Schielke said.

Committee chairman Mark Davis said it especially needs help the day of the show to coordinate setup of food trucks and to solicit donations in the crowd and parking lots.

The committee could also use help with an ice cream social fundraiser June 10. Its biggest fundraiser is the May 4 and 5 communitywide garage sale. The $35 entry fee goes to the fireworks committee.

To volunteer, write to To sign up for the garage sale, visit

Community band

Linda Schielke is also manager of the Batavia Community Band, which plays at Loyalty Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Oktoberfest and the Celebration of Lights. It is planning a September concert at the Riverwalk.

It practices Monday nights April through November.

Don't worry if your skills are rusty. "It had been decades for me that I hadn't played my drums," she said.

To sign up, email

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