Longtime Naperville family recognized at KidsMatter Empower Gala

Belgio family on stage at KidsMatter Empower Gala receiving an award
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KidsMatter presented the Belgio family with the KidsMatter 2023 Kid’s Champion Award at its annual Empower Gala at The Matrix Club on Friday.

Support of KidsMatter since the start

The Belgio family was recognized for its support of KidsMatter with countless hours and dollars since the organization’s inception. The group noted just some of the ways the family had contributed to KidsMatter’s cause over the years.

Tom Belgio served on the board from 2009 to 2014, serving as treasurer for most of that time. He also donated food to the first Skater’s Picnic event.

Tim Belgio worked with Tom to support KidsMatter’s requests for funding. Beyond that, he serves as a member of Sunrise Rotary, and gives both his time and financial support to a wide range of community causes.

Tom’s daughter Avery started her support of KidsMatter at the age of 5. She had attended the Skater’s Picnic, a free event, and noted that the group was accepting donations. A few weeks later she chipped in $1.50 that she had collected for the cause. She’s now a member of the Senior High Board.

Avery’s mom, Elizabeth Belgio, was asked by IdaLynn Wenhold, former executive director of KidsMatter, to assist in creating a junior high KidsMatter Board. Elizabeth worked with Gina Sharp and Dr. Cathy Subber to do so, and got support from Avery who encouraged other students to get involved.

Teri Belgio, sister of Tim and Tom, served as a point person in the KidsMatter office, taking part in countless meetings throughout the years.

And during the SpringBoard Series Summer program, their other sibling, Mike, helped with transportation.

KidsMatter saluted the entire family for “exemplifying the dedication, optimism and mutual support that makes families strong.”

KidsMatter’s mission to help young people in Naperville area

KidsMatter is a Naperville-based nonprofit that helps young people build positive values, self-esteem, and healthy relationships.

Its Empower Gala is an annual event, which this year was fittingly held on National Youth Confidence Day.

The guest speaker for the event was Rudy Ruettiger, a Notre Dame football alumnus whose story of perseverance was immortalized in the film, “Rudy.” He spoke about the importance of having the confidence to push forward through adversity, and make the most out of each day.

The Belgio family now joins other past honorees of the KidsMatter Kid’s Champion Award, who include retired Naperville police chief Bob Marshal, and former executive director of the Naperville Park District, Ray McGury.

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