On March 4, a slumber party was at the Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA as part of the Sleep Well, Live Well project. This venture, where 80 beds were donated to 80 children, was made possible because so many community partners were willing to donate their products, services, time and energy.
This project started as a conversation between Mike Ceruzzi, director of operations for Watershed Development, which owns and operates Sterling Aaron’s, Andy Thornton, CEO of Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA, and Kris Noble, executive director of Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, and continued to grow as more community partners became interested in being involved.
This community is a great place to live and work, yet we know that some families may need support as they face difficult times. This event was done to help 80 kids with one of our most basic needs, a good night’s sleep. However, a bed was only part of the undertaking. Another great aspect was the relationship building, as these children and their families were invited to the YMCA for a night of food, fun and fellowship.
After a meal of chicken George, provided by Candlelight Inn, families then participated in games and activities that were administered by Y staff and volunteers. Parents then left for the night, and the slumber party began. Children swam and then climbed into their brand-new beds and watched a movie before lights out.
On Sunday morning, Sterling McDonald’s provided breakfast before parents arrived to pick up their kids. The beds were then delivered to each of the children by the staff at Aaron’s.
Thank you to all our partners who made this possible: Aaron’s, Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA, Candlelight Inn, Sterling McDonald’s, Sterling Wal-Mart, CGH, Sterling Public Schools, Rock Falls District 13, East Coloma, Montmorency and Morrison schools, St. Andrew School, RE/MAX Sauk Valley, U.S. Cellular, Frary Lumber, Angie Rosengren, GPA, Sterling Township, Wesley United Methodist Church, Rock Falls Junior Optimists, Rock Falls High School, and Sterling Police Department.
Note to readers: Kris Noble is executive director of the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, and Andy Thornton is executive director of the Sterling-Rock Falls Family YMCA.