JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Terry D’Arcy, president of D’Arcy Automobiles, have teamed together to present the Spanish Community Center in Joliet with a new van to transport clients to and from various community programs and social services provided by the center.
State’s Attorney Glasgow and D’Arcy, a community business leader and local philanthropist, presented the colorfully decorated 15-seat passenger van to Spanish Community Center Executive Director Elizabeth Nevarez during a dedication ceremony outside the center on Thursday afternoon. The van was blessed by the Rev. Jose Luis Torres Pedraza, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Joliet, during the ceremony.
The van will be used to transport local youths to and from various programs and field trips, including a baseball program hosted by the Spanish Community Center. Transportation to and from the program has been a major hurdle for young people who want to participate in the program. The center also will use the van to transport local leaders to and from rallies and legislative events in Springfield during which they advocate on behalf of youth programs.
In addition, Nevarez said the center will use the van to transport homeless families to and from shelter services as well as for senior citizens who need medication and food pantry services.
“As a community-based organization that provides educational, recreational and social services to citizens from throughout the city, we expect this new van to serve an important role in our daily work,” Nevarez said. “We thank Terry D’Arcy and State’s Attorney Glasgow for their willingness to help the community through this donation to the Spanish Community Center. These gentlemen are leading the way for others to follow in pulling this community together for a better and stronger Joliet and Will County.”
The State’s Attorney used money seized from criminals who were engaged in illegal activities to fund half of the cost of the van that was presented to the Spanish Community Center on Thursday. D’Arcy generously covered the remaining cost of the van from his dealership.
Glasgow and D’Arcy joined former Joliet Police Chief Michael Trafton in a similar venture that provided two transport vans for after-school programs at the Forest Park Community Center in Joliet. In addition, the State’s Attorney used forfeiture funds several years ago to purchase an ADA-accessible bus for use by the Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County.
“It is critical that we step up to help community organizations like the Spanish Community Center provide the programs and services that enrich our neighborhoods and that are so important to children, families and senior citizens,” Glasgow said. “We must eliminate the obstacles – in this case, basic transportation services – that prevent these organizations from performing their important work and reaching as many people as possible.”
D’Arcy added: “I am pleased we were able to help provide the van to the Spanish Community Center. It’s certain to help with the transportation needs for all the programs the center offers. Our intentions were to bring awareness to the Spanish Community Center with the graphics on the van showcasing some of the important services it offers. This will help get the word out that the center is here to assist the people in our community”
The Spanish Community Center is a community-based organization dedicated to providing educational and social services in Joliet. Over the last four decades, the Spanish Community Center has evolved from an agency helping only the Spanish-speaking people of the area to an agency providing help to the entire community. Today’s programs and services welcome all members of the community regardless of race or ethnic origin. For more information, visit online at www.spanishcenter.org.