Spirito! Singers is proud to honor Dan Gibbons as our 2013 Autumn Voices Service Award recipient. He embodies what we hope to model for our young choristers – hearts and hands for service to the people in our communities.
Daniel T. Gibbons is perhaps best known for the annual Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot, held on Thanksgiving Day in Elmhurst, which has raised over $2.7 million to provide hunger relief over the past 29 years. But Mr. Gibbons has a long history of working directly to solve some our communities’ most pressing needs.
Dan, who was born in Oak Park and grew up in Elmhurst, graduated from Immaculate Conception High School, attended Quincy College and served for six years in the Illinois National Guard, knew he had to do more.
In 1999, Dan accepted a job with the Women and Family Services Division of the Illinois Department of Corrections to assist in a reunification program which helps reunite incarcerated mothers with their minor children.
In 2004, he accepted a position as Director of Development for the non-profit Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation and later that year, after the retirement of Executive Director Beverly D. Decker, the Federation's board of directors appointed Dan to the post in July 2005.
Bowing to the reality that nothing remains the same, Dan closed the doors to the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation in 2011, due to drastic reductions in government funding.
The Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot was founded to benefit the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation. Following its dissolution, the Turkey Trot committee researched - with help from Mary Keating, DuPage County's Director of Community Services - the best way to provide services to all corners of the county. The result was the establishment of seven primary recipients:
- United Community Concerns Association [UCCA]
- DuPage PADS
- People's Resource Center
- Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry
- West Suburban Community Pantry
- Catholic Charities - DuPage Emergency Services
- DuPage Senior Citizens Council
In February of 2013, Dan accepted the position of Senior Development Officer for Catholic Charities, in keeping with his 30 years of non-profit work in area of human needs. As a life-long DuPage County resident, Gibbons is looking forward to this new opportunity: “I'm excited to be putting all of my efforts into helping our most under-served and vulnerable neighbors in DuPage County.”
Dan has received many awards, including an Oliver Award from the Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation; a Commendation from the DuPage County Board; a Distinguished Citizen Award from State Senator Dan Cronin; a Commendation for Fighting Hunger from President Bill Clinton; an Illinois House of Representatives Resolution from State Representative Bob Biggins and an Appreciation Award from Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Spirito! is thrilled to have you as part of our family.