Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Weishaar, Outreach Director, 708-588-2282

Illinois Park & Recreation Association Donates Bikes to 360 Youth Services


La Grange –The Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA) has partnered with Western Illinois University to offer its Leadership Academy - an intensive five-month program that benefits park and recreation professionals, regardless of what stage they are in their career. There are two levels to the Academy and the curriculum at each level focuses on building great leaders to strengthen parks and recreation agencies. 

The 2019-2020 Leadership Academy curriculum includes team building exercises and philanthropic efforts to better our community. On November 19, 2019, 47 participants from the Leadership Academy built bikes for a local non-profit, 360 Youth Services. 
After attending morning educational sessions, teams participated in a bike building scavenger hunt in order to acquire bike parts needed to assemble their bike. The day ended with a debriefing that discussed why the task was important to their development as leaders.  The Leadership Academy Board of Regents and attendees donated the eight bikes they assembled to 360 Youth Services, a substance abuse and prevention group based out of Naperville. 

‘We are very fortunate to offer our attendees leadership development opportunities both in and out of the classroom. Being able to help a fantastic organization like 360 Youth Services with our team building was a win-win for everyone involved.’ – Matt Russian, Executive Director of the Pleasant Dale Park District and Chair of the Leadership Academy. 

‘These bikes support kids who are at risk for substance abuse to get to school, work, and other positive activities in their community. Teaching leadership through service is what sets the IPRA Leadership Academy apart from other leadership training programs.’ – Debbie Trueblood, CAE, IPRA Executive Director.

It is the mission of 360 Youth Services to provide life-changing services to youth through substance abuse prevention education, counseling and housing. To learn more, visit:

Established in 1944, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s mission is to provide and promote exceptional standards of education, networking, and resources for all professionals in the Illinois Park, recreation, and conservation communities. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website: