Building The Oasis/Grayslake Youth Center has truly been a grass roots volunteer effort. The original board formed in 2003 and numerous people have served over the years. Huge thanks go out to the following who served in some capacity: Joyce Campbell, Karen Wojciechowski, Robert Wegge, Judy Haga, Ruthie Rubietta, Chuck Carlino, Gerry Carlino, Dan Dalziel, Sherri Dalziel, Terri Hanson, Sharon Wheeler, Stephany Harrington, Ryan Curtis, Greg Henkin, Eric Campbell, Angela Mulcahy, Diana Gwilt, Wendy Petera, Vicki Field, Nikki Rhomberg, Jack Richtman, Jeff Baer, Sam Loeffler, Bryan Gutraj, Dustin Chierico, and lots of students who attended board meetings and contributed ideas.

Once the Village of Grayslake provided a building for our use, we kicked into a new level of volunteer needs. We now needed people who would come and work with their hands and share their expertise, as well as donate or deeply discount the things we needed to equip the center. Phil Kubritz, Architect was the first one to show us guidance, involving Brandon Hatcher, architecture student at UIC, followed by Chuck Loeffler who showed us how to put Phil’s ideas to work. The Grayslake Fire Department came in with sledge hammers and full gear and began to tear the walls down. A group of US Navy Corpsman from Great Lakes Naval Base came over and took down some walls as well. Dozens of local residents came in and enjoyed tearing down cinder block on warm summer days. We were then faced with a building that was thigh deep in broken cinder block. Dave Peregrin to the rescue! We cut a hole in the side of the building large enough to drive a bobcat in and Dave and his son Josh arranged to have all the cinder block loaded up and hauled away.

John Styx was the man who came forward to build and create and shore up the building and make it safe. Al Santi from Santi Construction did all the drawings for us. Montori Electric did all the electrical demolition and rebuilding of the entire electrical system. Warren Electric donated nearly all the light fixtures. Some were donated by Cheryl Hudson-Jackson as well. The drywall and some of the ceiling tiles were donated by USG in Libertyville, more were donated by Kelly Grainger, and the balance were donated by Gypsum Supply in Round Lake. Curt Palicki from North Suburban Drywall took care of the drywall taping. Gil Plumbing donated all the plumbing labor and provided fixtures at cost. Miller’s Area Heating provided all the supplies and labor for the heating and air conditioning systems. Stanley Steemer sent people in to work. Grayslake Youth Baseball Association sent lots of willing hands to help. Becky Derango, Girl Scout, spent hours recovering chairs for the center. Mary Ann Garcia donated booths for our use. Jim Brew donated paper towel and toilet paper dispensers from Georgia Pacific. Multi-maintenance cleaned our old couches and chairs for us. The Grayslake Kiwanis Club gave us a whole morning of “whatever you need”. Best Buy gave us all the electronic equipment we needed at cost. Home Depot of Round Lake Beach gave us massive discounts and gift cards to obtain whatever we needed. Eyes on You Surveillance has donated the security cameras and the installation of the system. GFX International has donated numerous banners for us over the years. Heritage Signs has deeply discounted the exterior sign. The roofing was done by Midwest Roofing and the labor was donated. The skylights were installed by Santi Construction and Midwest Roofing, and Santi Construction also did the trim around the new windows in the band room. Derreck Johnson was kind enough to donate tons of time running around with his huge trailer picking things up for us, as well as building walls and cutting pieces of cinder block out. Amy Edwards was our runner/shopper for a night, allowing the contractors to continue working while she picked up supplies for us. Terry Santi came in at night and cleaned and buffed our new floors until they gleamed! Brian from Home Sweet Home Theater made sure our surround sound and TVs all worked properly as well.

The website and logo were designed by Justin Essenpreis and Ben Hatfield. The sound system was designed by Greg Henkin and Pete Hansen. Hours of labor went into both of these tasks. Fundraising projects were run by four years of Public Service Practicum students at Grayslake Central High School, raising over $25,000. ATC Wegge is handling the payroll for the paid employees at the center.

Meals were sent in for the volunteers by Tastee Freez, Sweet Susies, Mitch’s and Sammie’s of Grayslake. There is no way to list all of the people who have truly helped, but this is a snapshot – there are truly dozens more who have left their sweat within our walls to make this dream a reality.

The copier/fax/printer have been donated by Kevin at Hansen Associates in Grayslake, and a lot of the printing has been donated by Grand Printing of Mundelein. A brand new couch and chairs were donated by Rudolphs of Grayslake and the sound panels were donated by SPI of Libertyville. The floral arrangements were donated by Barb’s Florists, soon to be relocating right behind The Oasis.


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