Chad Smits, Dispatch Manager in Illinois North, was born and raised in a Christian home in an environment where helping people and being there for others has been a big part of his life.
Recently, Chad served as committee chairman for a volunteer group at his church to coordinate the Maywood Youth Leadership Golf Outing. The purpose of the event is to raise funds needed to support the church’s youth program, with 100% of proceeds going towards AWANA, Tutoring Club, Sports Ministry, leadership training and camps.
“I had been a committee member in years past,” said Chad. “I decided this year to be chairman to hold myself accountable and set a better example for my kids that being involved in the church is important.”
While taking on the chairman role brought about new responsibilities for Chad and required him to step out of his comfort zone, the end result was well worth it. “I’m not really a golfer, so I was nervous to take on the responsibility but willing to take the risk,” said Chad. “The right volunteers landed in my lap and things went really well.”
Really well, indeed. This year’s event, which was held in June at the Prairie View Golf Club in Byron, IL, was one of the most successful outings in the event’s 10-year history, raising a total of $26,000.
In addition to helping support his church and his community, the chairman role also brought about new relationships for Chad. “The last thing I expected was to get good friends out of it, but I walked away from the event having all kinds of relationships and being a mentor to many people.”
How does Chad’s story align with Ozinga’s purpose to make a positive impact on individuals, their families and the community for generations? “I’m intentional about living our purpose in my community. Over the years, my personal mantra has become ‘Make a difference from the chair you sit in.’ I will never get to be an Ozinga, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a difference from where I’m at. I’m helping to build the future in our community by helping provide leadership opportunities for our youth.”