Little Friends Celebrity Bartending Showdown

Please join Little Friends as they kick off their annual Giving Tree Program with this very special event. The Celebrity Bartending Showdown will engage two community leaders – Dan Casey and Ray Kinney – and their hand-selected teams of celebrity bartenders in a fierce competition to benefit Little Friends’ Giving Tree program. There is no cost to attend, although Little Friends will benefit from tips collected by the celebrity bartenders. Little Friends will also be collecting donations of gift cards to local stores (Casey’s Foods, Jewel, Meijer, Walmart and Target) to be distributed to clients and families struggling to make ends meet this holiday season. Please view our Giving Tree Program page (under Events) or simply click here for additional information and ways to help. Thank you for your generous support!

Alfred Bersted Foundation Makes Center for Autism Move Possible

Little Friends would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Alfred Bersted Foundation for their generous support, which made it possible for the Center for Autism to relocate to our main Naperville campus. The new facilities provide more treatment rooms and waiting areas for parents, as well as a fully-equipped training room to host workshops for our staff, community schools and other organizations.

The Little Friends Center for Autism (LFCA) originally opened in 2004 to provide comprehensive diagnostic evaluations for autism, which can be difficult to obtain outside of a university hospital setting. Each year, LFCA conducts over 125 evaluations and re-evaluations for clients 18 months old through adulthood. Our gold-standard assessment process not only delivers a thorough diagnosis, but also includes extensive recommendations for achieving continued success at home and in school.

We know that a child will only be able to lead a fulfilling life if we are able to understand his/her unique challenges and can customize a teaching routine that best accommodates his/her learning style; which is why our team of skilled, experienced clinicians provides an extensive treatment plan – not just a diagnosis. We also know that the earlier you diagnose and treat a child, the more likely they are to be successful.

The Alfred Bersted Foundation was established in 1972 to support and promote quality educational, human services, and health care programming for underserved populations. The Alfred Bersted Foundation specifically serves the people of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, & McHenry counties in Illinois – our community.

Little Friends Parade of Lights Scheduled for November 27th!

Little Friends Parade of Lights will continue to brighten downtown Naperville this holiday season!

The Little Friends Parade of Lights is on for Sunday, November 27th, beginning at 6 p.m. While there were indeed significant logistical issues related to the safety of parade participants and spectators, Little Friends, along with the Downtown Naperville Alliance and Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico, have found a way to continue this popular, family-friendly event.

Little Friends worked with the Downtown Naperville Alliance and the Naperville Police Department to find a route that addresses safety concerns for those attending and minimizes the closing of streets and its effect on street parking. It was and continues to be the goal of all involved to mitigate disruption to merchants and holiday shoppers during this retail-oriented weekend.

“We are very pleased to be able to continue to provide this family-centered event for our clients and our supporters,” Kristi Landorf, Little Friends CEO, said. “Our clients love the parade, and the outpouring of support we have received is appreciated.”

“Downtown Naperville is a special place throughout the year,” said Chris Finck, Downtown Naperville Alliance Board Chairman, “but during the holiday season, it is magical, and we hope folks will come out and show their support for Little Friends at the wonderful Parade of Lights! We are proud to partner with Little Friends as they continue to support those in our community with special needs.”

“I am just happy we were able chart a path to yes,” said Mayor Steve Chirico. “We value the work Little Friends does and we understand the challenge of having events in our downtown core. We look forward to having thousands of visitors line the parade route and kick off the holiday season in style.”

The parade route will kick off on Jackson Avenue at Centennial Beach at 6 p.m. and head east to Main Street then north to Van Buren. With floats and more than 50 groups set to participate, the parade will last between 60 and 90 minutes.