Research has shown, it takes the support of 5 adults (outside of their family) to nurture a child into a healthy, productive adulthood

Got an hour and want to give an hour or more of your precious time?  The process in which we enlist the help of volunteers is very user friendly.  The first step is to contact the staff directly and express your interest.  They will set up an appointment for you to come in while the center is in operation so that you can see us in action.  A conversation between you, the staff, and a couple of youth will occur that will help us to decide the best way in which to utilize your skills and experiences.  A background check will be completed and upon a favorable result you are all set to go!  Simple and easy!

Some shining examples of our wonderful volunteer staff:

Don Bickel

Don has been with the CanTeen since October 2002.  He is a retired engineer that also volunteers with Meals on Wheels.  He has made a wonderful bridge between the two efforts by bringing teens to MOW to make desserts and emergency kits.  Don has chaperoned many a field trip and is our data entry “guru”.  He is part of the fabric of the center, and we couldn’t picture the center without his presence.

Briana Echols

Briana Echols began her journey with the CanTeen as a participant in 2005 and has continued her relationship with us as a very dedicated adult volunteer. She has given countless hours of her time and energy; building some very long lasting relationships with the teens. She has chaperoned field trips, spent many hours in the kitchen serving spaghetti for our world famous Spaghetti Dinner/Dessert Raffles, and has spent many, many hours at the center assisting the staff and making friends with the CanTeen kids. She is also the volunteer coordinator for the Annual Gus Macker Basketball Tournament.

Julie LaFave

Julie is a fundraising “queen”.  Julie has launched our famous Spaghetti Dinners and the Cornhole Challenge, spent many hours gift wrapping with the teens, and has introduced them to life in the great outdoors.  She also partnered with Lori Lake-Toms to plan, implement and organize a very lucrative benefit for the center. Julie is the tournament director for the Friends of the CanTeen's Gus Macker Basketball Tournament.

Lori Lake-Toms

Lori’s interest in the program sprang from a call to action regarding the recent funding issues.  She is a member of the Town of Cicero Parks and Recreation Commission, and heard of our plight through various media outlets and her connection to the Parks and Recreation Department.  Lori was the driving force behind The Raise the Rent Benefit. Lori is the coordinator of Special Events, such as the Mascot Shoot Out and the dance and shooting competitions for the Gus Macker Basketball Tournament.

Reba Spencer

Mrs. Spencer cooks monthly “family dinners” for the center.  She is an amazing cook and bakes the most delicious desserts.  She represents the Cicero Senior Center and is the secretary for the Greater Cicero Community Youth Board.

Alana Schwarz

Alana has volunteered for our program for longer than most people can even remember. Alana has given well over 1,000 hours of her time over the course of our history.  She has chaperoned trips, made spaghetti, stayed up overnight for lock in's, traveled, and been invaluable to our existance.  "A" as she is affectionately known as, continues to give of her time when asked.


There are many other volunteers that have supported us through the years in various capacities.  Each has brought another arm in the support system that is so desperately needed to keep the center up and functioning.  Please join us!

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