Pasadena Couple Dan And Linda Fox Inspire Others At OBI
By Dylan Roche
Sixteen years ago, Dan and Linda Fox saw Opportunity Builders Inc. (OBI) transform the life of their daughter, Tracy. Since then, the two have maintained active involvement with the organization, giving their time and energy, and developing relationships with OBIs nearly 400 clients.
OBI, as its name denotes, creates opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities, helping them find employment and build social relationships so they can enjoy a more fulfilling life.
Dan and Linda are extremely passionate about OBI and what we do, said Megan Gibbs, the organizations marketing director. They take on a lot of extra tasks and go above and beyond what you would expect a volunteer to do.
Dan and Linda serve on the board for Opportunity Builders Association of Parents as president and treasurer, respectively. They meet with the board three times a year to plan events for OBI staff, clients and families.
Together, the two started the Parent Caregiver Information Exchange, a monthly meeting where parents and caregivers of OBI clients can brainstorm, share knowledge, and discuss issues. Parents need that, Linda explained. You get a lot of support from others.
In February, OBI hosted its annual Mardi Gras celebration. Dan served as the decoration chair, which Gibbs acknowledged is a monumental undertaking. As you can imagine, its quite a challenge to transform a warehouse into a beautiful Mardi Gras party, she said. Dan and Linda do a great job organizing the decorations, deciding what should be in each room, and making sure we have everything we need.
Dan and Linda have a gift for drumming up enthusiasm from other volunteers, many of whom came together to make the evening a memorable one. We do a lot of coordinating of the event, but we couldnt do it without our team of volunteers, Dan said. There are outstanding people who work the event.
Gibbs attributes the enthusiasm of volunteers to the hard work of the Foxes. Because of their outreach, they bring more parents to be involved, she said. As a marketing director, Im extremely appreciative of that - theyve brought in more people than I ever could.
The Mardi Gras celebration kept Dan and Linda at the OBI warehouse for over five hours on Friday, and the final preparation and the event itself took place on Saturday. During the event, they remained constantly on their feet, moving from room to room within the warehouse to ensure everything went smoothly. On Sunday, they returned for clean-up.
While the fundraiser was an incredible success, Dan counts OBIs measure in other ways. The accomplishment of money is nice, but it is much more gratifying to see the effect the organization has on its clients, he acknowledged.
OBI hosts numerous events throughout the year. In October, the organization will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Between volunteer efforts, Dan and Linda enjoy the opportunity to spend time at the warehouse, nurturing relationships with OBIs many clients. Theyre always here, thinking about others, said Gibbs, always giving back.