Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon Gawenda

Some people talk about making a difference – Sharon Gawenda actually does. As the Volunteer Board of Director’s President, a house manager, a bartender, and a volunteer, Sharon’s altruistic nature shines as brightly as her smile. Wearing many different hats at the Rialto makes life interesting for her. Sharon’s first memory of the Rialto is as a child viewing the film Snow White on our big movie screen; she even remembers the location of the seat she sat in during the film. What made her become a volunteer? Her cousin already volunteered here and she would soon be retiring from 30 years of employment at Nicor Gas… that was 7 years ago. She has made many friends here and says, “We are a family”.

Growing up in Joliet, Sharon has seen many artists grace the magnificent Rialto stage. Her favorite or most memorable performance was of Glen Campbell because he is an icon. She feels blessed to have been able to be a patron and enjoy his wonderful music. “Knowing that Mr. Campbell was and is dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease made his ability to perform even more special”. One thing you might not know is that she wanted to become an interior designer and that’s why she is always remodeling her home. Her perfect day consists of “everything just falling into place”. Here at the Rialto we think everything just fell into place when Sharon decided to become a volunteer. Sharon hopes to make a difference and she does!