Derek Fox


Observer Columnist

Would you believe me if I said there is something existing around you each day that you may not pay any attention to?

Something that you contribute to but may not be directly involved? 

Or, put it this way: If you were a member of something, and took advantage of the benefits of that “membership,” would you want to make sure you could keep receiving those awesome benefits? 

It may not come as a surprise to you that this “membership” I speak of is the community you live in! 

I grew up in DeWitt. I was born and raised, and now work as a young professional here. Growing up, I never fully understood the value and importance of getting involved in my community. I was a “member” but just reaped the benefits. I didn’t grasp on to the fact that there are hundreds of people who work day in and day out to make DeWitt a better place. 

So there I was, loving life and thinking how great it is to grow up and live in such a fantastic community, not even paying attention to the fact that the community itself is made up of people who want to sustain or grow it to the next level. Once I started my career in DeWitt, I soon realized this and became energized. I couldn’t wait to see where I could spend my time so that it isn’t only rewarding to me, but to others as well. 

A few things I dedicate my time to throughout the year are the DeWitt Crossroads Youth/Adult Triathlons, Junior Achievement, the DeWitt Volunteer Fire Department, and my church family. Each of these things I find passion in and enjoy seeing how they contribute to the community. 

The key to getting involved is to find something you’re passionate about. If you don’t find passion in it, then it’s oftentimes not rewarding. This may require you to test the waters. You may sign up to be on a board or committee and find out it isn’t for you, and that’s OK.

 You’ll eventually figure it out and it will take off. 

I want to encourage you to get involved. Look for new opportunities within the next month and figure out the areas where you can make a difference. You’ll find out that it’s a lot easier than you think. This could include teaching a Junior Achievement class in your local school district, volunteering at a community event, or even something as simple as keeping the area clean by picking up trash along your daily walk or run route.

 Find out the benefits of living in a small community, and who knows, you may find other opportunities along the way.

I’ll leave you with an easy idea to start getting involved: Rock and Roll Bingo, set for Saturday, April 27, at Murphy’s Pub in DeWitt. 

This event benefits Junior Achievement. Doors open at 6 p.m. The fun starts at 7 p.m. This could be a great event to attend if you’d like to learn more about Junior Achievement or if you like music.

Throughout the next few months I’ll write additional columns. I can’t wait to give you a glimpse at some of the things I get to be involved in on a daily basis. I look forward to sharing them with you all.

Derek Fox is a DeWitt resident who works and resides in his hometown and enjoys volunteering with various DeWitt organizations.