It is said that volunteering "is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in."
When McKinney residents Jon and Jo Dell'Antonia moved to Texas from OshKosh, Wisconsin, they had recently retired from long and illustrious careers. What they did not retire from was their legacy of volunteerism. While teaching in OshKosh, Jo served on the library board, and Jon, Vice President of Information Technology and member of the Executive Committee for OshKosh B'Gosh, served 10 years on the OshKosh City Council, including two years as Mayor.
Upon their arrival in 2008, both Jon and Jo immediately became invested and involved in the community of McKinney. Jon has served on the Stonebridge Ranch HOA board for ten years and as Board President for the last seven. He currently serves on the Visit McKinney Board and has previously served on the Main Street Board, as well as being chairman of the finance committee for the recent city bond election. As a concerned citizen, Jon has also lead efforts to reroute the U.S. 380 project farther north of its current location, which he feels is of significant importance to McKinney residents, particularly the businesses and residents located on U.S. 380.
Jo has served on the Board of Directors for the McKinney Public Library Systems as well as being Board President for The Friends of the McKinney Public Library, producing such community-wide events as Read Across McKinney, monthly book reviews and an annual Black History Month event.
“Jo Dell’Antonia’s leadership as the President of the Friends of the Library was integral to the revival of important cultural programming at McKinney libraries," McKinney Public Library Director Spencer Smith said. "Library services, and the community as a whole, are better because of her commitment to service."
Jo has also served as an officer for Rainbow Reviews, one of the women's clubs endowed by the Heard-Craig Women's Club Trust, been an officer for the Ranch Ladies Golf Association and served as coordinator for the McKinney Newcomers' Club.
To honor their service, McKinney Mayor George Fuller has declared June 3rd "Dell'Antonia Day" in the city of McKinney.
"Jon and Jo Dell'Antonia have been a tremendous asset to our community," Fuller said. "Serving in many elected and appointed position capacities, Jon and Jo have been engaged in McKinney, constructively and passionately working to make McKinney the best community it can be. I am grateful for their love of our city."
Julie Williams, chairwoman of the Board of the McKinney Chamber of Commerce agrees.
"Jon has been an active member with the McKinney Chamber of Commerce for some time, and we always appreciate his candor and passion for the city," Williams said.
For those interested in following in the Dell'Antonia's footsteps, Volunteer McKinney is an organization that connects people to various volunteer opportunities. Information can be found at their website: volunteermckinney.org/
The headline of this article has been corrected to reflect the correct spelling of Dell'Antonia.