Options Fall 2004 A quarterly newsletter of Anixter Center INSIDE: Focus and persistence rewarded. Page 5 Volume XX No. 2 Gratitude and appreciation abound at 25th Annual Awards Luncheon N early 500 supporters gathered for Anixter Center’s 25th Annual Awards Luncheon on Oct. 29 at Hilton Chicago and Towers. Presenting sponsors at this year’s luncheon were Land O’Frost, Mesirow Financial and Walgreens; Fifth Third Bank was the lead sponsor. The event was emceed by Board Chair Reneé Lumpkin, who kicked off the festivities by welcoming Allan I. Bergman. Allan joined Anixter Center as president and CEO in July. The first award was a “sentimental favorite,” the presentation of the Lester and Rosalie Spirit of Life Award to Stuart G. Ferst, who retired from Anixter Center earlier Allan I. Bergman, left, president and CEO of Anixter Center, greeted retired this year after 35 years of service. agency President and CEO Stuart G. Ferst, the recipient of the Lester and “I couldn’t have done it without Rosalie Anixter Spirit of Life Award. the work of thousands of people who have worked with people the award. “For many budget in February before most of with disabilities to make this a years, the Illinois its funding was restored. Referring better world,” Stuart said. In Legislative Latino to the caucus’ efforts on behalf of presenting the award, Reneé said, Caucus has supported Lekotek, Sen. del Valle said: “From “Stuart found employment for Anixter Center and the beginning, our caucus had people deemed ‘unemployable’ the people we serve,” Allan said. Lekotek on the list.” and refuted prevailing stereotypes “We are grateful that we can rely about people with disabilities.” on such staunch advocates in the Lincoln Park resident Caitlin Pultz state legislature in these uncertain received the Sheldon L. Siegel Allan then presented the (newly fiscal times in Springfield.” The Volunteer of the Year Award for renamed) Stuart G. Ferst Legislator Humboldt Park-based National her dedication to Anixter Center’s of the Year Award to the Illinois Lekotek Center, a division of Literacy Program. While assisting Legislative Latino Caucus. Sen. Anixter Center, was eliminated in an individual with reading, Miguel del Valle (D-2) accepted the governor’s proposed state Please see Luncheon, Page 4 HIGH ON LIFE Sobriety and community living are keys to progress R ena had been in and out of substance abuse treatment for several years. She lost custody of her two young daughters and moved between nurs- The following is the text of a letter Rena wrote ing homes and day programs while coping with a summarizing her experiences in Anixter Center’s drug addiction and severe mental illness. She finally Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment program. found some stability in her life after she had an epiphany while hospitalized. “When I first came to treat- ment 5 year ago I didn’t take “I had a chance to look at where I was,” says Rena my treatment serious. I (pronounced Renee). “I had a spiritual awakening.” moved to a place were I got high every day and I was in and out of the treatment 3 With the assistance of Anixter Center’s Outpatient year later I came back to Substance Abuse Program, Rena has been clean for treatment and I was stable two years. Maureen Donovan, a former counselor in things was looking up for me. the program, says Rena had been in denial about chemical dependency and her mental illness. This time I had spended a year in a group home were I Rena “[Her progress] was a combination of her was clean one year before I determination and willingness to accept feedback,” went into a nursing home. Thin reenter treat at says Maureen. “She continues to learn every day. this time I was on the up and up process were It has not been easy at all.” thing start to turn for the best. Outpatient Substance Abuse develops individualized When I started treatment my life was a mess I would do thing that if I was at my right frame of strategies that recognize the unique needs of people mind I wouldn’t have done it. But being under the who have a co-existing disability besides an alcohol influence of uncontrol substance lead me to do. or other drug addiction. In addition to addressing addiction, the program assists individuals with anger Now sense I have been in treatment I was able to management, stress reduction and decision making get in a indepent living apartment, a job, continu- while providing referrals to Anixter Center’s Literacy, ing to go to meeting, meet my sponsor weekly, job training and Residential programs. family life is better and I’m happy continue and going to church on a regular basis!” In July 2003, Rena moved to Anixter Center’s Jarvis residence, a shared apartment setting for people diagnosed with mental illness. Since March 2004, she Maureen, a familiar face, now is a mental health has worked as a homemaker for senior citizens. She professional at Jarvis. She assists Rena with her still attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. parenting skills and other life skills like medication management. Rena is enjoying her newfound Rena aims to live independently and regain custody stability. She likes seeing the smiles on the faces of of her children. She’s made great progress toward the senior citizens she works with. And she spends as that goal, says Jarvis Manager Chris Kalantzis. much time as possible on weekends with her 6- and 7-year-old daughters. “She’s adapted really easily here,” Chris says. “There aren’t too many individuals who we serve who can “Every day is a new day,” Rena says. “I know I can get back on their feet in that period of time.” do it one day at a time.” Page 2 Options Fall 2004 Mount Prospect Eagle Scout designs accessible picnic tables for Evanston pediatric home In the summer of 2003, Kurt a picnic table that met the Lindeman, a Life Scout in Troop requirements of the Americans 69 in Glenview, Ill., was seeking with Disabilities Act (ADA) inspiration for a service project and accommodated the largest that would help him earn his of the children’s wheelchairs. Eagle Scout Rank, the highest He built a model of the table, distinction in Boy Scouts. As which was enthusiastically luck and perfect timing would approved by Reva and Janet. have it, the ideal project occurred to him as a result of During the summer of 2004, his participation in Anixter Kurt, 17, raised funds to sup- Center’s “Kids Volunteer Day” port his effort. Wolmanized at the Evanston Children’s Accessible picnic tables are a welcome wood was donated by Edward Home in August. While visiting addition to the back yard at Evanston Home. Hines Lumber of Evanston and the home for children who are Eagle Scout Kurt Lindeman led a project to Heller Lumber of Arlington medically fragile, Kurt learned design and build the tables this past summer. Heights. Other supplies were that the youngsters didn’t have donated by Kurt’s family. The access to an area where they could easily assemble tables were assembled in August 2004 by scouts and outside for recreation. To remedy that situation, he assistant scoutmasters from several troops; 11 work- proposed building wheelchair-accessible picnic tables ers contributed 165 hours of labor to complete the for use by the children and their attendants to help project. Later that month, two custom-designed make the most of the home’s back yard. Evanston wheelchair-accessible picnic tables were delivered to Home Manager Reva Anderson and Assistant the home – just in time for Labor Day weekend. The Manager Janet Lopez embraced the suggestion. tables were a big hit with both kids and staff! After searching the Internet in vain for existing building plans for a table to accommodate four Kurt is the son of Martha Lindeman, director of wheelchairs and four seated attendants, Kurt soon finance for Anixter Center. Anixter Center realized he’d have to develop a prototype himself. congratulates Kurt on his good work, and we are With the assistance of his scoutmaster, Kurt designed most thankful for his efforts. Resident contributes to painting that since 1989, and he has been an Anixter Center resident since 1998. wins top spot at new CARF building According to Northpointe’s Thomas Marquardt, a resident of created the vibrant 42-inch square Connie Kammerzelt, the work Anixter Center’s 18th Street CILA painting using their hands, brush- was completed over the course (Community Integrated Living es, marbles and other tools. of a month. The artists worked Arrangement) in Zion, Ill., recently “Summer” was selected as the on “Summer” individually or in accepted a Resolution of winner from among a field of pairs. The painting soon will be Commendation from the Zion City 2,200 paintings recently submitted shipped to Washington for its Council, presented by Mayor Lane to CARF (the Commission on installation at CARF. “We will Harrison. This was in recognition Accreditation of Rehabilitation miss having it here,” says Connie. of an original work of art, Facilities) to adorn its soon-to- “You could see the joy in our “Summer,” painted by Fifteen open building in Washington, D.C. clients as they produced this Hands of Northpointe, a group of Thomas has attended the painting.” We would like to artists with severe and profound Developmental Training Program congratulate Tom, and we thank developmental disabilities. They at Northpointe Resources Inc. him for his contributions. Fall 2004 Options Page 3 Director of Government Relations Joel Kurzman, from left, Tekki Lomnicki, with State Sen. Miguel del Valle (D-2), President and CEO co-founder and artistic Allan I. Bergman, Director of CALOR Omar Lopez, and director of Tellin’ Tales Latino Caucus members State Sen. Iris Martinez (D-20), Danna Mudra of Hu-Friedy with Theatre in Chicago, State Rep. Susana Mendoza (D-1), State Rep. Linda Anixter Center’s Christopher was the featured Chapa LaVia (D-83), State Rep. Cynthia Soto (D-4) and Math speaker at the event. State Rep. Maria Antonia Berrios (D-39). Jennie Ramazinski Miller, Barry Lohman and Carol Neiger of ABC 7 reporter Diana Cruz, Dr. Alberto Manalo Caitlin Pultz and Anixter NeigerDesignInc. Karen Meyer and Gloria Petty of ACCESS at Center’s Amy Laboy Anixter Center Luncheon, from Page 1 people through Anixter Center Lekotek Center. “We really feel writing and basic since 2002 to work in its food like we’re the lucky ones,” said computer skills, service operation. Carol Neiger. “We have the oppor- Caitlin also is an tunity to help make lives better for active member of Hu-Friedy Mfg. Co. Inc., a dental the families served by Lekotek.” Anixter Center’s instruments manufacturer, was Human Rights honored as Customer of the Year. Last, the Partnership Award Committee. Since November 1999, Hu-Friedy recognized ACCESS Community Jackie Hallberg has awarded Anixter Center Health Network for its commit- of Goodwill ABC 7 reporter contracts totaling $170,000. “Hu- ment to people with disabilities at Services Karen Meyer Friedy is grateful to work with ACCESS at Anixter Center, a received Anixter Center’s first- Anixter Center and believes in its federally qualified health center ever Media Champion Award. great mission,” Hu-Friedy Senior on Clybourn Avenue that specifi- “There’s nothing more important Marketing Communications cally provides services to people to me than educating the public Coordinator Danna Mudra said. with disabilities. “The dedicated about people with disabilities,” staff of the clinic have extended said Karen. Evanston-based NeigerDesignInc. themselves beyond the typical role received the Distinguished Service of a health care provider to meet Goodwill Services at the Great Award. The design firm has the special needs of their Lakes Naval Training Center was contributed thousands of dollars patients,” Anixter Center Medical honored as Employer of the Year. of in-kind marketing services Services Coordinator Pat Conway Goodwill Services has hired 23 through the years to the National said in presenting the award. Page 4 Options Fall 2004 Award recognizes The Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF) honored Harvey’s dedication with its William Schneider Achievement Award during its years of focus 29th Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield on Oct. 21. The award is presented each year to an individual Harvey Walter’s pursuit of an associate’s degree receiving services through an IARF member in computer science was a methodical one. It agency who has progressed, in spite of his required late nights on the Red Line train to or her disability, to a more normalized, Truman College and long days on the job independent lifestyle. and then at school. But Harvey’s focus never wavered. “Being honored was bigger than words,” Harvey says. “Harvey is very focused and very goal- oriented,” says Patricia Chigbue of Anixter The CILA Intermittent Program (CIP) Center’s CILA (Community Integrated provides services to individuals in need Living Arrangement) Intermittent of skill development and occasional staff Program. “Harvey is a go-getter.” support. The program assists Harvey, who has cerebral palsy and seizure disorders, Harvey began classes at Truman in 1998. Last with skills like cooking and socialization. May, his perseverance was rewarded as he received his degree in a ceremony at the Harvey Walter “Finishing his degree has given Harvey a big Aragon Ballroom. boost,” says case worker Margaret Ross. “There were times I could have quit, but I didn’t,” Now Harvey’s taking the next step. He’s studying at Harvey says. “I’ve come to realize no matter how Northeastern Illinois University and hopes to earn tough it is, you just keep plugging along.” his bachelor’s degree. Philanthropy Update In support of CALOR Programs and Services In support of Lekotek of Humboldt Park Hearts Foundation Polk Bros. Foundation In support of Chicago Hearing Society’s In support of National Lekotek Center’s Audiology Program Programs and Services Foundation for Health Enhancement Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust Polk Bros. Foundation Henry W. Bull Foundation Washington Square Health Foundation Marshall Fields Project Imagine Target Corporation In support of Chicago Hearing Society’s Youth Program Circle of Service Foundation Life is Good, Inc. Link to Amazon.com through Anixter.org this holiday season. A portion of your purchase will benefit Anixter Center. Fall 2004 Options Page 5 Options • Vol. XX • No. 2 • Fall 2004 The mission of the Lester and Rosalie Anixter Center is to assist people with disabilities to live and work successfully in the community. Anixter Center is a leading provider of high- quality vocational, residential and educational options, sub- stance abuse prevention and treatment, and health care. Anixter Center is an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities to be full and equal members of the community. Editorial Offices Development Department 6610 North Clark Street Chicago, IL 60626-4062 To make a donation or gift-in-kind, or to request information, call: (773) 973-7900, ext. 226; (773) 973-2180 TTY www.anixter.org Allan I. Bergman, President and CEO Chicago Hearing Society celebrates milestone Editors Betsy Storm, Mary Kozil and Bob Dolgan Chicago Hearing Society (CHS) staff, sign language The Lester and Rosalie Anixter Center is a nonprofit interpreters and other friends gathered recently to charitable organization with various programs accredited celebrate the 25th anniversary of CHS’ interpreter services. and/or licensed by one or more of the following: CARF, the Among those in attendance included, standing, from left Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department to right: Diana Thorpe, Denise Van Vliet, Leticia Del Real, of Human Services. Anixter Center is a member of the Amy Venditti, Sherry Alford, Jill Sahakian, Michael Albert United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and the Illinois and Will Lee; and, seated, from left to right, Emily Shaw, Association of Rehabilitation Facilities. Anixter Center is a April Booze, Maggie Lopez and Kevin Jackson. designated Helen Keller Center Affiliate.
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