Gratitude and appreciation abound at 25th Annual Awards Luncheon by gdf57j


Fall 2004
                         A quarterly newsletter of Anixter Center
                                                                                                       Focus and
                                                                                                       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 through 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

                                                               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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