The Buffalo Grove Area Chamber will recognize the Heart of Buffalo Grove Award recipients and nominees at its awards gala on Nov. 23 at the Arboretum Club.
Networking and a cash bar will begin at 6:30 p.m. with dinner at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30, which includes dinner and a champagne toast. The gala is open to the general public. Call the chamber office at (847) 541-7799 for a form or register online.
This year’s honorees are as follows:
Above & Beyond Award - Continued Community Involvement
Steve Rusin is a Buffalo Grove Firefighter/Paramedic and a dedicated volunteer of the Pink Heals Campaign that raises money and awareness of breast cancer research. Steve recently obtained and outfitted a pink heels truck for Northern Illinois. He is a member of the Fire Department’s Honor Guard and he designed and oversaw construction of a memorial patio honoring retired firefighters of Station 26.
Read more about Steve Rusin on Patch:
Above & Beyond Award – Heroism
Brothers Ken & Daniel Hechtman are Buffalo Grove residents who were driving home from their restaurant in Skokie when the semi-trailer in front of them struck a car that burst into flames. They pulled over. Daniel ran to the truck and pulled the driver and his wife from the truck seconds before the tank exploded. He then stopped the traffic so that Ken could help a woman and her daughter from their burning car. They are currently fundraising at their diner to help the family from the car pay for medical bills.
Read more about the Hechtmans on Patch:
- Buffalo Grove Resident Comes to Crash Victims’ Aid — Again
- Brothers Honored for Saving Passengers from Fiery Crash
Dave Becker is the owner of Wheeling Auto Center in Arlington Heights. He is a member of the Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and services many of the residents of our community. Each year he raises money for the National MS Society, runs an art contest for seven local schools giving each participant an Oberwies gift certificate. Dave loans the use of his box truck to organizations and donates tools to other auto shops that have been devastated by disaster. He supports local food banks, the Great Lakes Adaptive Society Association, Clearbrook and Usborne Books. David also runs a program for Boy Scouts to earn their automotive merit badge.
Mike Brown has been a helpful neighbor, volunteer and organizer for many years in the community. He assists his neighbors by providing companionship to shut-ins and assisting with repairs and projects inside and outside their homes. Mike and his wife prepare and ship care packages to Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq. He organizes a group of men to do needed projects at a halfway use for abused women in Chicago and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity and local food pantries. He has served on the committee for the Saint Mary Men’s Club Super Bowl Party and St. Vincent de Paul Charity Golf Outing and is an active member of the Saint Mary Men’s Club. He also brings communion to residents at a local nursing home.
Jane Sherlock is an active volunteer in the community and at Saint Mary Church. She has been an active member and officer of the Saint Mary Women’s Club, a member and officer of the Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women, chairperson of the Christmas Giving Tree Program which donates presents to Wings, House of the Good Shepard and a Waukegan Seniors Group. Jane has organized the collection of several thousand cell phones for homeless and domestic abuse victims, winter coats for those in need and has volunteered many hours for PADS at Kingswood Methodist Church. She also serves as a Eucharistic Minister and a Minister of Care, visiting incapacitated members of Saint Mary Church who cannot attend services.
Teach & Inspire
Andrew Conneen is the AP Government and AP Comparative Government teacher at Stevenson High School. Mr. Conneen has inspired his students for 15 years to engage in our republic’s highest office…the office of citizen. His students have met with political figures, led voter registration drives and served as election judges. For nine years, Mr. Conneen has lobbied legislators to get the Suffrage at 17 law passed by the state allowing 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections if they will turn 18 by the time of the general election. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law at Stevenson High School on July 3. The law takes effect on Jan. 1.
Read more about Suffrage at 17 on Patch:
- Stevenson-Led Effort Results in New Illinois Election Law
- Gov. Quinn Visits Stevenson to Sign Voting Bill Into Law
Together We Can
The BG Days Committee is a group composed of nearly 60 Buffalo Grove residents and business people who volunteer their time to run the village’s biggest event … BG Days. With liaisons from the Village, Park District, Police and Fire Departments and the Chamber of Commerce, the committee plans all aspects of the festival from entertainment to food, fireworks to parade, special programs for kids with disabilities and everything in between. This year, the group’s disaster plan was put into effect twice during severe storms. Several thousand festival-goers were evacuated and no one was injured. Both times the committee worked together to get the festival safely back into operation quickly and efficiently.
Read more about the Buffalo Grove Days committee on Patch:
- Buffalo Grove Days Requires 'Hundreds and Hundreds of Hours' of Volunteer Work
- Volunteers Make Buffalo Grove Days Possible
Youth Volunteer Award
Alex Randell is a 5th-grader whose older brother has Canavan Disease, a rare neurological disease that degenerates the brain. Most children with this disease die by the age of 10. Alex’s brother, Max, is now 15 years old and Alex has made it his main duty to protect his brother. At the age of 2 ½, Alex stuffed envelopes and began making short speeches at fundraising events for Canavan Research Illinois. Last Memorial Day, Alex traveled to Bethesda, Maryland with his mother to tell Max’s story and plea for government funding before scientists from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and from National Institutes of Health. Alex wants to become a medical researcher when he grows up.
Other award nominees included:
- Elaine Anclade — Senior Volunteer
- Karen Danenberg — Above & Beyond
- Meredith Duggan — Teach & Inspire
- EMMA Group — Together We Can
- Paulette Greenberg — Community Volunteer
- Kathleen McDaniel — Community Volunteer
- Bill Monsen — Community Volunteer
- Nino’s Pizzeria — Business Philanthropy
- Dr. Jacqueline Rosen — Above & Beyond
- Saint Mary Men’s Club — Together We Can
- Saint Mary Scouts — Youth Volunteer
- Ricardo Sanchez — Above & Beyond
- Enid Silverman — Teach & Inspire
- St. Vincent de Paul Society — Together We Can
- Stan Zoller — Teach & Inspire