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Volunteers Honored for Having Heart

The Buffalo Grove Chamber of Commerce awarded its first Heart of Buffalo Grove recipients.

The and co-sponsor hosted the Heart of Buffalo Grove awards ceremony Nov. 19.

Award recipients included:

Linda Rosen, Above & Beyond award

Rosen serves as the president of the Buffalo Grove Arts Commission, which oversees the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival, the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band and its offshoot, the Jazz Band, and many public art projects. She is also the director of the BG Singers and the ensemble.

Rosen previously chaired the 's Performing Arts Council and has participated in many community focus groups.

Marilyn Wagner, The Best Salon & Spa, Business Philanthropy award

Wagner and her husband, Phil, have owned for the 18 years. Wagner has donated about $10,000 annually in gift certificates to various charity and community events. She has helped raise funds at the salon for victims of Hurricane Katrina, the ALS Foundation, provided haircuts for the unemployed, assisted with ’s fashion show and is a member of the , a group of women who participate in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk.

Nancy Winter, Community Volunteer award

Winter served as president of the Parent Association for three years and was the girls golf liaison to the Booster Club and a member of the Parent Advisory Council. She also served as PTO Treasurer at . Winter served on the Village of Buffalo Grove 50th Anniversary Committee, played in the Buddy Baseball game during and is a member the village’s CERT team and Emergency Management Agency. She is also on the alumni board at the College of Lake County, where she co-chairs the activities/events committee which hosts the alumni gala and the annual golf benefit.

Jeff Weiss, Environmentally Friendly award

Weiss is the founder of the Buffalo Grove Environmental Action Team, which assists the Buffalo Grove Park District in protecting its nature areas and removing trash and invasive plant species. He has also organized road clean-ups, electronic recycling days, a bicycle collection program and created exhibits on recycling and energy conservation. Weiss also volunteers at many of the area forest preserves, is a committee member for Chicago Cares, serves at a Waukegan soup kitchen and is a merit badge counselor for Boy Scout Troop 140.

Calli DuSell, Senior Volunteer award

DuSell is a member of the ’s volunteer program. She spends a great deal of time driving department transmittals to various court buildings several times each month. She also volunteers for various programs and activities for the department’s crime prevention division. DuSell is also a member of the CERT Team, the Buffalo Grove Days committee, serves as a director of the Buffalo Grove Friends of the Parks Foundation, a member of St. Mary’s finance committee and is a food pantry volunteer. She also volunteers time at the PADS program and in its food pantry and at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Dean Klassman, Teach & Inspire award

Klassman has been a longtime advocate for those with disabilities. He is a commissioner of the Keshet Buddy Baseball program and a manager of the Buffalo Grove Recreation Association's Buddy Baseball program. Klassman is also a commissioner of the Buffalo Grove Commission for Residents with Disabilities, where he helps to educate the public about the issues of specials needs families. He is a director of the Progressive Services Network and a past board member and vice president for the Center for Enriched Living.

Youth Volunteer award, Buffalo Grove Hammer AZA and Alexander Wziontka

The Buffalo Grove Hammer AZA is a chapter of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO). The chapter is composed of preteen and teenage boys in grades 8-12.

A member of the Buffalo Grove Hammer AZA, , drowned at summer camp this year and to help with their grieving process, the organization sold wristbands to area youth in memory of their friend. The SMILE4WAXY wristbands have already raised more than $2,000 and the organization has purchased a bronze leaf in Jacob’s honor at the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo at Brookfield Zoo. The remainder of the money collected will go into a scholarship program in Jacob’s memory. Hammer AZA also volunteers at WINGS, has held clothing drives and raises money for the Invisible Children organization.

The second winner, Alexander Wziontka, is an Eagle Scout with Troop 140 sponsored by St. Mary Parish. For his Eagle Scout project, Wziontka made and sent solar cooking ovens to earthquake victims in Haiti and to Solar Household Energy, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that promotes solar cooking internationally. He has also earned the bronze, silver and gold Eagle palms representing 15 merit badges beyond his Eagle Scout requirements. He assists other scouts in the troop with their Eagle Scout projects.

Wziontka has participated in road clean-ups, handed out flyers for the police department, helped a veteran’s group place flags at St. Mary Cemetery and organized a shoe drive, Soles for Souls, which earned him the Jimmy Stewart Boy Scout Good Citizen Award. He has achieved highest honors in scouting and is currently the Lakota Lodge Chapter Chief. He is also active in his church. A Buffalo Grove High School student, Alexander is a member of the cross country team and the school’s science olympiad, math and robotics teams.

— Submitted by the Buffalo Grove Chamber of Commerce

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