Tapestry Spring/Summer 2018

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spring/summer 2018

in this

ISSUE 2 Resident Celebrates

80th Birthday 3 Gala Breaks

Fundraising Record 5 Hops for Humanity

Donates Nearly $10,000 6 Little City Star

Shines on Stage

The Coleman Foundation Home Opens its Doors The Duffey Family Children’s Village continues its amazing growth as The Coleman Foundation Home opened its doors for eight residents earlier this year. This home is now the third in the village, increasing the number of residents in the new homes to 24 children who receive residential services at Little City. With a fourth home on the way, more than half of Little City’s children residents will live in the state-of-the-art homes and continue to move out of the outdated houses. The Coleman Foundation was instrumental in the creation of the third home, providing

a $500,000 grant to the project. Rosa Berardi, Program Officer at The Coleman Foundation, said the organization loves Little City’s mission and is always looking for ways to contribute. “The Coleman Foundation is proud to help build a home that will create a better future for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities,” Berardi said. “We have long supported Little City’s mission and values and we hope to continue our support in the future.” Another frequent supporter of Little City helped make the home a reality as the Zurich Foundation donated $18,000 to build the home’s sensory room, as they did for The Foglia Home. The sensory room is one of the most important features in the homes as it provides a safe and dynamic space to release energy and regulate emotions. In addition to the sensory room, each home features eight individual bedrooms for children to make their own, an activity room to socialize and a kitchen where residents learn about and take part in meal planning and preparation. The 24/7 support helps residents learn necessary life skills such as personal hygiene, social skills and creating and following a schedule, which prepares each individual for more independent living and potential community employment.

Made up of different colors, textures and threads, the individual elements of a tapestry are not impactful or dramatic, but when woven together, they create something extraordinary and purposeful. Like a tapestry, the lives and individual stories of those touched by the Little City mission create something moving and special.

Above: Individuals from Little City and The Coleman Foundation pose outside the third home for its grand opening. A $500,000 grant from The Coleman Foundation helped make the home a reality. Above right: Construction for Mario’s Home began in February. Thanks to the generosity of Little CIty’s donors, the home is now fully funded!

As the children settle into The Coleman Foundation Home, Little City has already broken ground on the fourth home, Mario’s Home, thanks to the incredible support from the Zervas and Duffey families. “The Duffey Family Children’s Village is incredibly important to Little City’s future as it allows us to provide the most comprehensive and modern services for children with autism,” said Shawn Jeffers, Executive Director of Little City. “It is thrilling to see The Coleman Foundation Home already changing lives and we are eager to complete Mario’s Home later this year.” No matter the size of the gift, Little City thanks all the supporters who continue to make this innovative children’s village thrive and expand.

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E xecutive Director’s Corner “The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also.” –Harriet Ann Jacobs Dear Friends, Take a walk around the Little City campus during beautiful spring weather and you’ll be sure to see the lush green pond, ducks gliding on the water and a seemingly out of place giraffe looking over it all. That curious giraffe statue was put there by John Edgren – a longtime Little City resident and employee of the Maintenance Department. His supervisor was surprised to hear a giraffe had been delivered to campus, but Little City accepted it and John decided to place it by the pond and it’s been there for decades. That’s how John was – always seeing the beauty and potential in everything and everyone. John passed away at 75 years old this past March. A beautiful ceremony was held for him right by that glistening pond where friends and family gathered to share stories and memories and spread John’s ashes at his favorite place. But it was more than just a celebration of John’s life, it was a reminder that John and all those like him are the roots on which Little City continues to grow.

John, who had been a part of Little City for more than 35 years, saw the growth from a truly “little city” where adults and children resided in the same homes to the Little City we see today. We continue to grow, opening The Coleman Foundation Home at the Duffey Family Children’s Village and breaking ground on a fourth house. We had a recordbreaking Gala as our supporters grow in number and give more each year. Growth is everywhere and none of it would be possible without people like John who are at the heart and soul of everything Little City strives to be every day. So as we celebrate our history as Little City enters its 60th year and we continue to grow, it is important to remember where we come from and who helped us get to this point. John, a skilled gardener, was not only passionate about planting his flowers, but planting the seeds for Little City’s growth. The next time you walk around Little City and see that giraffe, think of John Edgren and all the John Edgrens of Little City. They are the roots on which we grow strong to create the brightest futures for all those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Yours in service,

Shawn E. Jeffers, Executive Director

Longtime Little City Resident Celebrates 80th Birthday A huge milestone was celebrated on March 22nd as longtime resident Senobia C. celebrated her 80th birthday. Senobia currently lives at the Plum Grove CILA home with six other women where she is known as the “mother” of the home. There is no question about who is in charge.

take cooking classes and go on community outings with her friends. She also can be found participating in the many arts, crafts and exercise programs offered through the Golden Opportunities Program.

Though she is the leader of the house, Senobia is also very nurturing. She will often lay out her housemate’s pajamas at night and assist them in getting dressed for the day.

“She is an absolute pleasure to be around,” said Avis Williams, Golden Opportunities Program Coordinator. “She is such a bright presence for everyone around her and is still young at heart.”

Outside of the work she does keeping her home in order, Senobia loves collecting purses, dolls, stuffed animals, jewelry and hats. She enjoys watching TV and movies, especially action films. Above all else, her favorite activity is spending time with her family when they come to visit.

All of us at Little City are so thankful for Senobia and are looking forward to celebrating many more birthdays to come.

Much of Senobia’s day is spent enjoying the activities provided in the Golden Opportunities Program held at the Countryside Center. She loves to play Bingo for prizes,



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Little City resident Senobia celebrated her 80th birthday in March. She still has the energy to do all her favorite things including Bingo, cooking and spending time with friends.

To stay on top of Little City news, events and advocacy efforts, join us on our social networks.

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He a rt of t h e C i t y Little City Raises More Than $714,000 at Annual Dinner Gala continue to have so many dedicated supporters year after year.”


ittle City celebrated its history in a big way on March 3rd as 350 people attended the Annual Dinner Gala at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago and raised over $714,000 for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The evening’s theme, “Once Upon a Time,” honored Little City’s founding families, who came together in 1959 to establish the groundbreaking organization that now serves more than 1,100 people through residential, vocational, educational and adoption services. Attendees at the Gala helped Little City build off its rich past by generously donating to Mario’s Home – the fourth home in the state-of-theart Duffey Family Children’s Village on Little City’s 56-acre Palatine campus. Mario’s Home will house eight children on the autism spectrum and provide the sensory, therapeutic and educational tools needed for each individual to reach their own unique potential. Shawn Jeffers, Executive Director of Little City, said the Gala was an incredible event that merged Little City’s past and future to make a real difference for those with developmental disabilities. “It has been a tremendous honor to celebrate the families who had the vision and determination to launch Little City at a time when there was nothing quite like it,” Jeffers said. “To see that history inspire so many people to invest in Little City’s future is amazing to witness. We are so thankful that we

The event displayed the diversity of support that has kept Little City strong and growing for nearly 60 years. Mary Carol Grabill shared a powerful personal story about how Little City changed her son’s life for the better, Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner reaffirmed the state’s support for people with developmental disabilities and longtime board members Alex Gianaras and Eleni Bousis expressed the importance of supporting the vulnerable population Little City serves. Both Eleni and Alex led by example in their push for support by making remarkable donations to Little City. In addition to the generous individual support shown by attendees, the Gala featured a premier live and silent auction that helped generate the more than $714,000 raised. The live entertainment by Sarlas Music Orchestra and an exquisite dinner made for an unforgettable night that will help Little City residents, families and participants for years to come. The event would not have been possible without the support of all the great sponsors including: Presenting Sponsor: George & Dimitra Zervas; Gold Sponsor: Julie Bell; Silver Sponsor: Paramount Staffing; Bronze Sponsors: Eleni & Jimmy Bousis; Linda Bell; Cornerstone Research; The Desmond Family; Rit & Meeta Faisal; The Gianaras Family; John & Mary Jo George; The Grabill Family; Jonathan Green & Family; MB Financial Bank; Mutual of America; David Pfau; The Rose/Hockfield Families; Show Sage, LLC.; Vernon Carson/Burt Ury; Zurich NA; Entertainment Sponsor: Hockfield & Associates/ Steve & Barbara Anderson; Program Sponsor: Daily Herald; Photography Sponsor: Theoharris Family; Media Sponsor: Chicago Magazine.

Top left: Little City Board Member Eleni Bousis, Little City Executive Director Shawn E. Jeffers and Illinois First Lady Diana Rauner. Top right: Distinguished speaker Mary Carol Grabill (left), her sister Susan Mullaney and Mary’s husband David Grabill. Upper middle: Little City supporter Ellyn Dooley celebrates at the Gala. Lower middle: The Gala chair, Julie Bell, addresses the crowd. Lower: Members of the Jacobs family – a founding family of Little City – enjoy the vintage inspired photobooth. The Jacobs family was joined by other founding families and honored for their vision that has made Little City’s continued success possible.


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M a ki ng a Di ffer ence Food Frenzy Raises Money for Foster Care & Adoption Program


ittle City Junior Board’s 9th Annual Food Frenzy was an incredible evening as more than $13,000 was raised to benefit Little City’s Foster Care & Adoption Program.

The program continues to grow as the program worked with more than 50 families in 2017 to provide both foster placements and forever families.

The festive event took place May 4th at Low Res Studio in Chicago where attendees enjoyed gourmet food and drinks from the area’s hottest restaurants. Participating restaurants and breweries included Beleaf Salad, Cesar’s Mexican Restaurant, Chopo Chicken, Fred’s at Barney’s New York, Jordan’s Food of Distinction, Haymarket Pub & Brewery, honeygrow, Lagunitas Brewery, Little Beans Café, Portillo’s, Meli Café, Revolution Brewing and Tiburon Rum.

“It’s a great opportunity to put on an event like the Food Frenzy to help so many children and families find loving and caring relationships,” said Conor Desmond, Little City Junior Board President. “Little City’s Foster Care & Adoption Program has been a vital resource for children with disabilities for 25 years and we want to do our part to make sure the next 25 years are just as successful.”

In addition to the delicious food and drink, attendees also enjoyed a special silent auction and raffle table. All the money raised will go to Little City’s Foster Care & Adoption program, which is celebrating its 25th year of finding loving families for children with disabilities.

The event would not have been possible without the support of the evening’s donors and sponsors. Thank you to Gold Sponsors: Paramount Staffing and Brendan Scanlan; Silver Sponsors: Andrea and Ed Hockfield, Conor Desmond, Tim Desmond and South Barrington Dental Care; Bronze Sponsors: Nicholas Butchko and Patrick Bave; and Media Sponsor: Chicago Magazine. And thank you again to all participating restaurants and breweries and to everyone who made the event a huge success!

Attendees at the Food Frenzy enjoy a variety of gourmet food and beverage selections from some of the hottest restaurants in the Chicago area.

Left: Members of Little City’s Junior Board hosted the 9th Annual Food Frenzy on May 4th at Low Res Studio.

Little City now accepts unwanted gift cards! Little City is thrilled to announce, in partnership with Raise, that we now accept gift cards as donations! Raise (www.raise.com) is an online gift card marketplace that connects consumers to sell their unwanted or partially used gift cards, with others who will buy gift cards at a discount. If you have any unused or partially used gifts cards, consider donating them in support of Little City. To donate, please mail your gift cards to Little City: 650 E. Algonquin Road • Suite 104 Schaumburg, IL 60173 Or, you can drop Be sure to start at them off at the above office location.

For any questions, please email tmaraccini@littlecity.org. smile.amazon.com

donate your gift cards!

y o u c a n n o w d o n at e y o u r u n wa n t e d g i f t c a r d s !

donate your gift cards!

y o u c a n n o w d o n at e y o u r u n wa n t e d g i f t c a r d s !

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Hops for Humanity Donates Nearly $10,000 to Little City here are many different ways to support Little City whether it is volunteering on campus, attending a special event or making a donation. The list of ways to support Little City got a little longer as drinking beer just made a big difference.


Hops for Humanity recently donated nearly $10,000 to Little City as part of its quarterly event to support local charities. Little City was selected after Hops for Humanity member Dr. John Jevitz proposed Little City as a potential recipient and ultimately beat out two other nominated charities for the generous $9,700 donation. Dr. Jevitz expressed his gratitude to Little City for all the important work they do that helps a vulnerable population. Without the support of Dr. Jevitz, Hops for Humanity would not have made the generous donation they provided. Hops for Humanity was started in 2014 by a craft beer brewer looking to give back to the community. Four times a year, Hops for Humanity members attend events at local restaurants and pubs and donate $100 each for the opportunity to enjoy beers that are not available or extremely rare to find at stores or restaurants. Members then listen to three presentations for charities nominated by members before voting on which charity will receive the money raised from the event. Little City is only one of 12 charities that have received donations from Hops for Humanity, which has given more than $132,000 combined.

Members of Hops for Humanity present Little City with a $9,700 check. Hops for Humanity raised money for Little City at one of its recent fundraisers.

Little City Executive Director Shawn Jeffers attended the Hops for Humanity April event at Manny’s Ale House in Elmhurst to receive the donation and thank the members for their generosity. “To have supporters like Dr. Jevitz who take the time to nominate Little City as a worthy recipient for a cause like this is truly amazing,” Jeffers said. “We are so grateful for John and are honored the members of Hops for Humanity saw the value in Little City’s mission.” Little City raises its glass to Hops for Humanity for its tremendous support. For more information on the Hops for Humanity organization, visit www.hopsforhumanity.org.

Community Partners

Our Helping Hands

Thank you to the following funders for their generous grants that support the work and mission of Little City:

Little City extends its appreciation to the following groups and countless individuals for their recent volunteer work with us:

• Million Dollar Round Table Foundation • Rotary Club of Palatine

• Annual Dinner Gala Volunteers • Boy Scouts of America • Career Education Center • Chicago Cares • Discover • District 211 Adult Transition Program • First Presbyterian and South Minster Church • Food Frenzy Volunteers • Friends of Countryside • Girl Scouts of America • Holy Family Catholic Church • Liberty Mutual

The above referenced grants were awarded on or after Jan. 2018.

• Little City Parent/Family/Guardian Group • Maple School: District 30 • Omron Foundation • Palatine Bank and Trust • Palatine Public Library • Prologis Logistics Real Estate • Riders for Autism • Royal United Mortgage LLC • Walter R. Sundling Junior High School: District 15 • Warehouse Direct Workplace Solutions • William Rainey Harper College • Zurich Foundation

For detailed descriptions of these recent projects or to learn more about getting involved, visit www.littlecity.org/volunteer or contact Stephanie Darnell at sdarnell@littlecity.org. ShirelyAnn Robertson from Prudential presents Little City with a generous grant from the Million Dollar Round Table Foundation.


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News From Around the City Little City Star Shines on Stage and in Life “I like to make people smile,” Lindsey said. “It’s fun to play different characters.” Her performances and positive attitude keep her landing big roles in the community-based plays. Terri Devine, a co-president on the UPS for DownS Board of Directors, said Lindsey’s kindness and happiness shines through in all her performances. “Lindsey is a remarkable young woman,” Terri said. “Her kindness and passion are evident in everything she does, particularly performing on stage. Her first lead role was as Belle in Beauty and the Beast and the emotion and heart when she begged Beast not to leave her still resonates with me six years later.”


or Lindsey P., the whole world is a stage.

Lindsey’s love of acting has been a part of her for as long as she can remember and she has used that passion to make her dreams become a reality. Lindsey has had the opportunity to play some of her favorite characters thanks to “UPS for DownS” – a volunteer organization that provide trainings, education, information and community opportunities for people with Down Syndrome and their families. The UPS for DownS Theater Company is where Lindsey has nurtured her love of acting and landed some major roles including Belle for Beauty and the Beast and most recently Dorothy in Wizard of Oz.

Lindsey has also used her winning smile and the discipline and work ethic she learned from acting to land a job through Little City’s Employment First Program. Lindsey works two days a week at Lake Barrington Woods – an independent and assisted living community for seniors. Lindsey works as a dining room associate where she helps serve the meals and interacts with residents.

Lindsey performs as Dorothy in the “UPS for DownS” production of Wizard of Oz.

“She has wonderful natural supports on the job, combined with coaching, which helped her develop the necessary skills and a daily work routine,” said Rebecca Schachter, Lindsey’s job coach. “Her infectious smile and bubbly personality have allowed her to quickly connect with the residents she serves and she receives positive feedback from her fellow co-workers and supervisors due to her excellent work performance, upbeat attitude, and commitment to serving others.” As if juggling her job and acting career were not enough, Lindsey also is an avid volunteer and tries to give back to the community at every opportunity. No matter what Lindsey does next, she’ll be sure to put a smile on someone’s face and give the best performance she can.

Little City’s Loveable ‘Cowboy’ John Edgren Passes Away at 75 Maintenance Department until he retired in 2008. He was always easy to spot with his trademark cowboy hat but it was his heart of gold that people remembered him for. “He was kind, gentle and always wanted to help people,” said Blair Anderson, John’s cousin. “He was willing to help no matter what it was or who you were. He was just a good person.” Family members and friends came to Little City on April 20th to celebrate John’s life and spread his ashes by the pond (and the giraffe he placed there) that he loved so much. Friends, family and former co-workers shared stories of John’s love of John Wayne, his endless work ethic and his deep love for Lisa Andrea, who he met at Little City and had been married to for 10 years.

Blair Anderson and Lisa Andrea were joined by roughly 30 people at Little City to celebrate the life of John Edgren.


ittle City is sad to share that former resident and employee John Edgren passed away peacefully at his home on March 19th at 75 years old.

John left an undeniable mark on Little City as both a resident of 35 years and a hard-working member of the 6


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Lisa and her sisters remembered John for his loving gestures whether it was bringing Lisa flowers the first time he came to meet her family or cutting Lisa’s food even though she was fully capable of doing it herself. His love was just as strong for Lisa’s nieces and nephews, who he would gladly trade in his cowboy hat to become the “horse” the kids could ride on. No matter if someone knew John as a co-worker, a housemate or a family member, he was always loved and always considered a friend. “Little City was home to John, and not just a place where he rested his head but a place where he rested his heart,” said Shawn Jeffers, Little City Executive Director. “He knew every brick and building. He saw the beauty in everything.” Little City will never forget John and the love he showed to everyone.

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He a rt of t h e C i t y


ittle City aims to provide the highest possible quality of life for the people it serves, including offering a variety of educational and recreational opportunities, wellness initiatives, options to explore creativity and more. Recent updates from around our “City” include:

Residents Cheer on the Chicago Wolves

Celebrating National Nurses Week

Little City would like to thank the Chicago Wolves for inviting a group of our residents to the March 31st game for “Diversity & Inclusion Night.” Everyone had a great time and it was a thrill to be on the video board!

Little City nurses include Sandra Brown (not pictured), Reuben Rosczyk, Katie May, Jeanette Nelson, Sue Tabert and Lynn Taparra. Little City recognized all its nurses during National Nurses Week (May 6-12) for their tireless work and dedication to caregiving while putting their own personal needs aside.

Foster Care & Adoption Program Celebrates 25 Years! The Little City Foster Care & Adoption team held a special appreciation brunch for foster care families on April 21st. The event was part of a yearlong celebration to honor 25 years of remarkable families providing a loving home for children with disabilities.


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NONPROFIT ORG U.S. POSTAGE PAID Palatine, IL Permit No. 2775

Little City 1760 West Algonquin Road Palatine, IL 60067 www.littlecity.org

C it y Gu ide : Up com i ng Events Little City’s Inaugural Book Run May–October 2018 BBQ Celebration: Oct. 21, 2018 Penny Road Pub | Barrington, IL Join us for the inaugural Little City Book Run benefiting the Little City Special Olympians! Books will be available beginning May 25 and can be purchased online at www.littlecity.org/bookrun for $20 each. For more information on this event, please contact Heidi Merritt at 847-221-7807 or hmerritt@littlecity.org

Ted Arndt Memorial Golf Outing Friday, June 29, 2018 Highland Woods Golf Course | Hoffman Estates Little City’s Parent/Family/Guardian (PFG) Group’s annual golf outing includes an 18-hole scramble with cart, lunch, dinner buffet and free driving range before a shotgun start. For more information, please contact Phyllis Shipbaugh at (847) 884-1029 or pshipbaugh@littlecity.org. Register at www.littlecity.org/pfggolf

55th Annual LCI Golf Classic Monday, June 18, 2018 | Twin Orchard Country Club | Long Grove, Illinois Enjoy 18 holes of golf at one of the top golf courses in the country. The day is capped off by a fabulous dinner and a silent auction that is guaranteed to impress. This year, the event will honor long-time supporters Kenneth Kolmin and Marcus Montanye. Register today at www.littlecity.org/lci.

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