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Celebrating the selfless efforts of individuals who live or work in Will & Grundy Counties, making our communities great

Oct. 24, 2020 A publication of

The Herald-News & Morris Herald-News Sponsored by


The Herald-News / TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

| Everyday Heroes 2


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EVERYDAY HEROES The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

2020: Historic Year for Everyday Heroes In a year where most everything has been canceled, Everyday Heroes survived. It had to for a myriad of reasons, but most of all because each of this year’s honorees more than deserved the recognition. Even though this year looks different, the group is similar to the many who have come before them over the last five years — people who do great work for others in our community, honored, humbled and overwhelmed by being chosen. This year’s program wasn’t quite what we have done in the past. After all, gathering more than 150 folks in a banquet hall for a two-hour awards breakfast just wasn’t going to happen.

Steve Vanisko Publisher Herald-News, Morris Herald-News So, we substituted that wonderful morning for a video tribute. As an added feature this year, we included a feature story on the ‘Everyday Heroes’ courtesy of our local hospitals. Be sure to check out pages 10 and 11 for that. Promotions like Everyday Heroes do not exist without the support of our sponsors: Centerpoint Properties,

ExxonMobil and Silver Cross Hospital. Over the past five years, they have seen how this program impacts the honorees, their families and friends. Even in 2020 — the toughest of years — they continued their support. We cannot thank them enough. And a special thank you to J.D. Ross for his continued assistance in helping the Herald-News staff in selecting its winners. He has been a long-standing supporter of this program. I hope you enjoy reading about the 2020 Everyday Heroes. They are an inspiration to us all.

THE HEROES INSIDE Megan Babyak.............................. 4 Sarah Babyak ............................... 5 Mike Clark .................................... 6 Mary Lou Gast.............................. 7 Mike & Megan Grohar................. 8 Kathy Hartong ............................. 9 Hospital Workers .............. 10 & 11 Israeio Holloway ........................12 Jane Kerr ......................................13 Bill Passaglia ...............................14 Wardie Sain .................................15 Georgette Wurster .....................16


The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

EVERYDAY HEROES

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MOLLY BABYAK By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent When Molly Babyak began volunteering with Shorewood HUGS, it was to get involved in her new community and feed her volunteer spirit with like-minded people. She was first a member, but that role changed quickly. “I assumed everybody jumped in feet first,” she said. “After three months, I had an idea for Fall Fest in Shorewood, and then participated in Relay for Life. Heidi Serena, then president, tapped me on the shoulder and said I would be the next president of HUGS. She could tell I would take charge.” After only two years, Babyak became vice president and then president after Serena stepped down after a five-year run. She has also co-chaired the largest fundraiser, the Chocolate Ball, and held board and wishes committee positions. In March, she celebrated 10 years of service with HUGS, a nonprofit that “works to make a positive impact … one hug at a time,” according to the organization’s website. “We do this by hosting unique events and raising funds to fulfill wishes for those in need.” Even in a pandemic, Babyak found a way to continue that mission. “Molly was instrumental working with our board and making sure HUGS was continuing to give back to the community while we were under quarantine,” said Serena, co-founder and the one who first saw Babyak’s potential with the organization. The Hugs and Wishes program, which delivers gift cards and gifts in person, stopped for a few months at the start of COVID-19. In its place came service to those who worked in hospitals and clinics, teachers, grocery store employees and more. “A lot of people were going through a lot of suffering. We wanted to try to make an impact and help the community,” Babyak said. “This group has always been a team effort. If I’m passionate about something, the ladies support it. It’s a great group to be a part of.” Babyak said she took on these leadership roles because at the time, she was a stay-at-home mother and missed the days of work outside the home — she wanted to stretch her brain.

“Leading is challenging myself to do more. Each wish inspired me to do more, I saw what other people were living through. My life is not perfect, but I’m blessed where I am. I may not always have spare change in my pocket to donate, but I could donate my time and skills and encourage others,” Babyak said. In 2016, Babyak took on another project, a Junior HUGS program for girls in junior and high school. Spearheaded by her teen daughter

Sarah Babyak, Babyak decided to sponsor and see where her daughter and friends could take this idea of a community service group for teens. “I know that teens aren’t always involved in good things, this is a good thing, we will do anything to keep it going. Planning with daughters is not always rosy, but at the end of the day, we know it’s something positive and we turned girls into volunteers and active members in the community,” Babyak said of Junior HUGS.

“It makes me proud to have started this with my mom and how far we have come,” Sarah Babyak said. “We started with four members and we have grown to 30 girls.” Serena characterized Babyak as a dedicated and caring woman who exhibits everyday hero qualities because, “She is teaching the next generation to give back to the world. Young teens get it from watching people or an experience.”


SARAH BABYAK

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EVERYDAY HEROES

By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

In her elementary years, Sarah Babyak saw her mom take the lead in a local nonprofit. As a teenager, Babyak herself became a leader. “I always helped my mom, so I wanted to get my friends involved and help our community too,” Babyak, 17, said. “My friends and I are fortunate; it’s important that we give to others and make a difference.” Her mother, Molly Babyak, has been an instrumental volunteer with Shorewood HUGS, which assists those within a 20-mile radius with its Hugs and Wishes program. Babyak saw a group of high school girls who, under Shorewood HUGS, offered service to the community a couple times a year. Once they graduated, Babyak saw a void and wanted to create Junior HUGS to pick up where the original girls left off, this time with more frequent service. Babyak spoke to her mother and then to the Shorewood HUGS board about the collaboration. Under Molly’s guidance, the Junior HUGS went full speed ahead with Babyak at the helm as president, just like her mother did with Shorewood HUGS. “I feel proud; it’s hard to be proud of yourself even though we should be, but it makes me proud of myself for paving the way, being an example and encouraging her,” Molly said of her daughter. “I helped her see it’s not all about us; it’s about the common good. I put it out there and she picked up on it.” Babyak said she went to social media and looked at other organizations to see what they did for service projects. At first, Junior HUGS was Babyak and five or six girls who would volunteer in the community. It’s now grown to 30 girls. When the group’s Hugs and Wishes program neared its 400th wish, Babyak went to her mom to ask the board if Junior HUGS could take a wish with a twist of more than one recipient. “I saw a YouTube video of people driving up and giving people gift cards and roses, etc., random acts of kindness. I got the idea to buy five $100 gift cards at local grocery stores and find people to give them to,” she said. Babyak, Molly and the Junior HUGS visited local stores with the $100 gift cards in hand. They all walked around to find someone with a

large cart of groceries, someone with children, or a person who just looked like they needed a pick-me-up. Babyak said each gift card recipient told them why they bought certain items, made conversation or shared their story. “It was all about timing to help certain people,” Babyak said. “One family had a bunch of Christmas gifts but had to put a few things back because it was too expensive. They told us they were able to buy the gifts now because we helped them.” In addition to wish 400, Babyak said the next best event she spear-

headed was the Feed My Starving Children pack in March 2020. Junior HUGS had gone to pack in the past a few times, but Shorewood HUGS had not. When Babyak came to her with the idea of a pack time that included both groups, she said we wanted to see what they could accomplish. Babyak reserved 138 spots for the pack, and Molly said the spots took awhile to fill until Babyak “kicked it into high gear” and got both Junior HUGS and Shorewood HUGS volunteers to come as well as families, neighbors and friends. “It was the coolest thing to walk

into Feed My Starving Children and see all of the red shirts. Sarah made this all happen on March 6, and a week later we were shut down with COVID,” Molly said. Both mother and daughter were both nominated this year for the Everyday Hero award. Babyak said this was the perfect time to be nominated in tandem. “This is cool, it’s special because we started Junior HUGS together and this is my last year because I’m a senior,” Babyak said. “It’s a good way to end.”


The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

EVERYDAY HEROES

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MIKE CLARK By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent Instead of an Everyday Hero, Mike Clark has been coined an Everywhere Hero by friend Tracy Spesia. “Mike seems to be everywhere, all the time, working for our community,” she said. Clark, a Joliet native and Joliet West High School graduate, has volunteered in a multitude of facets for Joliet Township High School District 204. He serves on the Joliet Region Interfaith Educational Committee, the Discipline Committee, The 6.2 Committee and Strategic Planning Team. Clark said each committee works together to connect students, teachers and the community in a myriad of ways for the betterment of the district. As a former student, he takes these roles seriously to ensure positive outcomes for the students. “Joliet West played a big part in my story, and I think it’s required of me to do what I can to pay that back. I had a great experience with teachers and mentors who fed into my growth and maturity,” Clark said. “I want the students who walk through the halls of West or Central to take advantage of what the schools have to offer.” Clark also works with the University of St. Francis College of Education Joliet Community Leaders Forum. This group was created to introduce education students to Joliet, where many will be student teachers and perhaps land a career in education. “We meet with the young people who want to be the teachers of tomorrow and prepare them for the great responsibility,” Clark said. “He shares his deep knowledge and experience with local service in Joliet and challenges the pre-service teachers to connect and engage with the students, families and the community,” said Spesia. As president of the Joliet NAACP, Clark serves with the goal to have a positive impact on the Joliet community and cover topics like discrimination and racial equality so that the promise of America can be available to everyone. He sits on a subgroup of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry called the African American Business Association, a new organization of concerned citizens with the desire to bring focus and awareness of Black-owned businesses, lift up the Black business

community and provide resources available in Will County. Clark has become an associate for the National Hook-Up of Black Women, an organization of African American women in Joliet. Clark said he offers his knowledge as a support network and volunteers for projects involving food pantries and literacy, among others. This past year, Clark joined the board at the Joliet Area Historical Museum for what he called a unique opportunity to help tell the history and current story of his hometown.

“Joliet is a very diverse city, so it’s important the story of Joliet is told at all angles of Joliet history. A big part of why I am involved is to see what’s possible, I see the hard work put in, I want to spread the word that this is a place to visit and learn a lot,” Clark said. “I want to be a part of the continued growth and outreach.” Clark said he stays busy in Joliet because, “I have decided I want to be the change. It’s important to spend the time, resources and attention toward the change and local organizations.”

“Mike has a special gift for welcoming people to engage with important, and sometimes difficult, conversations about inequity in our own community. He educates while embracing; he challenges while rolling up his sleeves to do the heavy lifting right alongside his fellow community members,” Spesia said. Clark had a final thought he wanted to share with his community — and that was to vote and get involved in the community.


MARY LOU GAST

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EVERYDAY HEROES

By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

Growing up, volunteerism was a way of life in Mary Lou Gast’s household. After nine moves in nine years as an adult, her own light began to shine in the volunteer world when she settled with her husband and children back in Joliet. Gast, who has a bachelor’s degree in oil painting, took her love of art and background in dance to the stage, where she choreographed musicals for Morris Community High School, Lincoln-Way High School, Homer Junior High School, Gregory Middle School and Warren High School in Minnesota — all while she raised her children, who sometimes tagged along to rehearsals. “I want the kids to come back and say, this was one of my favorite times in school,” Gast said. As a choreographer, she poured into the high school students with that goal. Gast wanted every student to shine no matter the size of the part in the show. Her favorite part was when she heard the orchestra hit, the show would start and the students would shine. “My students never let me down,” Gast said. “I found that if you approach it with energy and enthusiasm, you will make it a success, find new friends and lift your heart like nothing else.” When Gast turned 70, she was proud to say she had students from six different states show up at her birthday party. In addition to her work in schools, she has worked with Billie Limacher Bicentennial Park Theater, New Lenox St. Jude Second Avenue Players, Lincoln-Way Community Theater and Curtain Call Theater for a grand total of 57 shows. She was on the ground floor in the creation of the Rialto Square Theater of the Arts, too. Her father, Vance Cummins, participated in 60 Kiwanis Club of Joliet shows, and Gast walked in her father’s footsteps to create unforgettable shows as an assistant director with themes such as YMCA, prom queen and “Born to Be Wild.” “I wanted to help the Kiwanians do a number in the show, and I got to pick the theme I wanted, “ Gast said. “It was various people wearing silly things and I would teach them numbers. My heart has always been with the Kiwanis because my dad loved it so.”

For 18 years, Gast volunteered with Silver Cross Hospital Childerguild, where she held title of president, helped volunteer at the gift shop, planned the fundraiser ball and assisted the gala committee for the Arthur and Vera Smith Pavilion dedication. Childerguild was founded in the early 1900s as a support for women and children’s services at Silver Cross Hospital through funds raised at the annual ball and gift shop profits. As her volunteer work progressed, Gast noticed a theme — she wanted to support women and children. In

2009, her friends Kathy Mihelich and Judy Erwin created an event called Witches Night Out where women would dress up and profits from the evening helped organizations within the Joliet area. “It was women helping women and children in need, and that was our goal. Now in its 11th year, it’s earned nearly $500,000 for its recipients,” Gast said. Gast suggested in a Witches Night Out meeting that one recipient of funds should be Guardian Angel Community Services, which has supported Groundwork Domestic Violence

program for years. “Mary Lou’s selfless acts of kindness, hard work and generosity are boundless. Even after the curtains closed on the countless stages she lit up night after night, the joy and amazing impact Mary Lou has had on all of us, lives on,” said Guardian Angel Community Services CEO Ines Kutlesa. Gast said of her years of volunteer work, “I wanted to make a difference, to be remembered with a smile and add a touch of fun and joy to the adventure.”


The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

EVERYDAY HEROES

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MIKE & MEGAN GROHAR By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent Mike and Megan Grohar of Joliet strive each day to make a difference within the community. “This is where we live, where we were raised, where our children are growing up; we take pride in the city and where we love helping people in our area,” Megan said. Mike first noticed a need of volunteers when the couple’s daughters began to be involved in sports and attend school. “We saw how hard it was to put it all together, so we wanted to help wherever we could,” he said. “Wherever we can help, we do it together with our girls going here and there.” Mike began his volunteerism as a softball coach. The team held a 50/50 raffle where proceeds would go toward items for welcome bags for kids within Trinity Services Inc. Children needed activities to do while their mothers filled out intake paperwork, Megan said, so bags filled with snacks, toys and coloring books were put together and donated. This one act created a tradition. “After the first year, the girls asked the next year if we could do it again. It was the same girls, and seeing them excited, it grew from there,” Mike said. “We want to show kids there are other people less fortunate and teach the girls to be grateful for what they have — it’s more than sports.” Family friend Allison Rios said last year, the Grohar family decided to take generosity a step further and orchestrated a group to buy new Christmas gifts for children within Trinity Services. “Last year, they rallied neighbors and bought lots of additional items for kids that were added to the list last minutes before the holidays. They have helped us pack and deliver all of the gifts and continue to give and give when it comes to this drive,” Rios said. In March and April, COVID-19 did not stop them. They organized food, furniture, clothing and a household item collection and housed the donations in their garage before delivery. Social workers from Trinity Services organized the items, and families were able to come and take what was needed at no cost. “I saw on Facebook that people were homeless due to COVID-19, and

home life situations,” Megan said. “I don’t like to see people go without, especially when making a huge step during an unprecedented time; they needed to have their needs and wants met.” The Grohars were asked to assist families to move into apartments with the donations, mostly help with large furniture. Megan said one family has stayed in her mind because the mom was so grateful for each item brought into the home, no matter the condition — Megan said she had a plan to refinish it or make it work in a specific place. The gratitude grew

throughout the day. “I remember her positive attitude after she had gone through a traumatic experience and left a relationship with a 2-year-old and pregnant. We knew what we were doing for her was good no matter what,” Megan said. Beyond Trinity Services, the family has volunteered with MorningStar Mission and the food pantry at St. John Lutheran Church in Joliet. Mike has been active on the Joliet West High School Boosters board and has served as president of the Joliet Softball Association. He continues to coach softball.

For the past eight years, Megan has volunteered on the Home and School Board at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School in Joliet, where daughters Paige, Alaina and Sawyer all attended. For the past two years, she has served as president. “They are there for their friends without hesitation, they are there for their community without hesitation, and they will always do what they can to help those in need,” Rios said of the Grohars. “They are an inspiration to so many people. They are an example of kindness and giving and sacrifice for their children.”


KATHY HARTONG

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EVERYDAY HEROES

By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

In a few months, Kathy Hartong of Braidwood will celebrate 30 years of volunteer work with the Kiwanis Club of Joliet. Hartong said her volunteer spirit follows this quote by John Wesley: “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” She began to volunteer because she saw folks around her who had needs, she said. “If it were me, I would want someone to help me,” Hartong said. The Young Children Priority One program through the Kiwanis Club International has been one Hartong has embraced in Joliet, where she was raised. Funds raised through Kiwanis Club of Joliet help purchase books for preschool-age children, and volunteers visit Joliet preschools to read and distribute books. Hartong said she works with various book distributors to find low-cost books to ensure each child can take a book home. “It’s because of her ability to distribute thousands of books to kids,” fellow Kiwanian Caroline Portlock said of Hartong being an everyday hero. “It may be the first book they own, or the first time being read to, and she engages on a one-on-one level. She works with the kids when they are most vulnerable, when they develop good or bad reading habits, with the hope they develop good habits.” Hartong also has worked with Aktion Club, a Kiwanis service club for adults with disabilities. To mix her love of the two Kiwanis groups, adults with Aktion Club have wrapped up to 700 books at one time for Three Kings Day and Día del Niño celebrations in Joliet. She also assisted with helping Aktion Club to begin at Kiwanis of Southern Will County. She has become the unofficial gatherer of artifacts for the Kiwanis Club of Joliet. She utilized her love of photography and created a 100th anniversary display, which was to be in the Joliet Area Historical Museum. The display was taken down due to COVID-19, but Hartong has hopes for its resurrection. She helps fundraise with Peanut Days and Kiwanis Night at the Joliet Slammers baseball games. In addition, Hartong gives back through her church, Ingalls Park

United Methodist Church. Hartong has joined the Joliet-Plainfield Area CROP Walk for Hunger and in 2020 she created her own route through Joliet. She helped with the donation of headsets, emergency clothing, snacks and personal protective equipment for this school year for T.E. Culbertson Elementary School, also through her church. Perhaps her one of her most memorable days of her volunteer career

was the celebration of her 60th birthday at Daybreak Shelter in Joliet, where she works the night shift and coordinates meal drop-off from her church to the shelter once a month. “My mom, son, brother and grandkids were all there. I had two cakes, one for my birthday and then one to celebrate all of the July birthdays at Daybreak,” Hartong said. Hartong has also gone abroad and volunteer at an orphanage for special

needs children in Russia in 2007 and 2010. She hopes to embark on more missions in the future. After Hartong’s almost 30 years with Kiwanis, one thing is clear to Portlock. “She takes the role of service above self very seriously by continuing to be an advisory, a catalyst and an active participant in our community.”


By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent

The pandemic placed medical professionals and institutions in positions of transition to care for patients with a virus no one had yet to experience. Below, read about three area hospitals and the people who stepped up to care for patients and keep others safe. These front-line employees certainly qualify as everyday heroes.

AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center Joliet

Photo credit Janet Long Jamie Stanton - Morris Hospital

Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers Jamie Stanton has worked as a phlebotomist at Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers for just over a year, but when COVID-19 hit in mid-March, Stanton challenged herself and spent her days outside the hospital in a drive-thru test site on top of her normal blood draws. She said the hospital saw up to 10 people per day at the start, but in April and May, 50-150 vehicles came through the line. The biggest challenge, according to Stanton, was numerous questions people had when they were tested; as a go-getter, she tried to find answers for the patients. Kimberly Wolfer, a lab director, said Stanton taught herself the best practices to have a calm manner with the patients, and in turn taught her how to best swab to keep the patient and administrator of the test safe. She described Stanton

as intelligent, pleasant, reliable and dedicated. “She has swabbed 5,500 noses and she has not had a sniffle. She was in full gear in 99-degree weather and she never faltered at doing her best,” Wolfer said. “I have heard a multitude of doctors say patients mention how efficiently it runs (testing).” Stanton said of the new position, “Nothing is going to get done if nobody steps up to do it. I’m glad I did it — did something different. It’s nice to talk to patients who tell me their stories and I get to know them on a personal level.” We salute all hospital staff in the Will and Grundy Counties who went above and beyond during the pandemic.

Sharon Skelton, nursing director medical/surgical/telemetry, and Evie Clark-Kula, director of the emergency department at AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, came together to showcase the “superstars” of the front-line workers at the hospital during Covid-19. “We house easily 300 patients on a daily basis, sometimes less or more, but to have that many patients on top of a pandemic, these leaders bubbled to the top,” Skelton said. Tracy Suda, patient care manager, and Laura Schobert, a nurse in the progressive care unit, had their areas switch to COVID-19 units overnight. Both nurses took on potentially critically ill patients with a virus unknown to them and had to train staff about a virus which had an ever-changing treatment plan. “Everyone was scared and nervous; we had to team together and take care of everything,” Suda said. “Every day, we kept coming back and it was hard, but we kept going. My team was amazing.” As a nurse in the emergency department, Jenni Radtke took on a role of forward triage and tested patients outside the hospital in a drive-thru clinic. Clark-Kula said Radtke learned how to test patients successfully even in days when the outside elements were cold, rainy or hot under the PPE. “I like to be a part of everything

to improve the quality of care for our patients. I love the idea of being proactive instead of reactive,” Radtke said. “I will never forget how we all come together; I have never seen such a display of teamwork.” Wayne Meirhofer, a respiratory therapy educator, took his 33 years of experience at St. Joe’s to invent a way for medical staff to place breathing tubes without risk of exposure. Acrylic boxes were used to keep all involved safe during the procedure. Skelton said, “He could see fear in the eyes of the nurses and respiratory therapists, and despite that fear, they trusted Wayne and where he was taking them.” Caryn Aldridge, a surgical nurse, stepped out of her role when elective surgeries stopped and into that of a nurse helping on COVID-19 floors. She said what she will take away from this experience was the basic needs some patients wanted and how she was put in a place to provide. “I had a patient who called me in numerous times and wanted me to hold his hand. He would say, ‘Caryn, can you please help me brush my teeth and comb my hair?’ I could certainly do those basic things,” Aldridge said. Schobert said of the Covid-19 experience, “We had to trust the system, doctors and coworkers, which made everything not so overwhelming.”

Silver Cross Manager of Sterile Supply Jim Tyrell (left), pictured with Armand Sodjihoun certified sterile processing tech.

Joe Ulfig, Silver Cross manager of power plant/maintenance, confers with Dave Keagle, engineer.

Kedrick Jason, Manager of Supply Chain at Silver Cross (right) pictured in the hospital’s storeroom with Chuck Riley, receiver.

Nick Mosz, patient services manager for Silver Cross nutrition services, restocks the hospital’s busy dining room with supervisor Victoria Sweeney.

Silver Cross Hospital Silver Cross Hospital saw its first COVID-19 case March 12, said the hospital’s CEO and president, Ruth Colby. With safety first and foremost on her mind, a command center was created with the heads of all areas who met twice a day. The doctors, nurses, emergency department, staff on COVID-19 floors and intensive care units, and respiratory therapists were nothing short of phenomenal, Colby said, but the hospital wanted to showcase those who worked behind the scenes. One of the first tasks was to add negative pressure rooms to the hospital. Manager of Power Plant and Maintenance Joe Ulfig said the new hospital was designed to add on negative pressure rooms, which were important because the air does not recirculate in the room or hospital, but outside to minimize airborne disease exposure.

“Fortunately, the hospital was designed with automatic controls into the rooms, so when we were in need of additional rooms, a lot was already in the works with the controls. We could take wings of the hospital and make them into negative pressure rooms and monitor systems from our control room,” Ulfig said. Silver Cross Hospital had a sterilization plan in place for everyday operations, so Jim Tyrell, manager of sterile processing, said while COVID-19 added to the work, processes didn’t change. “This was right up our alley,” Tyrell said. “We had to use more personal protective equipment in crisis so it took more items and we had to sterilize more items to keep stockpiles of PPE good.” Along with other staff members, both Ulfig and Tyrell also worked as screeners for those who entered

the hospital and had daily roles handed to them on top of everyday duties. During the spring, reports of hospitals out of PPE made headlines, but Kedrick Jason, manager of supply chain management, said the hospital staff never went without protective gear. “I had to understand the landscape and necessary PPE sources, types needed, protection provided and additional PPE, and N95 masks,” he said. Jason said his department had a strict account of inventory — both electronic and actual in order to not run out of supplies. At times, vendors were changed to accommodate needs until regular vendors were able to supply. Nick Mosz, patient service manager in nutrition, said before the pandemic, the hospital offered patients a room service atmosphere

where they could eat at any time. However, the nutrition staff was not allowed in rooms, and nurses had to change PPE each time a room was entered, so Mosz set up specific meal times with each area, which coincided with nurse schedules so nurses could deliver the food efficiently. Colby said the transporters and public safety staff also were unsung heroes as the employees showed up for work to take the patients where they needed to go and keep the staff, patients and visitors safe on campus. Tyrell said of the changes at Silver Cross Hospital during COVID-19, “I’m proud of the hospital and each department on the way everyone jumped in to adapt with what was needed. This confirmed that the hospital is well prepared for a crisis because of all of the safety habits we practice.”

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

COURAGE, RESILIENCE Displayed At Area Hospitals During Covid-19

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EVERYDAY HEROES

EVERYDAY HEROES

10


By ALLISON SELK Shaw Media correspondent

The pandemic placed medical professionals and institutions in positions of transition to care for patients with a virus no one had yet to experience. Below, read about three area hospitals and the people who stepped up to care for patients and keep others safe. These front-line employees certainly qualify as everyday heroes.

AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center Joliet

Photo credit Janet Long Jamie Stanton - Morris Hospital

Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers Jamie Stanton has worked as a phlebotomist at Morris Hospital and Healthcare Centers for just over a year, but when COVID-19 hit in mid-March, Stanton challenged herself and spent her days outside the hospital in a drive-thru test site on top of her normal blood draws. She said the hospital saw up to 10 people per day at the start, but in April and May, 50-150 vehicles came through the line. The biggest challenge, according to Stanton, was numerous questions people had when they were tested; as a go-getter, she tried to find answers for the patients. Kimberly Wolfer, a lab director, said Stanton taught herself the best practices to have a calm manner with the patients, and in turn taught her how to best swab to keep the patient and administrator of the test safe. She described Stanton

as intelligent, pleasant, reliable and dedicated. “She has swabbed 5,500 noses and she has not had a sniffle. She was in full gear in 99-degree weather and she never faltered at doing her best,” Wolfer said. “I have heard a multitude of doctors say patients mention how efficiently it runs (testing).” Stanton said of the new position, “Nothing is going to get done if nobody steps up to do it. I’m glad I did it — did something different. It’s nice to talk to patients who tell me their stories and I get to know them on a personal level.” We salute all hospital staff in the Will and Grundy Counties who went above and beyond during the pandemic.

Sharon Skelton, nursing director medical/surgical/telemetry, and Evie Clark-Kula, director of the emergency department at AMITA Health St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, came together to showcase the “superstars” of the front-line workers at the hospital during Covid-19. “We house easily 300 patients on a daily basis, sometimes less or more, but to have that many patients on top of a pandemic, these leaders bubbled to the top,” Skelton said. Tracy Suda, patient care manager, and Laura Schobert, a nurse in the progressive care unit, had their areas switch to COVID-19 units overnight. Both nurses took on potentially critically ill patients with a virus unknown to them and had to train staff about a virus which had an ever-changing treatment plan. “Everyone was scared and nervous; we had to team together and take care of everything,” Suda said. “Every day, we kept coming back and it was hard, but we kept going. My team was amazing.” As a nurse in the emergency department, Jenni Radtke took on a role of forward triage and tested patients outside the hospital in a drive-thru clinic. Clark-Kula said Radtke learned how to test patients successfully even in days when the outside elements were cold, rainy or hot under the PPE. “I like to be a part of everything

to improve the quality of care for our patients. I love the idea of being proactive instead of reactive,” Radtke said. “I will never forget how we all come together; I have never seen such a display of teamwork.” Wayne Meirhofer, a respiratory therapy educator, took his 33 years of experience at St. Joe’s to invent a way for medical staff to place breathing tubes without risk of exposure. Acrylic boxes were used to keep all involved safe during the procedure. Skelton said, “He could see fear in the eyes of the nurses and respiratory therapists, and despite that fear, they trusted Wayne and where he was taking them.” Caryn Aldridge, a surgical nurse, stepped out of her role when elective surgeries stopped and into that of a nurse helping on COVID-19 floors. She said what she will take away from this experience was the basic needs some patients wanted and how she was put in a place to provide. “I had a patient who called me in numerous times and wanted me to hold his hand. He would say, ‘Caryn, can you please help me brush my teeth and comb my hair?’ I could certainly do those basic things,” Aldridge said. Schobert said of the Covid-19 experience, “We had to trust the system, doctors and coworkers, which made everything not so overwhelming.”

Silver Cross Manager of Sterile Supply Jim Tyrell (left), pictured with Armand Sodjihoun certified sterile processing tech.

Joe Ulfig, Silver Cross manager of power plant/maintenance, confers with Dave Keagle, engineer.

Kedrick Jason, Manager of Supply Chain at Silver Cross (right) pictured in the hospital’s storeroom with Chuck Riley, receiver.

Nick Mosz, patient services manager for Silver Cross nutrition services, restocks the hospital’s busy dining room with supervisor Victoria Sweeney.

Silver Cross Hospital Silver Cross Hospital saw its first COVID-19 case March 12, said the hospital’s CEO and president, Ruth Colby. With safety first and foremost on her mind, a command center was created with the heads of all areas who met twice a day. The doctors, nurses, emergency department, staff on COVID-19 floors and intensive care units, and respiratory therapists were nothing short of phenomenal, Colby said, but the hospital wanted to showcase those who worked behind the scenes. One of the first tasks was to add negative pressure rooms to the hospital. Manager of Power Plant and Maintenance Joe Ulfig said the new hospital was designed to add on negative pressure rooms, which were important because the air does not recirculate in the room or hospital, but outside to minimize airborne disease exposure.

“Fortunately, the hospital was designed with automatic controls into the rooms, so when we were in need of additional rooms, a lot was already in the works with the controls. We could take wings of the hospital and make them into negative pressure rooms and monitor systems from our control room,” Ulfig said. Silver Cross Hospital had a sterilization plan in place for everyday operations, so Jim Tyrell, manager of sterile processing, said while COVID-19 added to the work, processes didn’t change. “This was right up our alley,” Tyrell said. “We had to use more personal protective equipment in crisis so it took more items and we had to sterilize more items to keep stockpiles of PPE good.” Along with other staff members, both Ulfig and Tyrell also worked as screeners for those who entered

the hospital and had daily roles handed to them on top of everyday duties. During the spring, reports of hospitals out of PPE made headlines, but Kedrick Jason, manager of supply chain management, said the hospital staff never went without protective gear. “I had to understand the landscape and necessary PPE sources, types needed, protection provided and additional PPE, and N95 masks,” he said. Jason said his department had a strict account of inventory — both electronic and actual in order to not run out of supplies. At times, vendors were changed to accommodate needs until regular vendors were able to supply. Nick Mosz, patient service manager in nutrition, said before the pandemic, the hospital offered patients a room service atmosphere

where they could eat at any time. However, the nutrition staff was not allowed in rooms, and nurses had to change PPE each time a room was entered, so Mosz set up specific meal times with each area, which coincided with nurse schedules so nurses could deliver the food efficiently. Colby said the transporters and public safety staff also were unsung heroes as the employees showed up for work to take the patients where they needed to go and keep the staff, patients and visitors safe on campus. Tyrell said of the changes at Silver Cross Hospital during COVID-19, “I’m proud of the hospital and each department on the way everyone jumped in to adapt with what was needed. This confirmed that the hospital is well prepared for a crisis because of all of the safety habits we practice.”

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

COURAGE, RESILIENCE Displayed At Area Hospitals During Covid-19

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EVERYDAY HEROES

EVERYDAY HEROES

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The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

EVERYDAY HEROES

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ISRAEIO HOLLOWAY By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent When Israeio Holloway fled her abuser at age 22, she vowed to never be a victim again. “In 2015 God revealed to me my purpose,” Holloway said. That year, in May, Holloway founded her nonprofit, Divine Purpose Transitional Living Home Inc., in order to be an advocate for survivors of human trafficking, homelessness and abuse. “After being abused, I wanted to find out how to give back,” she said. Since its founding, Holloway has done the legwork of fundraising for the home. She’s also renovating a Chicago property, which was donated to the cause. She said her non-profit will be a place where other organizations can refer for living space. In 2019, Holloway launched Growth Mindset Consulting Inc. to assist others who wish to start a nonprofit in Illinois. She helps with business plans and educates clients about grants and nonprofit status applications. “If I have information or resources, I will share,” Holloway said. “I feel like everyone has a divine purpose. God’s blessings attached to my name, I already have these. What I was called to do was for me; now I have the vision to help those in my community.” Without grant money to help her, in 2019 Holloway opened a food pantry in Joliet called HopeFULL. Through the program, residents can take clothing, food, shoes, and hygiene and baby items two times a week. She helps 15-25 low-income families each week. This year, Holloway extended the program to include a hot meal. Since its inception in August, 600 families in Joliet have been fed a hot meal. “She’s passionate about people, she helps people, the homeless and ladies with children not having enough food and supplies,” Israeio’s mother, Ora Holloway, said. “She’s always been headstrong; anything she puts her mind to, she will get it accomplished.” Holloway has also worked with the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, Southland Human Services Leadership Council and Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. She penned a book called “Body Safety for Children” in order to provide resources for parents to teach and learn about abuse.

“So many adults suffer now because of childhood abuse. They look for an escape,” Holloway said. “Sometimes women feel it’s normal to be abused. This book will help provide information for red flags, know when a child is being abused. It’s a parent’s duty to provide children information.” Holloway works as a full-time community living director on top of her nonprofits. She said even with

her hands full, she feels as though she has not done enough because she sees much more that needs to be accomplished. “I am only one person,” Holloway said. “Outcomes keep me going. Being able to observe the fruits of my labor, seeing smiles of joy I can bring to someone experiencing a hard time. The individuals are always grateful — for me, it’s stepping in where God called me.”

Holloway said she knows God has put her in these positions for a reason and her faith will carry her through obstacles. She said her mom has always been the backbone of her support. “I’m proud of her and excited; her life could have went another way,” Ora Holloway said. “I’m proud of all of her accomplishments.”


JANE KERR

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EVERYDAY HEROES

By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

Jane Kerr, the smile behind the counter at Apple Butter and Shugie’s, has become a pillar in the Morris community for her philanthropy and business-forward promotions. Kerr and her husband, Stu, own the quaint gift shop on Liberty Street in downtown Morris. Kerr has taken the role of business owner to the next level to promote not only her store, but the entire Morris area. “I’ve been involved in the Morris Retail Association since the mid1990s,” Kerr said. “I have large inventory and need to be motivated to get people to see me, so I always support other businesses as well. If out-oftowners come to another business, they may come and see me, too. We need to keep getting people into our town.” In 2015, the store placed top three at the Retailer Excellence Awards in New York City and was listed as one of the top 25 gift stores in the country. Kerr was voted 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year in Grundy County by the Grundy County Chamber of Commerce and was named a finalist for the Retail Excellence Award this year. “Everything she does is for our community,” friend and Morris resident Sandi Dransfeldt said. Besides her business, Kerr enjoys working with kids and cheerleading. She said she has been involved in cheer since her teen years and dressed her daughter in cheer uniforms since the day she was born. Kerr began a career serving children as a physical education teacher after she graduated from the University of Illinois. Kerr coached cheer for 29 years in Streator, Morris and Rebel Cheer All Stars. In 1987, she was asked to fundraise for the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association and was credited with bringing in over $225,000 for senior cheerleading scholarships. Kerr created a business for the fundraising efforts and traveled all over Illinois with her children and employees to sell merchandise at competitions to go toward the scholarships. In past years, those who walked into Apple Butter and Shugie’s would find Kerr’s two basset hounds, Bailey and Cooper, napping inside the display case under the cash register. After a few events volunteering with Guardian Angel Basset Rescue, Jane

and Stu Kerr were asked to take on volunteer responsibilities, so they sold T-shirts at events and decorated for the fundraiser ball each April. The couple got a puppy after Bailey and Cooper died. Kerr was instrumental in the creation of the Festival of Trees fundraiser with the Grundy County Historical Society. She purchased trees for decoration and had them auctioned off with the proceeds going to the nonprofit. Kerr said the volunteers grew the fundraiser to its current state, an event that raises thousands of dollars

each holiday season to support the museum. “Jane does a lot of fundraising and helps where needed to better Grundy County,” Dransfeldt said. “Stu and I are comfortable; when asked for a donation we can,” Kerr said of the work she has done over the years. “We also have connections with other retailers — why not be kind and help out? I have known my husband since second grade, and he is always one hundred percent on board with what I want to do.” Dransfeldt said with all Kerr does,

she still has time for her husband, children and grandchildren and describes her as a passionate, strong and professional woman with the betterment of her community at the forefront. “She’s a mentor of children, promoting business in Grundy County, supporter of nonprofit organizations, has great leadership and a pillar of our community,” Dransfeldt said. “She also does a lot behind the scenes that people don’t know, and that’s the problem, she doesn’t get credit.”


The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

EVERYDAY HEROES

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BILL PASSAGLIA By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent Bill Passaglia is no stranger to philanthropy. About 20 years ago, he created a program that aids seven countries in Africa, mainly through a children’s home in Zambia. So, when he and his wife, Jane, moved from Chicago to Lockport to be closer to family, he jumped into community service. He taught the Bible to homeless people through MorningStar Mission and built a route to drop off clothes and furniture once a month. He helped feed 50 residents with donated food from grocery stores and restaurants three times per day at no cost. It was the 180 Men’s Residential Recovery Program that launched Passaglia’s next nonprofit adventure, Beating Addiction Through Spiritual Enlightenment. He purchased two properties in Joliet as recovery homes for the men when they left the 180 program. Passaglia, along with other volunteers, helped the men find work and clothing and, sometimes, reconnect with their families. “It was tough, I was hopeful the guys would turn their lives around. The Lord used us as a part of the guys finding their way back and leaving addiction,” Passaglia said. He spent 10-12 hours there per day and watched as this idea grew to a place where the men themselves took pride in their recovery and enforced the program rules. “Bill has gone above and beyond most people by getting people with problems off the street to make them productive members of the community,” said Pete DeLaney. “He makes a difference.” In 2014, Lockport Police Chief Terry Lemming founded Lockport Love, a nonprofit that assists families in need within Lockport Township. Once again, Passaglia used his business knowledge to incorporate Lockport Love on a state and federal level to help raise and allocate funds. Passaglia said Lockport Love has helped over 60 families, mostly single moms. At times a set of new tires or a car tuneup meant a single mother had transportation to work, he said. Other times families need a new roof, furnace or hot water heater. Passaglia helped a single mother stay in her family home, which she was about to lose.

“All she needed was a representative to put on the boxing gloves,” Passaglia said. “It was a blessing to be a part of that.” Currently, Passaglia makes signs to support Lockport Police and asks for a $10 donation. In October, he was

able to present Lockport Love with a $4,500 donation from sign sales. Passaglia credits God for his work for the community, both here and abroad. “God put us together in his clockworks; all of us are a cog in the clockworks of God,” said. “We each

have different gifts.” DeLaney said, “Bill goes out and sees a need and fills it. He’s not afraid to volunteer or help people. He is trying to make a difference and that what he is doing.”


WARDIE SAIN

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EVERYDAY HEROES

By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

Wardie Sain spent most of his days with his siblings and the neighborhood kids at the park until sundown. When he was older, he acted as a mentor to those children at the park to the point where it became natural to coach or give pointers to younger players. Later, Sain’s two degrees led him to work as a physical education teacher in Joliet at Washington Junior High and Laraway Middle School. He went on to become an administrator, retired briefly and then returned to the administration department. In tandem with his career in education, Sain worked as a program director with the G.W. Buck Boys and Girls Club of Joliet — part-time during the school year and full-time in the summer. His love of sports as a kid pushed him into a natural role as coach. He has been a basketball coach for over 40 years at the club and in summers. Even though football and track were his sports of choice in his own school years, Sain loves basketball. “I like to teach the kids how the game should be played so they can get better and better each day. They don’t have to like me, but they need to play for me and respect me. My job was to educate them so they had a good chance to make the high schools teams,” Sain said. Sain is proud of one success story in particular. He had a young boy who was never picked for teams on the basketball court, but he encouraged him to practice and “hang in there,” until he went from the athlete not picked to the one the older players wanted on their team. “‘See what hard work will do for you,’ I would tell him. This boy played at the club, moved on to play high school ball, graduated from college and is now a high school teacher and high school basketball coach,” Sain said. “It was great to see him blossom.” Sylvester Cottrel, fellow coach and G.W. Buck Boys and Girls Club of Joliet employee said, “Wardie was a father figure, friend, teacher and mentor.” Cottrel and Sain worked together and remember a 7-year-old boy who came to the club and gravitated toward Cottrel and Sain. Together they helped him over humps in his life and tried to keep him away from the

negative things going on outside the club walls. “Wardie will go the extra mile if he needed to save a kid to keep them out of trouble, give them bus fare, lunch money, a ride home or just a person to lean on,” Cottrel said. While at school, Sain could be found in the classrooms of his students when he had a break, ensuring the student-athletes asked questions, attended class and engaged with the

teacher. Education came first over sports; however, the two went hand in hand, said Sain. “Basketball was harder than the classroom, where they have time to think about the answer — on the basketball court, they think constantly and move constantly,” he explained. All encompassed, Sain said he loves to see the student athletes progressing into their academics and athleticism and being respectful and

caring for others. He also donated his time with private basketball lessons at no charge, simply for the love of the game and the desire to see the children in the community embark upon something productive and positive. “At one time all five starters on the Joliet Central High School team played for me. I had tears in my eyes; that’s why I usually sit by myself when I watch them play,” Sain said.


The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

EVERYDAY HEROES

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GEORGETTE WURSTER By ALLISON SELK

Shaw Media correspondent Georgette Wurster said her volunteer work reflects her faith, like the poem “Christ Has No Body” by Teresa of Avila. “It is near and dear to me to let God’s will be done on Earth through me,” Wurster said. When her children were younger, she said the family was involved in scouts, which has a strong community service component. As the children learned about service, she joined alongside. Wurster works at St. Mary Immaculate Parish in Plainfield as the confirmation director. She works with junior and high school students to prepare to receive the sacrament of confirmation and the world of discipleship. She works with 50-70 volunteer teachers, who deliver the message to students in small group classes. Wurster creates the curriculum tailored on how best to convey the message to each student to aid in their spiritual growth. She wove service as a key component into the confirmation lessons. Wurster teaches the students to use empathy to approach a problem. A group of four students were passionate about better recycling habits and came to Wurster to help direct a project. The students then provided collection bins for plastic bottle tops, sorted and sent them into a company, which in turn created three benches for the parish grounds. “Georgette is an everyday hero, not only because she gives of herself to help all those around her, but she is also teaching the next generation ways they can help too,” Beth Cockrell said. Beyond her job at the parish, she volunteers as an usher, greeter and Eucharistic minister. Wurster said hunger tugs on her heart, so she has been involved with the Northern Illinois Food Bank and Catholic Charities food trucks that service the community at the church up to three times per year. Once COVID-19 hit, the church began the trucks twice a month when they saw a rise in need. Numbers doubled from 250 families in April to 500 in May. “We have been there. In 2007-08 during the economy break, my family was affected, and we have been on the receiving end when things aren’t working, so this tugs on my heart —

I want families to be taken care of because they are doing the best they can,” Wurster said. She said people look at the Plainfield community and do not see need, but she looks around and notices the working poor — those who work but still cannot make ends meet. She asked the pantries, which usually operate in the morning, to be at night so those who work and need food can attend the pantry. “It’s such a double-edged sword.

We are thrilled so many people can get help, but sad so many people are in need,” Wurster said. Wurster helps with the Knights of Columbus winter coat and hat drives and is an organizer of the “Make a Difference Day,” where parishioners clean up the retreat center at the Mantellate Sisters convent in Plainfield. She also attends the March for Life walk in Chicago. She said she cannot accept this honor of everyday hero only for her-

self, but for all of the others she works alongside each day, whether it be the confirmation, parish or food truck volunteers. “She gives so selfishly of her time with many projects throughout the year and always with a smile. We are so blessed to call her one of ours,” Pam Angelous said. Wurster said of her volunteer work, “The Lord has called me to help.”


• Speak with your physician first. Anyone, but especially seniors, who wants to volunteer during the pandemic should discuss those aspirations with their physicians prior to offering their services to charitable organizations. Doctors can discuss the acute and chronic threats posed by the COVID-19 virus and examine each individual’s medical history to help potential volunteers decide if working with a local charity is safe. In addition, doctors can check patients for COVID-19 symptoms and even have them tested to make sure they

won’t be putting anyone in danger should they decide to volunteer.

• Contact the organization prior to volunteering. Some organizations may not be allowing potentially at-risk volunteers to perform in-person tasks. Contact the organization you hope to work with prior to signing up to confirm your eligibility, but also to discuss the safety protocols they’ve put in place to protect the health of their volunteers.

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

Volunteers are vital to the survival of many charitable organizations. Without people willing to offer their time and expertise free of charge, many nonprofits would find it difficult, if not impossible, to meet their missions. The global pandemic that begin in late 2019 and continued into 2020 changed many aspects of life as the world knew it, and that includes volunteering. Social distancing measures and stay-athome mandates from state and local governments discouraged people from leaving their homes, while various health organizations warned aging men and women to stay home as much as possible. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. In recognition of that threat, many retirees who were heavily involved in volunteering prior to the pandemic were forced to cease working as volunteers, which could have a negative effect on their mental health as the pandemic continues. A report from the Mayo Clinic Health System noted that adults over age 60 experienced greater life satisfaction and greater positive changes in their perceived health as a result of volunteering. Many people have continued to volunteer during the pandemic, and those that want to do so can take these steps to make sure their efforts to give back are as safe as possible.

• Monitor your own health. If you’ve signed up to volunteer, it’s vital that you monitor your own health. Health officials believe the COVID-19 virus has spread so rapidly for a number of reasons, including the likelihood that many people have had the virus but shown no symptoms. Charitable organizations will no doubt assess the health of each volunteer when they show up to work, but volunteers also should make such assessments on their own. Check your temperature each day and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of COVID-19. If you suspect you are unwell or are even slightly under the weather, contact the charity and tell them you won’t be showing up that day. Operating with an abundance of caution during the pandemic can save lives.

• Consider virtual volunteering. Virtual volunteering is a safe way to give back that won’t expose volunteers or others to the COVID-19 virus. Charitable organizations need behind-the-scenes help just as much as they need volunteers with their boots on the ground. Virtual volunteers can help with fundraising efforts and event planning, but also help charities overcome the logistical challenges of operating and meeting their missions during the pandemic. Prior to volunteering during the pandemic, prospective volunteers can follow numerous steps to ensure volunteering is safe, both for them and the people they’re trying to help.

EVERYDAY HEROES

Volunteer safely during the pandemic

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EVERYDAY HEROES Molly Babyak - Shorewood HUGS Sarah Babyak - Shorewood Junior HUGS

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CONGRATULATIONS to the 2020

The Herald-News/TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

EVERYDAY HEROES

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Molly Babyak

Kathy Hartong

Sarah Babyak

Israeio Holloway

Mike Clark

Jane Kerr

Mary Lou Gast

Bill Passaglia

Mike & Megan Grohar

Wardie Sain

Georgette Wurster It is an honor to recognize people in our communities who selessly give their time and talents for others. Will and Grundy counties are a better place to live and work because of their efforts.

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for going above and beyond

Reimagine What’s Possible In Industrial Real Estate Investment | Development | Asset Management

Everyday Heroes|The Herald-News / TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

To Our Valued Everyday Heroes

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The Herald-News / TheHerald-News.com • Saturday, October 24, 2020

| Everyday Heroes

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One of the

NATION’S BEST. CLOSE to Home. Being named one of the nation’s 100 TOP HOSPITALS is something few hospitals ever achieve. So you can imagine how proud we are to earn this distinction for the 8th time! 100 Top Hospitals like Silver Cross have better survival rates, fewer complications, shorter hospital stays and higher ratings from patients. Added to our Straight A’s for Patient Safety from the Leapfrog Group, our 100 Top recognition demonstrates that safety, quality and patient experience are at the heart of everything we do. So when you’re looking for one of the country’s best hospitals, look no further than Silver Cross — proud to be your 100 Top Hospital.

Silver Cross Hospital proudly salutes the Everyday Heroes in our community.

1900 Silver Cross Blvd. • New Lenox, IL 60451 silvercross.org

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