The annual Barrington Area Development Council Dinner & Citizen of the Year announcement, is always a popular evening in 60010.
Madame of Ceremonies for the evening, Anna Bush, finally had everyone seated so the program could begin. Anna introduced BADC President Jack Schaefer, who called on Zina Jacque to give the Dinner Blessing. Jack commented that Zina's speeches at the previous BADC Biennial Leadership Academy have so moved attendees, people are still talking about them!
After dinner Jack resumed his place at the podium and asked Chrissie Mena, to come up to introduce the evening's Keynote Speaker, Rebecca Darr. Chrissie has known Rebecca for over 15 years and worked with her on many local charitable efforts, including helping to raise funds for Wings - the organization where Rebecca is CEO.
Rebecca spoke of the continued support from the Barrington area to help organizations like hers reach goals to provide services in the community. She spoke of her getting to know local 'champions' who rallied to make dreams become reality for the Wings Program, including helping to raise funds for two emergency shelters in the past ten years. Rebecca also shared the story of how the first transition home in Barrington was donated. Close to Barrington High School, a physician couple had purchased the home so their child could park his car. After receiving bad press, they readily donated the home to Wings, providing a much needed space for a family transitioning to a life without violence.
After Rebecca's speech, Jack thanked William Lee Jr. with an award for his many years of dedicated service to the Barrington Area Development Council.
Finally, Robin Hamlin delivered an emotional dedication to this year's BADC 42nd Citizen of the Year Sue McGrath. This is the first award BADC has given posthumously. Before losing her battle with cancer, Sue had been an extremely active volunteer in the Barrington community, especially with the Barrington 220 schools and the 220 Educational Foundation. Sue's husband and daughter received the award on her behalf.
Many of the guests attending this year's dinner were good friends of Sue McGrath. After the dinner and presentation of awards, people continued to linger and share stories of Sue and the many efforts she made to make the Barrington community a better place. A theme among everyone in describing Sue was:
"She had tremendous energy and could always be counted on to get something done - especially if it was to help someone or make the Barrington area better in some way."