Over 150 Barrington citizens, community volunteers, village officials and many previous honorees attended the annual dinner held May 21 at Makray County Club.
Local community organizations filled the room during the cocktail hour highlighting some of the good work and great people that help make the Barrington area a wonderful place to live. After mingling and getting to know the organizations, the guests were encouraged to take their seats for the dinner portion of the event.
Rev. Zina Jacque led the upbeat event as Madame of Ceremonies. She introduced the different speakers and presenters throughout the evening. Zina intrduced Rev. Jeanne Hansen who gave the Blessing as well as calling upon Rev. Patrick Raymond from St. Michael's Church and Rev. Dr. Joseph Dorociak of the Presbyterian Church of Barrington to pull winning entries for the two raffle baskets.
Jack Schaefer, President of the Barrington Area Development Council, gave highlights of BADC's achievements this year. He announced the retirement of Board Members Theresa Patton and Ron Hamelberg and introduced new members, Gary Schmitz and Rey Mena.
BADC Board member Thomas Balsamo introduced Keynote Speaker Gloria Jean Kvetko. Gloria's theme was The Silent Thank You. Gloria spoke of her journey to creating Gloria Jean's Coffee Bean, the challenges, and the lessons she learned.
The Citizen of the Year Award was presented to Sue Randall by William Lee and Anna Bush with the help of Sue's friend and BADC Board Member Bob Lee.
In making the presentation, Bob Lee, who received the award in 2011, lauded Sue for making a “deep and lasting impact on Barrington” as a neighbor, school and community volunteer, and mom.
Bob noted that Sue has supported the community in many ways. After moving to Barrington some 20 years ago, she has served Fox Point as a social chair and president; written a weekly column for the Barrington Courier-Review; and collected neighborhood recipes for two cookbooks, one of which helped raise funds to purchase a defibrillator following a neighbor’s heart attack.
In addition, Sue has supported Barrington’s school district as a PTO president of both Station Middle School and Barrington High School, along with chairing the PTO President’s Council.
Sue also created and has led the “Barrington Reads” program which partners the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation, President’s Council and the Barrington Area Library. She has also served as president and also on a variety of committees for the Barrington Junior Women’s Club, including chairing the most successful fundraiser in the history of the organization.
Additionally, Sue has headed a team that is the leading Chicago-area fundraiser for the Avon Walk for breast cancer. She has also led “By The Hand,” which is dedicated to helping children who live in under-resourced areas of Chicago, as well as helping with fundraising for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and serving the Jeffrey Pride Foundation as a member of their Auxiliary Board.
Also attending the dinner was a special surprise guest: Paul Launer, who suffers from ALS. Since hearing about Paul from a friend at Journey Care over a year-and-a-half ago, Sue has been providing special care on a consistent, weekly basis to Paul. She has been helping him fulfill his wish to chronicle his personal story. Moreover, since meeting Paul, she recently helped raise over $80,000 for the Les Turner ALS Foundation by energizing 175 local citizens and walkers to support last year’s annual fundraiser.
Making the announcement, Bob also quoted from a number of people who expressed their support of Sue’s nomination by describing her as a “charitable powerhouse,” our “SUEnami” and as someone for who “… the word ‘no’ means ‘next opportunity’.”
And, as someone also noted in a way that certainly reflects the particular spirit of the BADC award: “The capacity of Sue’s heart is endless – whatever help is needed, she’s ready and willing to provide it.”
And, judging from the enthusiastic response upon hearing her name as this year’s honoree, Sue has touched many hearts herself.
Also receiving a special service recognition award was Dr. Tom Leonard, Superintendent of Barrington District 220 schools. Dr. Leonard recently announced he would be leaving Barrington at the end of the current school year. Dr. Leonard's award was given to him by BADC member Joe Kelsch.