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We had an amazing time at our first ever Summer Tasting Soiree – a Top Chef style AHK fundraiser event at Kendall College. 5 student chef’s took their inspration from 5 AHK families and created unique dishes to wow the attendees. Top Chef competitor Carlos Gaytan was on hand to present the winner – Pankhuri Juvekar – with a $1,000 scholarship prize donated by Marita Sullivan.

Masses of thanks to everyone who attended, special thanks to the organizing committee chaired by Bregan Herrold and to all our sponsors including Corboy & Demetrio, The Private Bank, Sullivan Reporting, Beam Suntory, Panera Bread, ECBG Pastry, Lagunitas Brewery and Zevia!
Photos by: Amina Nevels

Join us for Cocktails for a Cause hosted by Kevin Shea and Angela Figg at the super cool river walk bar River Roast. Funds raised at the event will benefit Almost Home Kids.

Huge thank you to Simplex for their sponsorship of this event.

Thursday, July 27th 2017 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres
Early bird registration $100 ($115 after July 15th)

Sponsorship are available and include company name, link and logo inclusion on the AHK website and invite:
$1250 2 tickets – Passive investor
$2500 4 tickets – Day Trader
$5000 6 tickets – Index player
$7000 7 tickets – Bull Market
$10000 12 tickets – Fast Money

Tickets and Sponsorship’s are available at: https://give.almosthomekids.org/event

For more information contact: Kevin Shea (Kevin.Shea@Instinet.com) or Angela Figg (Angela.Figg@Instinet.com)

Our 2017 Annual Meeting presented us with a great opportunity to bring our most ardent supporters up to date on all the exciting developments at Almost Home Kids.

Held at our Naperville home, and in the company of the kids and staff, everyone who serves on the AHK Board and Presidents Council were reminded of why we are all here and were reinvigorated to further the vision and above all stay true to the mission of Almost Home Kids.

If you’re interested in getting more involved with Almost Home Kids and would like to serve on one of our committee’s, please contact Raeann Jackson at rjackson@almosthomekids.org.

Almost Home Kids would like to acknowledge the dedicated individuals who serve on our board in Naperville and in Chicago. Their work and involvement makes an immeasurable difference in the lives of the children we serve, and their families.

Board of Directors
Josh Prangley, Chair
Theresa Danko, Vice Chair
Julia Chappell
Deborah A. Grisko
Michael Hoffman
Marty Koehler
Richard A. Mark
Matthew Mullarkey
Paula Noble
Christopher Schenkenberg
Michelle Stephenson
Jessica Strausbaugh
Marita Sullivan

President’s Council
Dan Ault
Paul Bogdanski
Julia Chappell
Carley Diedrich
Angela Figg
Sheila Gallagher
Marcia Glenn
Josette Goldberg
Bregan Herrold
Jen Horsley
Paul Jesinskis
Carolyn M. Johnson
Ann Karch
Bethany Keown
Bill Neustadt
Katie Ossman
Tom Roth
Susan J. Schwartz
Matt Szeghy
Susan Tromans
Kathy Wennerstrum

Please join Top Chef competitor Carlos Gaytan at our first ever Almost Home Kids Summer Tasting Soirée – A Top Student Chef Culinary Competition and gourmet event at Kendall College benefiting the programs and children at Almost Home Kids. Senior Students will create hors d’oeuvres inspired by the cultural backgrounds of AHK families, while attendees will have the chance to select the winner of the AHK Top Student Chef Scholarship.

THURSDAY, JUNE 15
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
KENDALL COLLEGE – 900 N. Branch Street, Chicago
Complimentary Parking will be available in the parking lot north of Kendall College

Click Here to purchase tickets: $125

 

We currently have clinical employment opportunities at AHK available, and recently hosted an Open House that was sponsored and organized by our friends at Titus Talent Strategies.

The Open House was a great way for people to get a better understanding of our programs, and learn about the various employment opportunities we currently have available – RN’s, Resource Nurses and CNA openings at both locations.

If you are interested in learning more or would like to apply, please email April Alexander, AHK Director of Nursing.

Thank you to everyone who supported our Naperville gala and wore western gear and fabulous jewelry at our Boots n’ Bling; a Western Fling event on Friday April 28th. Over $150,000 was raised at the event, plus with many new attendees in the room we were able to reach lots of new friends and tell the all about Almost Home Kids.

Michelle and Jon Freeman gave a very heartwarming parent testimonial about their son Peter, who came to us for transitional Care that truly touched everyone in the room.

Thank you to Patti Vasquez (from WGN radio’s Pretty Late) who was our awesome host for the evening, and Marion Valle for raising the gavel as our auctioneer.

We broke some impressive fundraising goals by doubling the usual amount raised at the Fund a Need and the auction, plus the attendees had a very fun time dancing to the live music of modern country band Lincoln Don’t Lie, who rocked the night away. The night kicked off with some great fiddling from the violin group from String Serenade.

We recognized two very special awardees, Carolyn Johnson (Volunteer Extraordinaire) and Mullarkey Associates (Share the Care Champions) – great ambassadors of AHK, and amazing supporters is so many different ways.

ATI, Neuco, UPS, JMG Financial, Mullarkey Associates and The Meeting House were our corporate sponsors – Thank You!!

We are thrilled to be recognizing two wonderful awardees on Friday at our Naperville Gala “Boots & Bling” a Western Fling. Hope you can join us to recognize their amazing support of Almost Home Kids over the years.

Mullarkey Associates
Share the Care Champion
Mullarkey Associates, Inc. was founded by Martin Mullarkey, Sr. and Barbara Mullarkey in 1971 in the basement of their home. Mullarkey Associates operates as a manufacturer’s representative company that focuses on the water related markets that include; Municipal, Industrial, Swim Pool, and Carwash Markets. The Company represents 14 manufacturers in the 13 Midwestern states. The company is head quartered in Tinley Park, IL.
Today, the company is managed by their two sons Martin Jr. and Michael with advisement from their son Matthew.
The Mullarkey Family have been close personal friends of Debbie Grisko, AHK President and Executive Director, her parents and her siblings for many years. When Debbie joined Almost Home Kids in 2007, Mullarkey Associates became one of Almost Home Kids’ most steadfast supporters. Since 2007, Mullarkey Associates has contributed more than $40,000 to Almost Home Kids, making an indelible impact on our success as an organization through sponsorship of everything from Galas to Golf Outings to the Margaret M. and Thomas M. Curran Healing Garden at our Naperville home.
In addition to the meaningful contributions Mullarkey Associates have made at Almost Home Kids, the rest of the family have been very much involved as well – Matt Mullarkey serves on the AHK Executive Board, and has supported us in many ways – including golfing 100 holes in our annual Golf Marathon and Grace Mullarkey has served on past organizing committees – it’s been a family affair.

Carolyn Johnson
Volunteer Extraordinaire
Carolyn Johnson is a member of the Almost Home Kids President’s Council and was previously a member of the Almost Home Kids Board of Directors. She served on the Program Committee as one of the original team members that created a protocol for collecting outcomes of care and demographic data for the children served by Almost Home Kids. She continues to be involved in the generation of yearly data reports which are used by the Almost Home Kids staff to track trends, create presentations, and write grant proposals.
Carolyn’s connection to Almost Home Kids began when her son, Michael, stayed at the Naperville site in the Respite Care Program. The Johnson family is eternally grateful for the care Michael received, and Carolyn has spoken at many Almost Home Kids functions about the positive impact of this experience on both family and community.
Carolyn graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MS in Applied Statistics from DePaul University. She is a Lead Staff Engineer and Six Sigma Black Belt with Continental Automotive Systems, and has spent her career working in the area of automotive pressure sensors and exhaust & emissions sensors.

Carolyn’s connection to Almost Home Kids began when her son, Michael, stayed at the Naperville site in the Respite Care Program. The Johnson family is eternally grateful for the care Michael received, and Carolyn has spoken at many Almost Home Kids functions about the positive impact of this experience on both family and community. Carolyn’s husband Joe has also participated in the Golf Marathon for AHK and along with their son Tom they have attended AHK events for several years.

Almost Home Kids helps our parents and caregivers connect with medical, governmental and community resources and agencies. The list below has been put together by our social work team – new updated info and links have been added recently:

American Academy of Pediatrics
Dedicated to the Health of all Children, this physician-run academy provides an excellent source of information to parents/caregivers.
http://www.aap.org/

American Cancer Society
Information on childhood cancer:
http://www.cancer.org

American Lung Association of Illinois – Greater Chicago
This statewide health organization has the state’s leading experts on lung disease as members. The mission is to make a world free of lung disease and to promote lung health.
www.lungil.org

The ARC of Illinois
Statewide Health Information Resource for Families of Children and Youth with Special Needs. It is committed to empowering persons with disabilities to achieve full participation in community life through informed choices.
http://www.thearcofil.org/
http://www.thearcofil.org/familytofamily/

Access Living
We equip people with disabilities with the tools to overcome societal barriers to inclusion by imparting independent living skills, teaching economic self-sufficiency, and enabling people with disabilities to transition to autonomous community living
https://www.accessliving.org/

Center for Disability & Elder Law
The Chicago Bar Association founded this nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the legal rights of low-income persons with disabilities and senior citizens in Cook County.
http://www.cdelaw.org/

The Center for Independence through Conductive Education
Provides unique intensive group method of special education which expects and demands active learning and participation by the child in attempting to overcome his/her motor disability (i.e., cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury), The founder’s motto: When you do not educate the child to be independent, you educate the child to be dependent. Dr. Andras Peto.
http://www.center-for-independence.org/

Cerebral Palsy Group – Cerebral Palsy Group is a national organization that was created so that it may serve the individuals and families who have been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. We are here to provide information and support so that we may help provide resources and education to those affected by CP. https://cerebralpalsygroup.com/

Cerebral Palsy Guidance –  Cerebral Palsy Guidance covers medical information, like symptoms and treatment, as well as daily living topics, including counseling, abuse, college/careers, bullying and more. You can read more at cerebralpalsyguidance.com/cerebral-palsy/living/

Community Support Services
A private not-for-profit service agency that initiates provides and promotes services for people with developmental disabilities and their families, within their communities.http://www.communitysupportservices.org

Easter Seals Disability Services
Easter Seals DuPage and the Fox Valley Region provides services for infants, children and adults with disabilities to achieve maximum independence, and to provide support for the families who love and care for them. http://dfvr.easterseals.com/site/PageServer?pagename=ILDU_contactus

Entertainment Guide for Families of Children with Special Needs
Family vacations and daytrips enrich everyone’s lives. They can provide children and parents with new perspectives, not to mention relaxation mixed with excitement. Unfortunately, vacations are also a source of stress for many families – and particularly those that include a child with special needs. But with a little planning, preparation and information, a trip can be a source of joy rather than distress. Here are some great ideas for families to explore.
http://eguide.thecplawyer.com

Ever Thrive Illinois
Ever Thrive Illinois works to improve the health of women, children, and families over the lifespan through community engagement, partnerships, policy analysis, education, and advocacy.
http://www.everthriveil.org/

Family Support Network of Illinois
Their mission is to unify individuals with disabilities and their families to advocate for funding, services, and community resources that strengthen and support the individual and empowering them to life in their own homes.
http://www.familysupportnetwork.org/

Health & Disability Advocates
HDA is a social innovator that promotes health and economic security for vulnerable populations so that they can lead secure, dignified lives. HDA works with, but is not limited to, the following: low income families and individuals, children, youth, older adults, adults with disabilities, and Veterans and service members.
http://www.hdadvocates.org/

Helping Children with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disability caused by brain damage that restricts normal movement and coordination. Each year, 10,000 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy Guide provides free educational materials, financial options and support to help those across the country affected by this disorder.
https://www.cerebralpalsyguide.com/

Make-a-Wish Foundation
Since 1980 this foundation has enriched the lives of children with life-threatening medical conditions through its wish-granting work.
www.wish.org

Medline Plus
Providing “Trusted Health Information for You” this government website has topics and news on conditions, diseases and wellness.
http://medlineplus.gov/

National Center for Learning Disabilities
Special Education Services for students with learning disabilities are covered under the Individuals with
Disabilities Learning Act (IDEA) which provides states with federal funds to help make special education services available to students with disabilities. http://www.ncld.org/

Normal Moments, Inc.
Helping parents/caregivers of children with critical illnesses by providing support to them in the home, in hospital and via web resources.
http://www.normalmoments.org

PACT, Inc
An independent Services Coordination Agency in DuPage County, providing individual service coordination for people with disabilities.
http://www.pactinc.net/

The Kids Equipment Network
We are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to connecting children with special needs, from birth to 21 years of age, who have little or no funding, with needed durable adaptive equipment.
http://www.tken.org

Governmental Agencies –

Departments of Health – by County in Illinois
Your resource for many Health Services: mental health, community and environmental health.
http://www.idph.state.il.us/local/alpha.htm

Specific websites for childhood immunizations and the WIC programs in some Northern Illinois counties are given below:

WIC: Women Infants & Children Clinics
WIC is a federally funded program to aid low income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women and children up to the age of 5 who are at nutritional risk. The Food and Nutrition Services branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture makes grants to states to provide supplemental foods, health care referral and nutrition education to women, infants and children.

Cook County:
http://www.cookcountypublichealth.org/services

DeKalb County:
http://dekalbhealth.net/hs/women-infants-children/

DuPage County:
http://www.dupagehealth.org/

Kane County:
http://www.kanehealth.com/maternal_child.htm

Lake County:
https://www.lakecountyil.gov/2049/Women-Infants-Children-WIC

McHenry County:
https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/health-department/nursing/maternal-child-health-services/wic-women-infants-and-children-

Will County:
http://www.willcountyhealth.org/Children-and-Families/Family-Health-Services/FHSD/category/2355/Women-Children-and-Infants-Nutrition-WIC

Winnebago County:
http://www.wchd.org/faq.cfm?cat=324

Childhood Immunizations
Cook County:
http://www.cookcountypublichealth.org/immunization-resources

DeKalb County:
http://dekalbhealth.net/hs/immunizations/

DuPage County:
http://www.dupagehealth.org/women-children-health-immunization-services

Kane County:
http://www.kanehealth.com/immunizations.htm

Lake County:
https://www.lakecountyil.gov/862/Immunizations

McHenry County:
https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/county-government/departments-a-i/health-department/nursing/clinic-services

Will County:
http://patch.com/illinois/bolingbrook/will-county-health-department-has-new-walk-in-immunizefe8d39e8b

Winnebago County:
http://www.wchd.org/faq.cfm?cat=315

Department of Human Services – Illinois
Services to help families meet basic needs and to become self-sufficient. Links to Early intervention services for children up to three years of age are included in the second and third link below.
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx

http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=31889

Division of Specialized Services for Children
The link below provides an information library and resources for families and children with special health care needs.
http://dscc.uic.edu/browse-resources/

This link brings you to a pamphlet entitled “Planning for your Teenager’s Future” for families of teenagers with special needs.
http://dscc.uic.edu/resources/healthcare-transition/

Please join us for our first ever Almost Home Kids Summer Tasting Soirée – A Top Student Chef Culinary Competition and gourmet event at Kendall College benefiting the programs and children at Almost Home Kids. Senior Students will create hors d’oeuvres inspired by the cultural backgrounds of AHK families, while attendees will have the chance to select the winner of a Top Student Chef Scholarship. Kendall College offers a cool setting with ample onsite parking.

Where: Kendall College 900 N North Branch St, Chicago, IL 60642
When: Thursday June 15th, 2017 at 6:00 PM
Why: to help raise awareness and funds for Almost Home Kids
Tickets: $125 each

Please contact Judith McLean with any questions, or to secure a particular sponsorship level: jmclean@almosthomekids.org | 312-399-0013

 $10,000 – The Chef

  • 25 tickets
  • Event Name would be changed to accommodate sponsor name
  • Corporate Logo on the organization’s event page with link to company website
  • Company name promoted as event sponsor in pre and post publicity of event
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Listing in bi-annual newsletter
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)

$5,000 – The Sous Chef

  • 15 tickets
  • Corporate Logo on the organization’s event page with link to company website
  • Company name promoted as event sponsor in pre and post publicity of event
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Listing in bi-annual newsletter
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)

 $2,500 – The Saucier

  • 10 tickets
  • Corporate Logo on the organization’s event page with link to company website
  • Company name promoted as event sponsor in pre and post publicity of event
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)

$1,000 – The Top Student Chef Scholarship Award (sold out)

  • $1,000 goes to the winner of the culinary competition
  • Opportunity to name the scholarship
  • Recognition at event during program and on signage
  • Listing in bi-annual newsletter
  • Logo on invitation (if commitment received by print deadline)