Our Naperville gala is this week, and promises to be a fabulous evening, with a nod to the Motown era and an opportunity to thank two very deserving awardees, learn more about Almost Home Kids and have a very fun evening raising much needed funds.
This year we are honoring long-time volunteer Kathy Wennerstrum as Share the Care Champion, and NEUCO as very deserving Distinguished Donors.
Here is just a bit about both –
Kathy Wennerstrum, Share the Care Champion.
Kathy traded in her corporate ID many years ago and has since taken full advantage of a wide range of opportunities to volunteer. As a result, Almost Home Kids has benefited greatly from Kathy’s willingness to serve our organization in many different capacities. Kathy enjoyed a successful career which concluded in Sales & Marketing at Van Kampen American Capital, where she worked with the company’s Wholesalers and external retail Brokers, before retiring from corporate life to become a stay-at-home mom and driver for her three sons Matt, Dan, and Tom.
Since then, Kathy has freely offered her time and talents to several worthy organizations. She served as the President of the Western Springs District 101 School Board, as a Board member and President of the Western Springs Little League, Board member of the Western Springs Foundation for Educational Excellence, as President of the local PTO, and as a Commissioner for the Village of Western Springs’ Recreation Department. Kathy has also been active in the local and global mission activities of her church for the last several years, actively supporting several projects addressing hunger, homelessness, and community sustainability. Kathy presently works to broaden Chicago partnerships within the Presbytery of Havana and supports her congregation’s own partnership with a Cuban congregation.
Most importantly, during the last nine years, Kathy’s been affiliated with Almost Home Kids as a Recreational Volunteer and has spent more than 230 volunteer hours engaging with the children at AHK. Kathy has been part of the Planning Committee for the Naperville Gala since 2011 and served as Chair for two highly successful Naperville galas, and she considers it an honor to be just one small part of the greater team working to expand AHK’s reach and services.
Neuco, Distinguished Donors
Neuco became involved with Almost Home Kids (AHK) in 2009 when Bill Neustadt, retired President and current Chairman of NEUCO, was introduced to Almost Home Kids by his neighbor and former AHK Board Member, Mike Busse. Bill was instantly inspired by the mission and children, and in 2010 joined our Board of Directors, serving as Board Chair from 2013 to 2016. Bill also encouraged the company to adopt Almost Home Kids as a beneficiary of their corporate charitable endeavors. Since 2010 NEUCO has sponsored countless Almost Home Kids events, from our past golf outings, to the galas in both Chicago and Naperville. For several years Neuco has had a foursome of golfers headed by Brian and Billy Neustadt in the AHK Golf Marathon, and Neuco employees have personally supported AHK — encouraging their friends and families to also become involved.
In 2013 Neuco employees began an annual tradition by hosting the Holiday Party for the children & siblings at AHK Naperville, recruiting musical entertainment from Neuco employees, providing lunch for family members and staff, and even donning the big red suit and beard to make sure the children at Almost Home Kids have a visit and pictures with Santa, AKA Bill. In addition to Almost Home Kids, Neuco has dedicated significant time and resources to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, the Marfan Foundation and Sharing Connections Furniture Bank in Downers Grove.
Neuco is the premier master distributor of HVAC/R controls in North America, providing excellent service, technical knowledge, and support to wholesale distributors by serving as an extension of the manufacturers. The origins of the company date back to 1907 when John M. Neustadt started his hay, coal and grain business on the west side of Chicago. Today, Neuco stocks over 54,000 replacement parts from top HVAC/R manufacturers such as Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Carrier, Trane and Lennox at their new location in Bollingbrook, IL. Amid the evolution of the company from the early 1900’s to today, one thing has remained the same: Neuco’s commitment to customer service and satisfaction is second to none.