On December 6, we gathered at Drinker Biddle & Reath for our 2017 Annual Meeting to reflect on our accomplishments and celebrate how we as a community are building the future of foster care.
In the company of our Board of Directors, staff, corporate partners, and supporters, we gather together each year to celebrate the work we’ve done and the people who make all of our accomplishments and progress possible.
A few of those impactful individuals were recognized as our 2017 Annual Meeting honorees: Tovah McCord (Chicago Blackhawks Community Fund), awarded the 2017 Distinguished Community Leadership Award; Mike and Gisela Sabal (S Mechanical), awarded the 2017 Making a Difference Award; Martin Nixon (Norman Mechanical), awarded the 2017 Distinguished Corporate Leadership Award; Chris Nadeau awarded the 2017 Distinguished Volunteer Leadership Award; and the SOS Illinois Case Management Staff awarded the 2017 Distinguished Staff Leadership Award.
We are proud to recognize our Case Management Staff, a team of individuals whose work is vital to the stability and growth of the children in our care. CEO Tim McCormick called the team our “invisible heroes . . . who have tremendous demands on them, and who make miracles happen to keep children safe.” Additionally, Delphine Rankin, Deputy Director for Operations for Case Management, spoke on behalf of the Case Management team in acceptance of the award. She likened case work to that of first responders: They both ensure the safety of themselves and others when a traumatic moment happens; They assess and identify the condition of life-threatening situations in a traumatic event; They summon for medical and other professional help for our children; They provide direct care; They report the action of the event after everything is over, and then case workers reassure all the other people involved in the event. We are so grateful for our dedicated staff and happy to be able to recognize their work for the families we serve.
We were also honored to welcome one of our founding board members, Kathi Buck, who spoke about the very earliest days of the organization and the concentrated effort it took to get the Lockport Village built more than 25 years ago. Board President, Don Biernacki, also shared design plans for our new community center being built as part of our Roosevelt Square Village.
2017 accomplishments celebrated, included: providing 266 children a safe and secure home; an additional 187 children receiving care through our family strengthening program at Casa Tepeyac; and the reunion of 64 siblings groups living as a family either in our Villages or in the community.
In addition to reflecting on the positive outcomes of 2017, it was also an occasion to celebrate a number of heartwarming stories about the light and happy moments witnessed throughout the year—made possible by the support of our community.
Board President, Don Biernacki remarked that, “SOS Illinois is built upon our ability to come together and not only transform a child’s life but to make a difference in the communities we serve and ultimately our society. . . together (we are) building the future of foster care.”
Our appreciation to all those in attendance at this year’s annual meeting, and each and every one of our supporters who contributed to our mission in 2017. We look forward to all that lies ahead for us as a community and organization in 2018.