The Volunteer Center Proudly Honors Five Exceptional Volunteers March 8, 2014!


Jane Gallery and Frank Craven

Jane Gallery, Frank Craven for website

As the mother of a son with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Jane Gallery will be honored for her dedication to providing services for youth and young adults with disabilities that were not available prior to her efforts. In conjunction with NSSED she created P.E.L.S. (Parents. Educating. Learning. Supporting.), an open forum to help parents of children with disabilities network. Jane also worked closely with the Special Olympics at New Trier High School and the ELS (Enriching Lives Through Service) Program to welcome new parents to the system. Frustrated that once an individual with disabilities reaches 22, home based services in the state of Illinois stop, so in 2008 Jane worked with New Trier Township to establish a groundbreaking nonprofit called “Our Place” whose mission is to support teens and adults with developmental disabilities so they can live meaningful, productive, socially connected lives in their home communities.  Jane and trustees and staff from the New Trier Township Food Pantry put together a valuable volunteer program with the Our Place participants to experience the joy of helping people in need on an ongoing basis by keeping the shelves stocked and organized. Our Place continues to expand its reach and serves 70 young adults and has been replicated in Wheaton and now Lake Forest.

Our Place Photo

FRANK CRAVEN, the son of Jane Gallery and George “Buz” Craven, is a happy participant of Our Place.  And as such, he is also a prolific volunteer in the many opportunities to serve with his Our Place friends. He loves to work and be a part of a team. When he’s not working at Marshall’s, he is a dedicated helper at New Trier Township’s Food Pantry twice a week, and Three Crowns Park in Evanston helping Seniors with their


Volunteer Center Honors 4 Special Volunteers at Our Annual Recognition Event

On Friday, March 8th at the Michigan Shores Club in Wilmette, Volunteer Center supporters and friends came together to celebrate the work of these extraordinary volunteers…share in a special interactive service event… and have a lot of fun!














Wendy Serrino of Glencoe, received recognition for her humanitarian efforts both locally and throughout the globe. A world traveler, international volunteer and a passionate supporter of children’s issues, Wendy is the Vice Chair of the Midwest Regional UNICEF Board, Co-Chair UNICEF Profile Series at UNICEF, President, Board of Directors at North Shore Exchange, a brand new resale shop that supports charity, the co-founder and Co-Chair of the Glencoe Family Partnership that funded a Charter School in the Englewood area, and a board member of Glencoe Family Services.

James Martin Associates, Heidi Sibert, co-owner and partner received this year’s business award for their tremendous civic engagement and impact on the North Shore and charitable causes. Over the last seven years, their support has raised more than $250,000 for charities and community organizations and student scholarships.  They have supported the Arthritis Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Misericordia, Family Promise, the Cradle, Girls Hope Boys Hope, American Red Cross of greater Chicago, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Special Olympics and The Winnetka Historical Society.  They also award Scholarships to students in pursuit of a career in the landscape service industry.

Mary McLaughlin of Winnetka received the Global Initiative Award for her groundbreaking work in sustainable food sources for impoverished countries. Familiar with trees that grow well in Jamaica, like the breadfruit tree, Mary and her husband Michael founded Trees That Feed, an organization that helps reforest tropical areas with trees that produce edible fruit – the breadfruit, in order to …