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Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living holds 24th annual meeting, highlights work

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 9:09 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, May 30, 2014 9:18 p.m. CST

JOLIET – The Will-Grundy Center for Independent Living celebrated its 24th annual meeting last month. Held at the center’s offices, 2415 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet, the event included an open house, so guests could learn more about the organization’s services.

Board President Bob Smith highlighted some of the center’s accomplishments over the past year, including reintegrating 11 people with disabilities from nursing homes into their own residences, according to a news release from the center.

Rich Mejia was presented with the Ed Roberts Excellence in Independent Living award. He was selected due to his advocacy efforts after being in a nursing home for 14 years.

“I didn’t expect this award and am very grateful to the center for assisting me,” Mejia said in the news release.

Susan Rink was chosen as Volunteer of the Year because of her excellent work in teaching computer skills to many people served by the center.

“I enjoy volunteering at the center because the people who work there and the people who are served at the CIL are amazing,” Rink said in the news release.

Officers and directors for the coming year include Bob Smith, president; Jim Albritton, vice president; Donald Cordano, treasurer; Elaine Sommer, secretary; Jennifer Minski, delegate at Large; John Stanton, past president; Russell Anderson, Nancy Pohlman, Carol Harris, Rhonda Price, Stephanie White, Diane Zigrossi, Jen Nocco, Amy Vicioso, David Cumbo, Susan Jarosinski, Rich Mejia and Bob O’Keefe. Three directors fulfilled their terms and were presented with plaques for their many years of service: Val Rand, Denise Winfrey and Paul Lagomarcino.

A United Way agency, the center serves more than 1,000 people with disabilities of all ages and types each year. Services include advocacy, information and referral, peer counseling, independent living skills training, youth services, personal assistant program, community reintegration, assistive technology program for children, free amplified telephone program and more. For information, call 815-729-0162.

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