Marklund's 'Friend of the Year' award recipient announced

The Lederer family of St. Charles has been selected to receive Marklund's 'Friend of the Year' award at the annual Top Hat Ball gala in Chicago
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Jan. 11, 2011 - PRLog -- A highlight of Marklund’s annual Top Hat Ball is the presentation of the prestigious “Friend of the Year” award. This year, the honor goes to a family - Gary, Jean, and Beth Lederer - of St. Charles.

Marklund will host its 15th Annual Black Tie Gala – “Top Hat Ball Goes Hollywood,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, at the Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile, 540 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago. The gala is black tie preferred, and many guests are planning to attend in “red carpet” couture.

Proceeds will benefit the infants, children and adults with severe developmental disabilities who are served by Marklund.

The “Friend of the Year” award began in 1980. The annual recipient is honored at The Top Hat Ball. The selection is made by the members of Marklund’s Board of Directors from nominations made by the Development Department. The Friend(s) of the Year must demonstrate in his/her own way, publicly or privately, a heart of gold and the willingness to serve Marklund’s infants, children and adults in ways that will affect their lives significantly, now and in the future.

“The Lederers are such a great family and so involved,” said Jeannine Zupo, director of the Top Hat Ball. “A part of Marklund since 1991, they are a perfect example of what is possible when a family makes a commitment to serve others and makes it a priority in their lives. They are perfectly well-rounded givers, donating selflessly of their time, treasure, and talent throughout the year.”

During the 1990’s, Gary served on the Marklund Board of Directors for several years and as board chairman in 1997-1998. Initially Gary was approached to join the board to represent parents of children with developmental disabilities. His involvement preceded the residency of their son, Andrew, at Marklund, who now lives in the Marklund Sayers Home on the Mill Creek campus.

From the beginning of his service, Gary has obtained support for Marklund from his employers Pittway, System Sensor, and Honeywell. The couple sponsors a table every year at the Top Hat Ball, and they consistently do a lead gift for the Fund-in-Need bid at the event, with a match from Gary's employer.

Jean was particularly involved in her son's care at Marklund before the family moved to England, then Switzerland in 2008. She has always been very involved in fundraising for Marklund and has made a significant difference.

Andrew’s sister, Beth, has become the liaison for the Lederer family. Her Marklund involvement has grown over the years especially after her parents moved out of the country. Beth visits her brother at least weekly and volunteers in the other Marklund homes on a regular basis. Since 2008, she has volunteered more than 365 hours at the Mill Creek Campus.

“The Lederers are always thinking of Marklund,” Zupo said. “For example, they introduced Marklund Board Member Andrea Billhardt to Marklund, and we now have a home named after Andrea's son, Tommy.”

The Lederers also have another son, Steve, who resides in Florida.  

For more information about the Top Hat Ball visit or call Jeannine Zupo at 630-624-9874.

About Marklund

Founded in 1954, Marklund enriches the lives of those with special healthcare needs by honoring the unique purpose of each individual. Those served are able to enjoy a full and meaningful life supported by a compassionate nurturing environment; a strong partnership with the community; and an unmatched dedication to personal growth. Marklund’s vision: Rising above limitations.

Marklund’s main campus in Geneva, Ill., consists of six 16-bed residential homes for adults with severe and profound developmental disabilities as well as an educational and training center that provides for the intensive medical, social, emotional and physical needs of the residents.

In Bloomingdale, Ill., the Marklund Philip Center for Children encompasses the Children’s Home, a skilled pediatric nursing facility for infants, children and medically fragile adults; the Day School, an education program for children ages 3 - 21; early intervention for infants and toddlers age birth to three; and Marklund’s respite program.

For more information about Marklund, call Vicki Krystof at 630-593-5482 or visit

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Marklund, a not-for-profit located in Geneva, IL, provides services for infants, children and adults with severe developmental disabilities.
Source:Ginny Richardson Public Relations
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Tags:Gala, Black Tie, Chicago, Marklund, Live Auction, Charity, Top Hat Ball
Industry:Health, Lifestyle, Non-profit
Location:Geneva - Illinois - United States
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