The mission at Sertoma Centre is “to provide opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve personal success.”

Every day at Sertoma this mission is accomplished by those with developmental, physical, emotional disabilities and /or mental illness. Some of this success is major – like starting a job in the community or moving into their own apartment.

Other successes may seem minor to others, but to an individual with disabilities, getting dressed by oneself, learning how to make change at a vending machine, or mastering a new task in the workshop is a meaningful personal success!

For an individual with disabilities, each one of these victories represents another step in his/her own personal path toward greater independence and participation in their community. Sertoma Centre, Inc. has built its reputation on the many personal victories of the people it serves.

A non-profit agency, Sertoma Centre, Inc. is headquartered in Alsip, a south suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Based upon its reputation and achievements, individuals residing in parts of Chicago and its south and southwest suburban region receive the services provided by the Centre.

We hope you enjoy your visit to our website. We invite you to join us in our mission to provide opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve personal success.

We are proud to be founding member of Community Service Partners.


ANNOUNCING THE “LIKE US” and Win White Sox Tickets Contest Winner:
CONGRATULATIONS TO JIM PURRAZZO!  Jim, you won the Four White Sox Tickets.  Please message us your address to receive your tickets by mail!
Thanks to everyone who participated in our first Facebook “Like Us” contest.  Keep coming back to our page, we plan to have more contests in the future.

Please Like the Sertoma Centre, Inc. Page or Share the Contest Post. You will help us increase awareness in the community and communicate to supporters, donors, volunteers, family and friends all the great things we accomplish here at Sertoma Centre, Inc.
Sertoma Centre would like to give you 4 free tickets to the White Sox-Giants match up on Wednesday, June 18 at 1:10 pm. The ticket package also includes a parking pass for Lot A, B, C or G.
Just Like the Sertoma Centre, Inc. Facebook page or Share this Contest Post now through June 5 in order to qualify for a chance to Win Free White Sox Tickets contest. The winner will be randomly selected and announced June 6 on the Sertoma Centre, Inc. Facebook page. The winner must contact Suzan 708-730-6208 or Amy 708-730-6206 at Sertoma Centre to claim their prize. Facebook is not liable for this contest.
Rules and Regulations:
Sertoma Centre, Inc.’s Free Sox Ticket Package contest will run from June 2 at 12:00 AM until June 5 at 11:59:59 PM. Entrants must submit to the contest via Facebook within this timeframe.
The winner must like Sertoma Centre, Inc. Facebook page to qualify or Share this Contest Post. The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Facebook. The winner may pick up the Sox Tickets and parking pass in person at the Sertoma Centre, Inc. (4343 W. 123rd Street, Alsip, IL) on or before June 17, 2014 or they can be mailed to you once you have contacted Sertoma Centre, Inc.
Employees of the Sertoma Centre Inc.’s Advancement Department are excluded from entry.

To view our different media offerings, please click any of the links below.

CARE Campaign

We ask you to actively support the state-wide effort to bring up the wages of our Direct Support Professionals (DSP’s ) so that they are paid a living wage. You can do this by supporting the Care Campaign at


The Care Campaign is the joint effort of a coalition of service providers, direct support workers and their unions, associations and individuals to raise wages of direct care workers in Illinois. This coalition is concerned and committed to making a difference for the thousands of direct service professionals in Illinois who tirelessly work to care for our fellow citizens with developmental and other disabilities.

Currently over 24,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are supported in community settings and the State of Illinois is working to move additional individuals into community services from state and private institutions. This makes the importance of hiring and retaining skilled direct support professionals as important as ever. Yet the average direct support wage in Illinois is $9.35 per hour according to a recent IARF (Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities) salary survey. That’s 21% below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty threshold of $11.32 for a family of four.

Low wages are a consequence of the historically low reimbursement rates for community services. According to the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities report Illinois ranks 41st of 50 in fiscal effort for these services.

Please go to the Care campaign website at to sign their petition and read more about how you can support this important effort.

You can find this article in its entirety in the Network Newsletter – Winter 2014

Editor’s note: This article contains information and direct quotes from the Care Campaign website.



Sertoma Centre (Mental Health Services)

Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 8:00 AM to 5:30 PM (CST)

Matteson, IL

Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that teaches you how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis.

To learn more and register go to Sertoma Centre Mental Health Services Eventbrite page


Winners of the Five Years of Service Award

On November 24, Sertoma Centre consumers celebrated the holidays and their accomplishments during the Consumer Holiday Awards Luncheon held at the Lexington House in Hickory Hills. Almost 300 consumers, staff, family and friends were in attendance.


Enrico and Preston perform together!

Each year the consumers look forward to this event, especially the awards presentation and of course, Enrico Hampton’s “Michael Jackson Tribute. When Enrico makes his appearance you can feel the excitement as the consumers rush to the stage.


Nancy and Santa pose for a picture

In addition to the luncheon, there was a raffle, a photo booth, music and dancing. Back by popular demand, Santa Claus stopped by and was more than willing to have his picture taken with all the guests.



Congratulations to all the consumers who have given Sertoma Center their dedicated years of service.

35 Years of Service – Robert Sniegolski


Cora accepts her 25 Year Award from Paula Phillips and Gus van den Brink

25 Years of Service – Cora Bowden


20 Years of Service – John Mazetis, Annette Rumisek, Mark Mitchell


15 Years Of Service – Colleen Corcoran, Joel Manzo, Jason House, Eleanor Slapa, Beverly Ochylski


10 Years Of Service – Lamar Bradshaw, Algirdas Jurjonas, Wayne Carlson, Leon King,
Michael Corcoran, Jane M. Pisha, Bernard Cronwall, Keidre Pugh, James E. Ellis, Darcel Robinson, Clarence Gifford, Terence Scott, Andre Jordan, Verna Williams,


10 Years of Achievement – Susan J. Hoffman, Lisa E. Scheiber, James Young


5 Years Of Service – Brent Acey, Jozef Molek, Nathaniel James Ayala, Michelle Purrazzo, Mark Blanusha, Charles Robinson, Robert Byrnes, Hanna Salman, Antonio Cherry, Devyani Shah, Ebonie Coleman, James Sumner, Raymond Chiarito, Nicholas Tomaszewski, Margaret Doering, Beatrice Vega, Billy Evans, Kenneth West, Dominique Jones, Preston Williams, Dana Whalen



Come One Come All to our second Annual Volunteer Services Winter Wonderland Holiday Bazaar.
Last year was a HUGE success, and we are looking to make this year even better. Please join us on Friday, December 6 as we offer a unique opportunity for consumers, family members and the local community to shop for holiday items while also supporting the different services and programs at Sertoma Centre. We will be offering a Craft Fair and Shopping Bazaar composed of many different items: ornaments, holiday décor, stocking stuffers, jewelry, homemade crafts, and boutique items. Any and every gift purchased will be wrapped for free in our Elf Gift Wrapping Station. Then, after all that shopping makes you hungry, stop by our North Pole Café or Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop to grab a bite to eat.


Mark your calendars for:

Friday, December 6

9:00 am to 2:00 pm

4343 West 123rd Street

Upstairs Lunchroom and Board Room


HOW CAN YOU HELP? We need volunteers and small donations to make this shopping extravaganza possible for our consumers who may not be able to get out and do traditional Christmas Shopping. Below are just a few of the volunteer jobs and donated items we need to be a success!


Santa’s Helpers: From now until December 6th, we need volunteers to assist consumers in creating and making the crafts they will be selling at the bazaar.


Gift Wrapping Elves: We will be having a FREE gift wrapping service to all who purchase items at the bazaar.

Personal Shoppers: On the day of the bazaar, assist consumers to shop and find the perfect gift.

Rudolph’s Reindeer Boutique: Set up and work Advancement’s table at the bazaar.


Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop: We need baked goods and people to manage this area.


North Pole Café: Help in the café preparing snack food which will be available for purchase.


Donner’s Donations: Simple donations are needed to make this a magical time for our consumers: craft items (call for specifics), holiday themed wrapping paper & gift bags, tape, ribbons, Christmas tags, baked goods, gift cards to local craft stores, etc.

Spread some holiday cheer this year by donating your time, treasure, and talents to the Holiday Bazaar before or on December 6th. If interested in volunteering or donating, please contact our Head Elf, Laura Gardner in Volunteer Services, at (708) 730-6211 or email her inbox at the North Pole: Hope you can join us in some way to support our Winter Wonderland! WISHING YOU AND YOURS A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON!!







Hosted by  the ACTION Sertoma Club!

Friday, October 11, 2013,  6:30 pm – 11 pm

Gaelic Park, 6119 West 147th Street, Oak Forest, IL

$60 per person


  • Music by Sound Barrier
  • Open Bar
  • Dinner includes Roasted Pig
  • Live Entertainment
  • Bean Bag Tournament

Raffle Drawing of the “Fall Into Cash” raffle – Someone will win the Grand Prize of $7000

Proceeds to benefit Sertoma Centre, Inc.  For information call Dom Porto at 815-485-5331 or visit  their website at



Mental Health Training to Benefit Community
Sertoma Centre’s Mental Health Services was recently awarded a Title XX Grant to provide prevention and education programs to raise awareness about mental illness. Programs will be offered to community groups, schools, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, schools, and other community groups. Programs will include Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), Mental Health First Aid for Youth, Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) and Anxiety/Depression Screenings.

MHFA is a 12-hour, interactive training and certification program, which enables participants to identify and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training focuses on: understanding the risk factors and identifying warning signs of mental health problems, gaining an understanding of the impact, responding appropriately, and providing referrals for professional treatment.
MHFA Youth introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents (ages 12-18), builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly, teaches individuals how to help a youth in crisis or experiencing a mental health or substance use challenge. This program demonstrates how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions and provide initial help; and connect young people to professional, peer, social, and self-help care.
QPR Gatekeeper Course is the CPR for mental health. Just as people trained in CPR help save thousands of lives each year, people trained as QPR Gatekeepers learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help.
QPR Suicide Triage Training is for anyone wishing to learn how to conduct a first level suicide risk assessment and to establish a collaborative crisis management and personal safety plan for someone considering suicide. This is a “best practice” approach for how to engage with a suicidal person, determine immediate risk of a suicide attempt, and how to reduce risk factors while enhancing protective factors.

Our trained staff will provide the Anxiety and/or Depression Screening at your college, place of business, health fair, community organization, club, social service agency, faith community or other organization. Referral information for treatment will be provided, when needed.
Other trainings will include a mental health overview, “Hearing Voices That Are Distressing,” presentation and Specific Disorders Presentations tailored to your group.
To learn more or schedule training, contact Gia Washington at 708-748-1951, Ext. 418 or email at
DSP Cafe Was A Sweet Retreat!

Sertoma's Executive Director Gus pours a cup of coffee for DSP, Giedre.

On Wednesday, Sept. 11, Sertoma Centre provided their Direct Support Professionals a complimentary coffee cafe. The staff lounge was decorated to look like a cozy cafe. Sertoma Centre Managers served coffee, iced coffee, tea and sweet treats like mini cinnamon rolls and kolacky cookies to their DSP team.

DSPs, Sherri, Lauren and Kim enjoy a break a the DSP cafe.

On Monday Sertoma acknowledged our DSPs with banners in all their facilities with “Great People Doing Great Things” banners and by wearing Sertoma teal. A gift basket raffle was held on Tuesday and there are special activities planned for the rest of the week. Check back to see more about how we celebrate our DSPs!

Director of Residential Services, Kim serves DSP, Lori some delicious kolacky cookies.

Sweets for the Sweet - DSPs, Stephanie, Selena and Mel enjoyed the ice coffee and a few sweet treats.

DSP Week at Sertoma Centre!
What is a DSP?
A direct support professional (DSP) is a person who assists an individual with a disability to lead a self-directed life and contribute to the community, assists with activities of daily living if needed, and encourages attitudes and behaviors that enhance community inclusion.

Lori, Rhonda and Tiffany are Direct Support Professionals who dedicate themselves daily to serving individuals with disabilities at Sertoma Centre, Inc.

Sertoma Centre Celebrates National DSP Week!

Sertoma Center wishes to acknowledge the Great People Doing Great Things the week of September 9-13, 2013.


A direct support professional is a person who assists an individual with a disability to lead a self-directed life and contribute to the community, assists with activities of daily living if needed, and encourages attitudes and behaviors that enhance community inclusion. A DSP may provide supports to a person with a disability at home, work, school, church, and other community places. A DSP also acts as an advocate for the disabled individual, in communicating their needs, self-expression and goals, according to the source Wikipedia.
Sertoma Centre Names Elizabeth Baun, Special Events & Grants Manager

Elizabeth Baun Brings Expertise in Events Services and Grant Research to Sertoma Centre.

ALSIP – Sertoma Centre, Inc. August 8, 2013, Sertoma Centre, Inc. recently named Elizabeth Baun as the Special Events and Grants Manager.

In her role for the Alsip-based not-for-profit, she is responsible for the planning and execution of all special events. In addition, Baun will oversee grant writing and foundation relations for Sertoma Centre. As a member of the Advancement and Communications team her efforts are an essential part of raising money and awareness for the Centre.

Baun has more than 8 years of event planning, marketing communications and relationship development. In her most recent roles, she served as the E-Marketing and Event Services Manager and as Convention Services Manager at the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau in Lansing, Illinois. Baun holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from Butler University, Indianapolis, IN and a Master of Business Administration-Integrated Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL.

Baun said, “My extensive skills in event planning and facilitation as well as the strong relationships have developed in the community from years working as a liaison to 35 chambers of commerce make me a good addition to the Advancement Team. I am extremely excited to be working at Sertoma Centre and I look forward to working at an organization that allows me to give back to the community.” A resident of Tinley Park, IL, Elizabeth enjoys reading, cooking, painting and working out in her free time.

“We are delighted to welcome Elizabeth to our team,” said Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications. “Her expertise in event planning, journalism, marketing and sales will allow us to raise additional funds and increase awareness for Sertoma Centre.”

Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services to more than 725 individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness. For more information, to schedule a tour, volunteer, or to make a donation, please contact Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications, (708)730-6206 or Sertoma Centre, Inc. is located at 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803 and the web address is