Action Sertoma Club is selling greeting cards designed by individuals with disabilities this year.  This is just one of their many fundraising efforts to support Sertoma Centre, Inc. and the individuals we serve.

The box of  25 cards features five different designs and verses.  The greeting cards were created by the individuals with disabilities who participate in the programs and service provided by Sertoma Centre.

A box of cards is only $20.  To purchase your cards, you can stop in at one of our three locations and pick up a box or two.  You can also order cards by printing this order form The form can be faxed, mailed or emailed to Mary Larmon.

You can support individual with disabilities and send your friends and family a one of a kind greeting card this holiday season.

Sertoma Centre Inc

Moraine Valley Community College Comes to Sertoma Centre
Contributed by Laura Gardner, Volunteer Services Manager

Link to more photos on Facebook

On October 7th, approximately 70 staff members from Moraine
Valley’s campus volunteered with our consumers on various fun
projects throughout the two facilities in Alsip. Each year, Moraine
Valley staff and faculty have a “Community Day of Learning” in
which the campus closes and everyone is provided a day of
interesting seminars and informational sessions.

This year, they decided to collaborate with several different non-profits and have their faculty and staff volunteer at these locations for three-hour sessions during their “Community Day of Learning.” Several art groups were formed and volunteers assisted our consumers in making art projects to sell at our
upcoming Holiday Bazaar, scheduled for December 5th.

Some groups helped consumers make tie-dye ceramic tiles, stained glass art on canvases, and snowman ornaments; some even painted on larger canvases in Jackson Pollock style.

Other volunteers created a “Game Day” for our consumers with a huge blow-up bowling set, ring toss, Bozo buckets, and a football toss game. Some consumers paid a visit to a
pumpkin patch and chose one of 50 real pumpkins donated from Moraine Valley to decorate and then take home. Staff from the Moraine Valley Audio Visual Department brought equipment and assisted the consumers in making their own music video.

Consumers not only performed in the video with various props like hats, feather boas, microphones, and inflatable guitars, but they were also able to operate the camera and other equipment.

The day wasn’t all play, however. Individuals from the Employment Services and EDGE Programs as well as Mental Health’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Program participated in mock interviews with the volunteers. There were four mock interview sessions running simultaneously in both facilities. This unique opportunity allowed the consumers to practice for actual interviews in the community because they did not know the volunteers from Moraine Valley. Volunteer Services and our consumers would like to thank Moraine Valley staff for their enthusiasm, smiling faces, donations, and one awesome afternoon of fun activities.


HOMEWOOD, IL – Sertoma Centre, Inc. broke ground on June 11 for Kimball Court Apartments, a permanent supportive housing development in Homewood.

Gus van den Brink, executive director of Sertoma Centre, Inc., and Board President, Bob Straz, joined officials from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Housing Authority of Cook County and the Village of Homewood to celebrate the next steps in bringing this development to fruition.  Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Development Program was created to increase housing opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  The program supports the state’s efforts to remove obstacles to safe and affordable housing to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities.

“Permanent Supportive Housing combines apartment-style housing with personal care and other health and wellness services to allow the resident to live independently while emphasizing their personal choice, dignity, privacy and individuality,” said van den Brink.  “We are thrilled to be able to offer this option for individuals in the south suburbs. This day would not have been possible without our partners.”

This 16-unit development was financed in part by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Cook County HOME program, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development, the Housing Authority of Cook County and Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health.  Supportive housing helps people live stable, successful lives through a combination of affordable, permanent housing and supportive services, appropriate to the needs and preferences of the residents.

“Governor Pat Quinn believes that all individuals with disabilities deserve the opportunity to live independently,” Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “Governor Quinn is the first leader in Illinois history to dedicate state capital funds – $50 million in total – to create affordable housing, of which $3 million has been committed to finance the construction of Kimball Court.”

The apartment complex includes one and two bedroom units as well as studio apartments.  In addition to the apartments, the three-story building contains a community room, fitness area, laundry facility and reading room.  Construction is expected to be complete by summer of 2015.

Sertoma Centre, Inc., is a not-for-profit organization with facilities in Alsip and Matteson providing programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. They also provide residential housing for individuals with disabilities in 10 Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILA) homes in several south suburban communities.  Started in 1971 by three local Sertoma Clubs, Sertoma Centre serves more than 725 individuals annually.

Winners of the Best Firehouse Chef Cook-off Set Things A Blaze
Pictured from left to right: Ken Dompling and Joe Dinova, Blue Island Fire Department, Tim Prokop and Tom Dunn, Edward Ambulance Service, Bob Hopper, Lombard Fire Department, Wesley Marvel, Robbins Fire Department, and Jim Leibach, Niles Fire Department.

Sertoma Center, Inc. thanks all the firefighters who participated in the cook-off at the BIG Event on Saturday, May 3 at 115 Bourbon Street to help raise money and awareness for individuals with disabilities.

“The firefighters make the BIG event possible and they really love cooking for the attendees who come out each year to support individuals with disabilities,” states Sertoma Centre’s Director of Advancement and Communications Amy Chmura.

Congratulations to all the winners of the annual cook-off! Firefighter Bob Hopper, of the Lombard Fire Department, took home the trophy for the Best Chili with his Smoke Showin’ Chili. Ken Dompling and Joe Dinova, from the Blue Island Fire Department, won Best Ribs with their Bad Ax BBQ Ribs. Tim Prokop, a paramedic with Edward Ambulance Service in Naperville, won Best Chicken with his White Chicken Chili. Wesley Marvel, from Robbins Fire Department, took the trophy for Best Ethnic dish with his Southern Style Ham. The People’s Choice award was won by Jim Leibach and Steve Zook, of the Niles Fire Department, with their award winning Tiller Boy Ribs.

Christopher Drozd from the Chicago Fire Department Engine 42 participates in the firefighter cook-off each year. He brings along his family and friends to help; and they all have a great time. If you ask Chris why he competes, he will tell you “because it’s a great cause and so much fun!” Chris is very familiar with Sertoma Centre because his daughter Brandi was a staff member at Sertoma Centre. Sertoma Centre strives to provide quality programs and services for more than 750 individuals with disabilities. Individuals served by Sertoma Centre are diagnosed with developmental disabilities that include from autism, Down ’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and more. “Fundraisers like BIG Event provide Sertoma Centre an excellent opportunity to communicate to the community what we do and the firefighters help us accomplish this,” explains Chmura.

Guest judges sampled each dish to determine the best Chili, Ribs, Poultry, and Ethnic Dishes. BIG Event judges included Mike Mech, the Bungalow Chef, Anne Marie Saviano, a writer/producer on WGN Morning News in Chicago; Bernadette Shanahan-Haas, the Director of Operations for the Retail Bakers of America; and Rachel Miklas, General Manager for 115 Bourbon Street

Sertoma Centre is grateful to all the chefs who participated this year. They included Chicago firefighters Michael Wielgat from Engine 18 and Christopher Drozd from Engine 42, Lemont firefighter Fred Heller, Lombard firefighter Tim Moran and Crestwood firefighter Jon Bruce. In addition, Sertoma United, Sertoma Centre’s self advocacy group, also participated this year with their Chili United.

The BIG Event was sponsored by the local Sertoma clubs, the Aileen S. Andrew Foundation and many area businesses, family and friends. Sertoma Centre would to thank each of the sponsors and the volunteers who helped make the event a BIG success. Proceeds from the BIG event benefit the more than 750 individuals with disabilities served by Sertoma Centre, Inc.

For more information, call Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications at 708-730-6206 or go to Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services to individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness.

Tennis Program at Sertoma Centre

On Jan. 30 Leah Friedman from the United States Tennis Association, (USTA) Chicago District came to Sertoma Centre to demonstrate the Adaptive Tennis Program. The purpose of this program is to promote and develop recreational tennis opportunities for individuals with varying abilities and circumstances through inclusion, knowledge and support.

Leah worked with our individuals using slower moving balls, lighter racquets and portable nets demonstrating that tennis can be played anywhere and adapted for different ability levels.

Jason Clark, Operations Manager at 127th Street stated “since Leah’s visit to Sertoma Centre, we were able to purchase the $150 equipment package which includes racquets, the lower compression tennis balls, targets and bean bags, enabling us to train staff. The Adaptive Tennis training for staff will be provided by CDTA at no charge.

Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications added “we are applying for a grant which will allow us to purchase additional equipment packages for all the facilities.” With some practice and coaching our consumers will develop the skills to participate in the tennis portion of the Special Olympics if they wanted to pursue that goal.






News from Sertoma United
Sertoma’s Self Advocacy Group
Contributed by: Melissa Sands, Consumer Support Services Specialist

On September 25, five Sertoma United members (Archie, Nathaniel, Derrick, Tanya, and William) represented Sertoma Centre at the Alliance’s Fall Training at the Joliet Library. The Alliance is a statewide team of self-advocacy groups in Illinois. This training discussed user-friendly changes to the DHS/DDD website, employment and benefits. There was a fun art activity about leadership. The training had presentations from the Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Mental Health and the Social Security Office. The group enjoyed the experience and shared these topics at their Sertoma United, self-advocacy meeting.

On December 6, Pam, Nathaniel, and Ramone, represented Sertoma United by volunteering to wrap presents at Sertoma Centre’s Holiday Bazaar. These individuals were chosen to represent the group after showing off their gift wrapping skills during one of the group meetings.

On December 11, Josh represented Sertoma United by participating in an Alliance Webinar titled, “Looking to the Future.” In the past, different Sertoma United members have participated in various webinars offered by the Alliance. At the beginning of December, with the help of Work Area #14, and Lynn Kolbe, DSP, Sertoma United was able to create almost 200 holiday cards that were delivered to Manor Care Health Services in Palos Heights. The group hoped to bring a little holiday joy to individuals that might not be able to celebrate with their family or friends. The group did not want individuals residing within the nursing homes to be forgotten, especially during the holiday season.


Sertoma Centre Needs Your Help!

Sertoma Centre is one of only five charities allowed to receive donations from McCormick Place’s International Housewares Show. Products from this event benefit more than 725 individuals with disabilities served each year. We need more than 150 volunteers to make this night happen. Volunteers will be assigned to booths at McCormick Place and will pack up their donated houseware items. This one-night volunteer opportunity is

Tuesday, March 10, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Buses load from Sertoma Centre at 4343 W. 123rd Street, Alsip, IL at 1:00 pm.

This is a great opportunity to volunteer and give back to your community all in one night. Transportation will be provided via luxury coach bus. A boxed dinner and beverages will be provided along with a ton of

FUN and CAMARADERIE!! Participants must be 18 years or older to volunteer and community service hours are available if needed.

BOOTH WORKER: Volunteers will be assigned to booths to wrap, pack up, box, and place houseware items on pallets. Please note that booths are located throughout all of McCormick Place making even the closest booths a far distance to walk from the buses to the showroom floors.

BOOTH LEADERS: We need people to be in charge of several booths and the volunteers assigned to the booths. Organizational skills, flexibility, and problem solving skills are a must. This person will maintain contact with our Communication Hub and move onto other booths as needed to pack up.

SUPPLY RUNNERS: Volunteers to deliver boxes, tape, and bubble wrap to our booth locations throughout the night. This is a great workout for the walking enthusiast!

How to Register: Contact: Laura Gardner,,  (708) 730-6211  or use this form.

We hope you can join us this year!



Agency Hosts Annual Awards  Presentation

Sertoma Centre honored several supporters and volunteers at their 42nd Annual Recognition Dinner on Nov. 7 at Palos Country Club in Orland Park. Honorees were recognized for their contributions to helping the Centre provide programs and services to individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness. Sertoma Centre is a nationally-accredited not-for-profit agency that serves more than 725 individuals each year. The Centre operates three facilities, two in Alsip and one in Matteson, as well as 10 residential homes throughout the Chicago suburbs.


The following individuals and organizations were recognized:


Spirit of Sertoma Award was presented to Joe Racine, resident of Tinley Park and President of In-Print Graphics, 4201 166th St, in Oak Forest. He and his staff at In-Print Graphics print Sertoma Centre’s brochures, newsletters, stationary and the annual report which was given to attendees at the event. In addition, Racine is an active member of the Action Sertoma Club since 1981 and has served on the Club’s Board of Directors and numerous committees.


Service to Mankind Award was presented to Frank Tomecek, a former resident of Palos Park. Tomecek has dedicated his life to the mission of Sertoma and has served on both the Sertoma Centre Boards for countless years. Tomecek is the president of the POW-R (Palos, Orland Park, Worth and Chicago Ridge) Sertoma Club and the guiding force for their annual football bash fundraiser. Mayor of Palos Heights Robert Straz presented the award to Tomecek.


The Michael L. Colella Community Leadership Award was presented to John Hyland from Marist High School, 4200 W 115th St, Chicago. Karen Ramirez, chairperson of the Religious Studies Department at Marist, accepted the award. Four Marist students who are currently volunteering at Sertoma Centre, Inc. were also in attendance. They are Dan Anzelmo, Brooke Schmidt, Ryan Mayer, and Nora Khani. Marist has partnered with Sertoma Centre for more than 20 years providing students an opportunity to volunteer as part of their service program.


The Contract of the Year for Janitorial Services was awarded to Dennis Ridenour from Prestone, an anti-freeze compounds manufacturer located at 13160 S. Pulaski, in Alsip. Prestone has utilized Sertoma’s Janitorial staff for their general cleaning and hard surface floor maintenance since 2001. They are dedicated to the mission of Sertoma and helped create a strong partnership.


The Contract of the Year for Sertoma Centre’s Production Services was awarded to David Brand from La Preferida, Inc. La Preferida has been in the Chicago region making authentic Mexican food since the 1920s. For over 10 years La Preferida has been working with Sertoma Centre, always trying to bring more work to the individuals with disabilities, once such project is the assembling of their retail displays for use in grocery stores.


DRS (Department of Rehabilitation Services) Counselor of the Year was awarded to Kim Mokris, a DRS Counselor from the Wrightwood Office. Mokris’ relationship with Insite Employment Services has led to more jobs for the individuals with disabilities at Sertoma Centre. In addition, she has been instrumental in ensuring that individuals are getting supplemental things they need such as new work clothes, bus passes, and even prescription glasses. Mokris is a great example how a funding source and community agency working in tandem leads to positive outcomes for the individuals served by both Sertoma Centre and the Department of Rehabilitation Service.


Insite Employer of the Year was awarded to the Marshalls Store in Oak Lawn. Marshalls has been a valuable asset to job seekers at Sertoma Centre. Hiring Manager Katherine Krenze holds mock interviews, gives valuable feedback and even speaks at the Insite Job Readiness Class. Since working with Marshalls, two individuals with disabilities have been hired there.


The Insite Employee of the Year is Victor Hojek. A participant in Sertoma’s Insite Employment Services program, Hojek works at Meijer in Evergreen Park as a utility clerk. Hojek is an individual who is a perfect example of how Sertoma Centre services should operate. He started in the school transition program in 2005 and aged out at the end of 2009, at that time he began working with Insite program. Despite a difficult job market, Victor had patience and kept working hard at his job search.


For more information, to schedule a tour, volunteer or to make a donation, please contact Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications, Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803. (708) 730-6206, or For additional resources visit


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!!








Eight consumers who participate in the Insite Employment Services Program attended the Disability Mentoring Day held on Wednesday, October 9. Elizabeth Overman, General Manager and Jamie Leech, Service Manager of Olive Garden in Orland Park, IL hosted the special day.


The Mentoring day included a presentation about Olive Garden philosophy, of being a family, a team. The presenters provided information about the details of their positions as well as other positions at the restaurant. They talked about the day to day activities and that Mother’s Day is their busiest day.


In addition they covered interview preparedness and provided a tour of the entire restaurant. The consumers received Olive Garden pins and were served lunch.


Other Disability Mentoring Days have been scheduled at other Olive Gardens in the area. We are truly grateful for the relationship we have with Olive Garden and how they support individuals with disabilities.  If you are interested in employing an individual with disabilities, please contact Insite Training Systems at 708-371-9790.



On Monday, October 14, the consumers who participate in day programs were visited by members of Brownie Troop 60084 and Daisy Troop 60084 along with their troop leaders Melissa and Emily. The Girl Scouts came here to take part in a Disability Awareness Day as well as to volunteer.


The girls worked in small teams assisting consumers at a bowling game station, a ring toss game and Halloween coloring projects. It was interesting to watch the consumers and children working together to have a great time.


Troop Leader Melissa, became involved with Sertoma Center when she had a volunteer opportunity through a Moraine Valley school project. She enjoyed the experience so much she volunteered for the BIG Event and then later contacted the Volunteer Services Manager, Laura Gardner to schedule a time with the Girl Scout troop. The girls are coming back to help wrap consumer holiday gifts.


If you are interested in volunteering or have a group that might wish to volunteer please contact: Laura Gardner at 708-730-6211 or

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
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




Copier Business Welcomes New Employee From Sertoma’s Job Training Services
Everyone has something to offer if given the right opportunity!

Alsip, IL July 22, 2013: Advantage Business Systems hosted an open house and luncheon at their office in Alsip on July 17 to welcome their newest employee, Patricia Brown, and allow her the opportunity to demonstrate to her former job coaches how she was succeeding at her new job.
Patricia works part time at Advantage Business Systems in business development.
Patricia works part-time at Advantage Business Systems in business development. She spends her days making calls to potential customers to help grow the business for this company that specializes in copiers and printers.
It is the opportunity which Patricia had been looking to find. It is the job that allows her to showcase her interpersonal and telephone skills. She found this perfect match with the help of Sertoma Centre’s employment services division known as Insite. Sertoma Centre provides various programs and services for individuals with disabilities as well as opportunities to help them achieve personal success. Patricia is one such success story.
Patricia came to Insite about two years ago after leaving college. As Patricia said she was trying to find herself and a place where she belonged. At Insite, she began working with her job coach performing clerical duties through volunteer work at a local hospital. She thought perhaps she would find a job as a receptionist.
“Before Insite, I did not know where to start or where I would fit in,” Patricia said. “I have limitations, but I knew I could flourish if given the right opportunity. It only takes one to make a difference.” She sent out resumes and letters with the help of Insite staff, but it was through word of mouth that she found the job at Advantage Business Systems.
“I feel so great and could not ask for more,” Patricia said. “Everything is falling into place. Carol and John (the owners) have been flexible and welcoming.”
Advantage Business Systems is owned by Carol McGill and John Catalano. They have operated the business in Alsip for 3 years. Carol and John bring more than thirty years of copier/printer know-how to their business.
Advantage Business Systems is owned by Carol McGill and John Catalano.
To make it easier and faster for Patricia to type, she uses a headset and Dragon software to help her input orders and notes into her computer. Patricia calls the software a true blessing that makes her job easier and allows her to meet her goals.
“The staff at Insite gave me the confidence, guidance and knowledge to highlight my skills and show employers what I have to offer,” Patricia said. “Sometimes people are more than what appears on paper in a resume. It can be hard to convey all you have to offer. Once John and Carol met me and talked to me, I was hired on the spot.”
Patricia is spending her days helping the business grow its customer base. She has her own business cards which she is quick to hand out and remind you to call her to learn about meeting your printing, scanning and copying needs. She has personalized her desk to make her space feel like her own. “I know I have found a place that I belong,” she said. “Everyone has something to offer if given the right opportunity.” Advantage Business Systems is located at 12644 S. Holiday Drive, in Alsip, Illinois. To learn more about Sertoma Centre’s Insite Employment Services and how they can help find the perfect candidate for a job opening, call 708-371-9790.
Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services for 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, Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803. (708) 730-6206, or For additional resources visit
Tinley Park Sertoma Club Recognizes Sertoma Centre, Inc.
Non-Profit Organization Celebrated for Contributions to the Community

Several members of the Tinley Park Sertoma Club hosted an appreciation dinner to recognize local charities for their work in the community.

Alsip, IL July 3, 2013: The Tinley Park Sertoma Club recognized Sertoma Centre, Inc. for their dedication and hard work in the community at their annual appreciation dinner. The dinner was hosted on Wednesday, June 19, at Ed & Joes Restaurant in Tinley Park.
The Tinley Park Sertoma Club, chartered in 1983, consists of men and women from Tinley Park and surrounding communities who enjoy helping people. Tinley Park Sertoma Club is part of Sertoma, Inc., an organization of service clubs across the United States and Canada which was founded more than 100 years ago by volunteers with a purpose to meet the needs in the communities they serve. The name is an acronym for Service to Mankind. Through their many fundraisers, the Sertomans of Tinley Park support local charitable organizations and individuals in need of assistance. All funds raised by Tinley Park Sertoma Club remain in the community and provide support for local programs.
During the course of the evening, a representative of Sertoma Centre, Inc. was asked to speak to the attendees about recent developments. Tinley Park Sertoma Club members presented a donation to Sertoma Centre to help further their efforts within the community.

Ignite the Light, the Volunteer program at Sertoma Centre, has seen a wonderful increase in the amount of youth that are volunteering with the agency. Through outreach efforts and family involvement, more and more young kids, mostly aged 12 to 18 are volunteering on their own, through school requirements or religious organizations. According to a fact sheet released from the University of Nevada, the following benefits are awarded to youth who volunteer in their communities: Young people who volunteer are more likely to have a stronger work ethic, are 3x more likely to volunteer as adults, gain important job skills and experience while exploring career options and are able to expand their social circle and enhance their social awareness. And 81% of Americans who have volunteer experiences when they are young give to charitable organizations as adults. This is great news for Sertoma Centre as we expand our youth volunteer opportunities.

In June, 21 National Junior Honor students from Mt. Greenwood school, along with two of their teachers volunteered with our consumers for a day of fun activities run entirely by the students. Consumers participated in five different activity stations including bingo, arts and crafts, indoor bowling, freeze dance and Pictionary. The 6th, 7th and 8th grade students from Mt. Greenwood were amazing. They were so polite, very interactive with our consumers and when the fun started they jumped right in and volunteered with us for several hours. When asked how the volunteer event went for them, the students said they had a great time and felt that bowling and bingo were the biggest hits of the day.

This Volunteer “field trip” is not the only event to see more youth volunteering at Sertoma Centre. We have welcomed young volunteers at our Super Sale, Big Event, Silent Partner Dinner and our Holiday Bazaar. Our youngest volunteer to date, little Anne Gardner, age 8, said she had the “best day ever” volunteering for our recent Autism Jamboree on June 14th. Anne and her brother, Joshua, age 12, ran the ring toss at the event and enthusiastically cheered on consumers as they won prizes for playing the games.

Our Ignite the Light Volunteer Program is a perfect opportunity to expose your kids and family to a great time while helping others in the process. We are looking to expand our volunteer relationships to other schools, churches, and even local boy or girl scout troops. If interested in volunteering, please contact Laura Gardner at (708) 730-6211 or email her at



Left to Right: People's Choice Winners: Joe Dinovo & Ken Dompeling, Blue Island Fire Dept., Best Ethnic/Other: Christopher Drozd, Chicago Fire Dept. Engine 42, Best Chili: Bob Hopper, Lombard Fire Dept. Station 1, Best Ribs, Steve Zook & Jim Leibach, Niles Fire Dept.

The BIG Event this Saturday!

Sertoma ready
for biggest fundraiser


Sertoma Centre Inc., which helps individuals with disabilities, is
gearing up for its 10th annual BIG Event, featuring a cook-off among
area firefighters,

Visit our Booth at Business Expo

Chicago Southland Chamber of Commerce is hosting the 28th Annual Business to Business Expo  “Advocacy In Action”.  Sertoma Centre will be exhibiting a variety of services and products at Booth # 603-703, please stop by and say hello.

Tinely Park Convention Center, 18451 S. Convention Center Drive

7:00 – 7:00 pm –  Exhibit Hours
5:00 – 7:00 pm –  Business After Hours



Autism Awareness Cake

Sertoma Centre launched Autism Awareness Month with a great big delicious cake beautifully decorated with Autism Colors. Everyone in the agency got to try it!  Like Sertoma on Facebook and show your support by commenting: You support Autism Awareness!

Tomorrow, April 2 is Wear Blue and Celebrate - check out this link to learn more.

April 12 – Autism Health Awareness

April 19 – Autism Walk

April 26 – Autism Jamboree

We have activities planned all month and we invite you to celebrate with us! Click this link to download the Autism Awareness Calendar.


Thursday Is Cooking Class


Contributed by Sandra Baker, Direct Service Professional (DSP)

  • Italian Sausage with green peppers, onions and fresh garlic?
  • Spaghetti with meat sauce?
  • Homemade chicken soup?


Linda, Ivery and Donald take turns preparing the ingredients for today's entree.

Every Tuesday the consumers in our DT program area, patiently await the chance to give their suggestion for Thursday’s cooking class. The choices are recorded, then they vote.

On Wednesdays our shopping list is completed, 6 consumers and 1 staff head out to the grocery store. The consumers locate the ingredients, check the quality of items, and learn how to get the most value for their money.

Erik carefully chops the onions.

It’s finally Thursday….. After completing exercise, the consumers set up the cookware and utensils needed. Each consumer puts on a pair of gloves and participates in preparing our entrée. They clean and dice the produce, add the ingredients using measuring spoons, and cups, and assist in cooking the meat. During preparation the staff teach and quiz the consumers on the type of meat that we are preparing, where it comes from , how the produce is grown, and the importance of following proper temperature guidelines.

Ivery enjoys the soup she helped prepare.

After the entrée is finished, the consumers all sit together and enjoy the meal that they have prepared.

Sandy, Pam, and Lauren also cook breakfast every Monday for the consumers to make sure they start the week off right!



March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Spread some awareness in your world. Since many people with disabilities rely on publicly funded services to fully participate in their communities, policy makers need to know you are concerned about continuing those services in the face of budget cuts during difficult economic times. Contact your legislator today and let them know you expect them to enact public policy to assist people with Intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can make a difference.

You can also support Sertoma Centre, Inc. an organization whose mission is to “to provide opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve personal success,” by commenting on the Sertoma Centre, Inc. Facebook and Twitter pages.

To learn more about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities visit     Link to additional resources.

Together We Cope Benefits from Sertoma United Food Drive

Sertoma United Members (left to right) Baltazar Alpuche, Archie Garrett, Derrick Hudson and Tanya Crew, delivered a vanload of food, diapers, clothing and personal hygiene products to Together We Cope in Tinley Park, IL.

Sertoma Self-Advocates Pay It Forward

Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a social service agency serving individuals with disabilities which depends on the community for support. Those who provide financial support or donate their time often feel good about making a difference in the lives of others. Sertoma United members also enjoy the feeling of paying it forward. On Friday January 4th members of Sertoma United delivered a vanload of non- perishable items to Together We Cope in Tinley Park, IL. This is their 3rd food drive and the second year they donated to Together We Cope.

Their timing could not have been better with so many food pantries and crisis centers running on empty after the holidays. The group also felt that since our country has been struggling through tough financial times, there was no more important time than now for this project.  Sertoma United is Sertoma’s Self Advocacy program which encourages its members to advocate for themselves and others. Member, Derrick Hudson said, I want to thank Together We Cope for helping to get food to those people who need it. I would like to participate with Together We Cope more in the future.” The program seeks to teach individuals with disabilities at Sertoma Centre the skills to advocate for their goals and desires in life. For more information about this program please contact Melissa Sands at 708-730-6343 or

Together We Cope is a not-for –profit that serves families and individuals who are going through a crisis. The organization provides clothing, food, financial assistance and guides families in more than 20 communities throughout Bremen, Palos, Orland and Worth townships.

Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services for 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, Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803. (708) 730-6206, or For additional resources visit

During the recent lame duck Session of the previous General Assembly, many of you made calls, sent emails & faxes, and wrote letters to your
Senators and Representatives urging them to pass a state fiscal year 2013
supplemental spending bill that restored $12 million in cuts to
community-based mental health programs and included language to move
supportive housing projects that are currently at a standstill forward.
While we were unsuccessful in getting a supplemental bill passed during
that frantic week of session - we know for a fact that your efforts built broad
bipartisan support in both chambers of the legislature for passing such a
Now that the new 98th General Assembly has been sworn into office, we need
to keep the momentum we built going by reminding existing legislators of
their support AND convincing new legislators of the importance of taking
immediate action to pass a supplemental bill!
We need to focus immediate outreach on Members of the House of
Representatives to get them to support including our mental health
supplemental request in a broader supplemental that may be negotiated in
early February.
The good news is we have a bill filed - HB 149 -
that includes the items we all need to see included in a supplemental bill.
We can use that in our communications with Representatives over the
next few days.
Please take the link below to take immediate action to secure support for
including mental health in a supplemental!
Click the link below to log in and make your call:

Good as New Thrift Store Will Close Feb. 1

Sertoma Centre, Inc. has operated its Good as New Thrift Store and Training Centre in Matteson for several years. Although there have been recent initiatives to increase sales and decrease expenses, the store, from a business perspective, had not met certain goals and objectives. After a careful analysis of the long-term sustainability of Good as New, a decision was made that the store should close allowing Sertoma Centre to refocus its resources on additional programs and services to best meet the needs of the individuals we serve. We are grateful to the staff who worked so hard to promote and operate the store, and for the donors and supporters who helped us in this endeavor.

The store officially closed to the public on February 1. Sertoma Centre staff is evaluating future uses for the space to accommodate the demand for services within our programs currently experiencing growth.

Sertoma Centre will also continue to be a preferred charity for the International Housewares Show at McCormick Place in Chicago. New houseware items will be sold through a Super Sale similar to events held prior to the opening of the store.

Watch for upcoming announcements about a date and location for the sale.

Sertoma Centre Executive Director Named to State Association Board


Alsip, IL January 2, 2013: Sertoma Center Executive Director Named to State Association Board

Gus van den Brink, executive director of Alsip, IL -based Sertoma Centre, Inc., has been named to the Board of Directors for the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (IARF).

IARF is a leading trade association comprised of community based organizations whose missions are to support individuals with disabilities and/or mental illness in achieving their maximum independence and live their lives to the fullest in communities throughout Illinois.

The Board encompasses talented individuals from across the state who lead organizations that support individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities, and persons with mental illness. With the membership’s diverse perspectives, IARF and its members are prepared to lead in these times of change.

“What Illinois needs now, more than ever, is leadership,” said Janet Stover, president and CEO of IARF. “Many changes are occurring in the way supports are provided and when you top that with the anticipated numbers of newly eligible individuals coming into the system in 2014, it can be overwhelming. The IARF Board of Directors is fully engaged in the discussion of these important issues and with the strong support of staff are crafting solid policy and advocacy goals to prepare our membership for the future.”

Van den Brink, of Orland Park, IL, has served as executive director of Sertoma Center for 20 years. Sertoma Centre serves more than 725 individuals annually through 14 programs including autism services, developmental training, employment services, residential programming, mental health services, school transition, senior services and more. The mission of Sertoma Centre is to provide opportunities that empower individuals with disabilities to achieve personal success.

Sertoma Centre provides services through two facilities in Alsip, IL, one in Matteson, IL and 10 residential homes in the south and southwest suburbs. They serve 45 communities in the suburbs and parts of the city of Chicago.

Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services for 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, Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803. (708) 730-6206, or For additional resources visit

Gus van den Brink, executive director of Sertoma Center has invested a lifetime in the service to individuals with disabilities.

Joe Varanauski, of Oak Forest, was named “Regional Outstanding Sertoman of the Year” at the Great Lakes Regional Sertoma Convention held recently in Indianapolis.

Pictured from left to right; Kathy Varanauski, Joe Varanauski and Cheryl Cherny, National Director of Sertoma
He was nominated by his local club, Action Sertoma, where he was also awarded the club’s “Outstanding Sertoman of the Year” award.
Varanauski is described in his nomination as a loyal, dedicated and enthusiastic Sertoman. He has been a member of Action Sertoma for 22 years during which time he served as a club board member in various positions. He has contributed to the growth of the organization personally recruiting more than 10 new members. He is also a leader in the amount of time volunteered for the club serving as the chair of the annual golf outing since its inception 12 years ago and leads the Publicity and Bereavement committees.
He supports the other area clubs by attending their fundraisers and events and is active in the District PAC meetings. A strong believer in community service, Varanauski is also active in the men’s club at St. Damian’s Church in Oak Forest, has served as a Cubmaster for Boy Scouts, coached Little League and is a U.S. Army veteran. He is an active supporter of Sertoma Centre, Inc., based in Alsip, Ill., is a member of their Silent Partner giving society and has served for eight years as a member of the Sertoma Centre board of directors.
Sertoma Centre is a social service agency dedicated to empowering the lives of individuals with disabilities. Sertoma Centre offers programs and services for individuals with developmental disabilities and/or mental illness through 13 programs at three day facilities and 10 residential homes.
Action Sertoma is a not-for-profit club formed in 1967 to raise funds in support of those in the community that are less fortunate. Action Sertoma was one of three clubs instrumental in the founding of Sertoma Centre.
“I want to thank the members of both organizations for this prestigious honor as I am proud to be a Sertoman for the past 22 years,” Varanauski said.
He and his wife Kathy have two sons and four grandchildren.
For more information regarding the Action Sertoma Club please visit For more information regarding Sertoma Centre, to schedule a tour, volunteer, or to make a donation, please contact Amy Chmura, Director of Advancement and Communications, (708)730-6206 or at Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803.

Yes, Christmas Shopping. This is not a misprint although some of us would like it to be as the holiday season quickly approaches. But have no fear, Sertoma Centre has all your shopping needs covered this year. Introducing Volunteer Services’ Winter Wonderland ~ A Holiday Bazaar and Shopping Extravaganza. Who ever coined the phrase, “Go Big or Go Home” was right and we are going BIG this holiday season. Please join us on Friday, December 7, 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 and boutique items. We’ll also be bringing our Good As New Thrift Store to you. Here are the details:


Friday, December 7, 2012
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
4343 W. 123rd St.
Upstairs Lunchroom and Board Room


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: Now through December 7, we need volunteers to assist consumers in creating and making the crafts they will be selling at the bazaar.

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

Rudolph’s Reindeer Boutique: Set up Good as New Thrift Store items the day before the event and/or help work the boutique on day the of the Bazaar.

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

North Pole Café: Snack food will be available for purchase.

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

Spread some holiday cheer this year by donating your time, treasures and talents to the Holiday Bazaar before or on December 7. If interested in volunteering or donating, please contact our Head Elf, Laura Gardner in Volunteer Services at (708) 730-6211 or email her in-box at the North Pole: Hope you can join us in some way to support our Winter Wonderland!



National Direct Support Professional Appreciation Week

Sertoma Centre celebrated National Direct Support Professional Appreciation Week by recognizing the 115 Direct Support Professionals who are committed to serving the individuals with disabilities.

Special activities and treats were provided each day of the weeklong celebration.

On Monday, all DSP staff received “Great People” buttons and banners were hung at all the Sertoma locations thanking “Great People Doing Great Things”.

Tuesday included a “Lunch on Us Raffle” where winners at each location received a gift for a free lunch.

On Wednesday there were beautiful cakes served at the Sertoma locations and cupcakes for the CILA homes.

Thursday morning,  DSPs enjoyed complimentary coffee and snacks served in the staff lounge – which was decorated like a Coffee Cafe.

The finale on Friday included a tailgate lunch and Jersey day – which featured grilled burgers and dogs, plus tons of delicious side dishes provided by Sertoma Staff. Sandra Baker, a Direct Support Professional with Sertoma for eight years said, “[The week was] very nice, and much appreciated. Thanks to all who took the time to make us feel appreciated.”

Sertoma Centre is extremely proud of our DSP staff and thank them for the Great Work they do each day.

Sertoma Centre is Named Abby Foundation Grant Recipient
Sertoma Centre, Inc. recieved one of the six Abby Foundation Grants which were awarded on Friday, August 17th at their annual luncheon held at the Tinley Park Convention Center.

Regina Robinson, Lynn King, Laura Gardner, Amy Chmura were thrilled to be awarded the Abby Foundation Grant.

The luncheon included an exhibt area where Sertoma Centre provided attendees an opportuntiy to learn more about the many programs and services Sertoma Centre offers individuals with disabilities in the community.

The Abby Foundation’s mission: raise money and distribute it to established nonprofit organizations, who apply for a grants that help women and their children and fund scholarships for both young women and returning women.

Sertoma Centre requested the grant to expand the “Our Rights, Right Now” Healthy Relationships Group which focuses on prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault for women with disabilities. The goal of this group program is to educate women with disabilities about domestic violence and sexual assault awareness and prevention, rights and resource options. The expansion of the program will include curriculum materials to add training modules focused on healthy relationships, sexuality, family planning and communication and interactions with significant others (such as partners, family members and legal guardians).

Funds will also be used to develop a speaker’s series with professionals in various related industries and an agency-wide awareness and education event that will be planned and implemented by the women in the group.






Consumer Garden Project
We are so excited to show you this picture! We want to thank everyone who purchased a brick and helped make this dream a reality.
The consumer garden project which was started in October of 2011 has finally been completed. The planters, benches and personalized bricks are now in place.
Consumer Garden Then and Now Video:

The Consumer Garden is a like an oasis, a wonderful little spot to take a break, your lunch, or read a book. Stop by one day and take a look at the many patio bricks which offer messages of encouragement, pride or a warm remembrance of a loved one who has passed. We will accept orders for the small personalized bricks for the next few months. The order will be processed when there is an order a total of ten or more bricks. A brick is a nice way to remember someone for the holidays.
Everyone here at Sertoma Centre is very proud of what has been accomplished during one of the hottest, driest summers in twenty years. Staff and consumers took turns watering and weeding. Plans for next year are already in the making. Who knows you may be able to stop by and by some green beans or a watermelon from the Consumer Garden next year.
We would like to thank everyone that helped make the garden a success, family, friends, supporters, staff and our Sertoma Clubs. We have received so much support from everyone including donations of garden tools and supplies.
If you would like to order a small personalize brick in time for the holidays, please contact the Advancement Department at 708-371-9700.

Contact Frank Tomecek 312-259-2581

POW-R Sertoma Union Station Candy Day

Friday July 13, 2012

Morning Shift

Meet in Parking Lot 6:00 AM

517 W. Jackson Blvd

Or meet on South train platform 6:15 AM

Collection time is 6:15 to 9:00

Breakfast at Lou Mitchells 9:15

Afternoon Shift

Meet in Parking Lot 3:00 PM

Collection times 3:15 to 6:00

Contact Frank Tomecek 312-259-2581


Everest College in Merrionette Park Host Drive

Pictured: Student - Amber Barajas, Director of Admissions-Ross Rosenberg, Sertoma's Executive Director-Gus van den Brink, Student-Kimberly Milan, and Bernadette Fumbanks, Admissions Representative Campus Sr. from Everest College in Merrionette Park.

Everest College in Merrionette Park, IL hosted a Hygiene Products Drive for Sertoma Centre.

On the 3oth of May, representatives from Everest College dropped off  bins of hygiene products including soap, tissue, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.  ”We were more than happy to make this wonderful contribution,” stated Bernadette Fumbanks,  Admissions Representative Campus Sr.   Accompanying Bernadette were Ambassador honor roll students, Amber Barajas and Kimberly Milan, and the Director of Admissions, Ross Rosenberg.

These products will be given to the individuals with disabilities served by Sertoma Centre in the Residential Services Program which includes Community Integrated Living Arangements, (CILAs) providing 24-hour residential support and Intermittent CILA, (ICILA) which provides part-time support to those individuals who wish to live more independently.

Carver High School Class Reunion Makes Donation

Pictured: Curtis Harrell, Lorez Stevens, Rev. Kenneth Lee, Suzan Simmons and Andre Moore

On Saturday June 8th, the classmates of Carver High School Class of 1982 celebrated their 30th graduation anniversary at Orland Chateau.  Wishing to make a difference and give back, the class reunion organizers decided to collect donations for a cause near and dear to their hearts, children with autism.  

One in every 88 children in the US has autism. It is estimated that approximately 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. has autism.  Several classmates spoke that evening of how their lives have been effected by having a child on the autism spectrum. 

Rev. Kenneth Lee graciously invited Sertoma Centre to stop by their reunion and speak briefly about Autism.   Sertoma Centre sincerely thanks  Rev. Lee for including us in their celebration and the Carver High School Class of 1982 for their generous donation to the Autism Services Program.

ABC7 Disabilities Segment on Sertoma Centre

Sertoma Centre, Inc. was featured with Karen Meyer from ABC 7 News in the Disabilities Segment which aired on May 31, 2012

The segment  featured Sertoma’s Seniors who participate in the Bridge Program. Click this link to see the video:

We are extremely proud of our Seniors and Staff who participated in this segment.  We thank everyone who contributed to its success.

Ladies High Tea Extends Deadline for Reservations!

Sertoma Centre and Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center will accept pre-paid reservations for the June 1, 2012 High Tea event until May 29th!

Cost is $40 for the event and RSVPs must be received no later than May 29th.

The event is held at Crystal Tree Country Club in Orland Park and starts at 11:00 am with a selection of vendors introducing their unique products and services.  High Tea will be served at 12:00 and includes musical entertainment, fashion show, and a presentation by Kimberly Bond, owner of Kimberly Bond Boutique. Each guest will receive a complimentary photo and thank you gift for attending.

For more information on the High Tea; to request an invitation or to make your reservation, call Special Events & Grants Manager, Regina Robinson at Sertoma Centre, 708-730-6210, Fax: 708-371-9747 or Profits from this event go towards funding programs at Sertoma Centre, Inc. and support for sliding scale fee patients at the Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center.

Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services to nearly 700 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 at Sertoma Centre, 4343 West 123rd Street, Alsip, IL 60803.


And be a part of  the 2012 Consumer Garden Project.
The bricks will become part of the history and add beauty of the Consumer Garden.

Last fall the response to the Consumer Garden Project was overwhelming and we decided to expand the size of the garden to accomidate the requests, we can now offer you the opportunity to purchase the small brick for $50.

  • Dedicate a brick to your loved ones
  • Have one made with your favorite saying
  • Celebrate an anniversary
  • Honor the memory of someone important to you

 Click on the  brick order form to order or your brick or call 708-371-9700.

Sertoma’s 3rd Annual Walk in the Park

FOR HEARING HEALTH – Benefits Sertoma Speech and Hearing Center

Moraine Valley College
Enter at 111th St. and College Parkway, Palos Hills, IL

  • Registration begins at 9:00 am
  • Walk/run begins at 9:45 am
  • Celebration begins at 10:45 am

Registration Form        Pledge form


From left to right:

People’s Choice Award  - Ken Dompling and Joe Dinova from Blue Island Fire Department - Ken and Joe’s Pulled Pork
Ethnic Category - Dennis (Max) Malloy from Riverdale Fired Department - Jambalya to the Max
Chili Category -  Bob Hopper from Lombard Fire Department  and his Dad,  Bob Hopper Sr.  - Smoke Showin Chili
Poultry Category -  Bob Hopper from Lombard Fire Department -Fireground White Chili
Ribs Category - Steve Zook and Jim Leibach from Niles Fire Department - Tillerboy Ribs


BIG Raffle Winners Could Win a Grand Prize of $10,000


           2012 BIG RAFFLE
$10,000 Bill O’Reilly
$1,000 Phil Salvador
$500 E.J. DalBello
$300 Barbara Vanerio
$200 Lillie Neal
$100 POW-R Sertoma
$100 Georgia Sarlas
$100 Jeff Kowalis
BIG Event Highlights From SouthtownStar Newspaper’s Casey Toner

BIG Event  2012  – Highlights From  SouthtownStar Newspaper’s Casey Toner

Local Celebrity Judges Determine the Fate of Firefighter’s at Cook-off on April 28th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:    Local Celebrity Judges Determine the Fate of Firefighter’s at Cook-off on April 28th.

Mayor Patrick E. Kitching, of Alsip, and Mayor Robert S. Straz, of Palos Heights, Illinois will participate as judges for the Firehouse Cook-off at Sertoma Centre’s BIG Event. Joining them on the judge’s panel is the award winning columnist, Phil Kadner and reporter Casey Toner, both from SouthtownStar Newspaper.

BIG Event is not just a chili cook-off, the participating firefighters from Chicago and the suburbs present the attendees with a wide variety of tasty dishes to sample. In addition to the great food the event offers:

  • Dave Fleming, magician and juggler
  • Live music by Sound Barrier
  •  Boomer from Windy City Thunderbolts
  • Kids crafts, activities, video gaming and face painting
  •  Raffles and fun for the entire family

BIG Event 2012, is sponsored by SouthtownStar Newspaper, the Aileen S. Andrew Foundation, Chicagoland area Sertoma Clubs and many local businesses. Please join us on Saturday April 28th, from 5 – 9 p.m. at 115 Bourbon Street in Merrionette Park, IL. Adults are $10 for entry fee donation/food sample tickets, children 12 & under $5, children under 3, free. Proceeds from the event benefit nearly 700 individuals with disabilities served by Sertoma Centre, Inc.

For more information, call 708-730-6206 or go to    Sertoma Centre, Inc. is a nationally-accredited, not-for-profit agency that provides services to individuals with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities, and/or mental illness.

Jason Clark, Director of Employment Services is a guest on Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce Cable TV Show

On Wednesday, February 1st, 2012, Jason Clark, Sertoma Centre’s Director of Employment Services sat down and spoke with  cable show host,  Joseph Ficaro, JR. about Insite Training Systems which is the community employment division of Sertoma Centre. 

Workers benefit, business benefits, and the community benefits

The goal of Insite is to support adults with disabilities to achieve success within the community and workplace.  We train, place and supervise hard working adults in local businesses, providing valuable resources to these companies and the communities in which they work. 

We appreciate Joseph Ficaro and the Tinley Park Chamber Cable TV Show for offering Sertoma Centre the opportunity to explain how the employment services  offered can benefit individuals with disabilities and the community.

The Tinley Park Chamber  of Commerce Cable show airs on channel 19 on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. the segment featuring Jason should air some time in March. We will update this post when we have the air date.

ABC7 Chicago’s Karen Meyer Coming to Sertoma

On February 28, 2012,  Karen Meyer and her film crew will be visiting Sertoma Centre, Inc.  The reporter responsible for the weekly disabilities segment will be here to learn more about the programs and services offered seniors with disabilities.   Staff and Consumers are are thrilled to have Karen visit Sertoma Centre and look forward to the opportunity to tell her all about what we do here and how we can make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities from 16 to 80+.

Karen Meyer, ABC7 Chicago and Motesem Mansur

Motesem Mansur, who attends programs at Sertoma Centre was featured in a Disabilities Segment last October.  Karen and her crew filmed Motesem while he was reading one of his books for a group of children at Woodgate School in Matteson, IL.  He is a published author of several children’s books and a gifted artist.

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