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Health

Annual ball raises funds for Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox

Mary Brenczewski and Edward Czerkies honored

Pictured are Ruth Colby, president and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital (from left); Laura Czerkies; Scott Czerkies; Bonny Czerkies; Craig Czerkies; Arlene Plese; David Czerkies; Sandy Czerkies; Mary Brenczewski; and Douglas Hutchison Jr., chairman of the board of Silver Cross Hospital.
Pictured are Ruth Colby, president and CEO of Silver Cross Hospital (from left); Laura Czerkies; Scott Czerkies; Bonny Czerkies; Craig Czerkies; Arlene Plese; David Czerkies; Sandy Czerkies; Mary Brenczewski; and Douglas Hutchison Jr., chairman of the board of Silver Cross Hospital.

On Nov. 17, 518 friends of Silver Cross Hospital attended the 90th Annual Childerguild Ball at the Odyssey Country Club in Tinley Park and enjoyed wonderful food and dancing.

The premiere event of the holiday season – An Evening in Casablanca – raised $270,000 to support women and children’s services at Silver Cross Hospital.

The annual tradition of the Childerguild Ball began in 1928 as a fundraiser for the obstetrics and pediatrics departments at Silver Cross Hospital.

This year, the Ball co-chairs were Sheryl Chapman and Pam Resutko. The Ball Committee included Pat Crowley, Karen Eckert, Phyllis Etheridge, Robin Hartney, Barb Giegerich, Verna Kitchen and Kay Langlois.

As a prelude to the dinner, the hospital awarded medals of excellence to two prominent community service and healthcare-minded individuals. 

Mary Brenczewski

This year’s Silver Cross Sehring Medal of Excellence for Healthcare was awarded to registered nurse Mary Brenczewski, lifelong resident of Joliet and administrative director of nursing practice at Silver Cross Hospital.

Brenczewski began her nursing career in 1973 when she was first hired to provide critical care services at Silver Cross.

After 13 years in that role, she served as an educator in the development and implementation of the telemetry technician program.

In 1991, she was named clinical nurse coordinator and was subsequently promoted to administrative director of nursing education in 1997. She also served for three years as the co-director of surgical services.

A recipient of the Athena Award in 2007 from the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Lewis University’s Alumni Achievement Award, Brenczewski is very involved in her profession and the community she serves.

She is a Eucharistic minister for St. Paul the Apostle Church in Joliet and is active with the Joliet Nursing Education Consortium, Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Association, Chicago Metropolitan Nursing Education Organization and serves on the Will-Grundy Medical Clinic Board of Directors. 

Edward Czerkies

Silver Cross also honored Edward Czerkies (posthumously), successful businessman and philanthropist with the Silver Cross Sangmeister Medal of Excellence for Community Service.

The youngest of seven children, Czerkies was born in the back of the family car on the way to Silver Cross Hospital.

He worked his way through school graduating with a master’s degree in education from Northern Illinois University and has successfully led businesses including concrete, storage facilities and land development over the past 45 years.

Czerkies was a leading philanthropist at Mayo Clinic and a benefactor to the International Myeloma Foundation, Cathedral of St. Raymond, Morning Star Mission, Will-Grundy Medical Clinic, Joliet Junior College Music Scholarship and Presence St. Joseph Medical Center.

In 2011, Czerkies invested $1.5 million to help fund the Carolyn J. Czerkies Pavilion at Silver Cross Hospital supporting cancer services provided by Silver Cross Hospital through the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center.

More than 3,500 cancer patients’ lives have been saved or greatly improved because of Ed’s benevolent generosity.

For his service to the community, he received the 2017 Joliet Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Joliet Junior College’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

The Silver Cross Foundation is accepting nominations through Jan, 31, 2019, for the 2019 Silver Cross Medals of Excellence. The 2019 Childerguild Ball will be held Nov. 23.

For information about nominations or the 2019 ball, call the Silver Cross Foundation at 815-300-7105.

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