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In November 17, 2011, the Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Buffalo Grove Bank & Trust, presented its first annual Heart of Buffalo Grove Awards Dinner at the beautiful Arboretum Club. The Chamber created the Heart of Buffalo Grove Awards to recognize the many outstanding community members who make a difference in Buffalo Grove. Included are seven categories—Above & Beyond, Business Philanthropy, Community Volunteer, Environmentally Friendly, Senior Volunteer, Teach & Inspire and Youth Volunteer (which had two recipients in 2011).

Nominations for the 2012 Heart of Buffalo Grove Awards have been coming into the Chamber office since April 15th. Award winners will be announced at the second annual Heart of Buffalo Grove Awards Dinner on November 10, 2012, at the Arboretum Club. For more information on the event, contact the Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce at 847-541-7799.

Congratulations to the 2011 Heart of Buffalo Grove Award Winners:Above & Beyond Award

Linda Rosen
Linda Rosen serves as the president of the Buffalo Grove Arts Commission where she works tirelessly to enhance the Arts in Buffalo Grove. The commission is responsible for and oversees the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Art Festival, the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band and its offshoot, the Jazz Band, and several public art projects. Linda is the director of the BG Singers and it’s ensemble, Encore! Linda previously chaired the Buffalo Grove Park District Performing Arts Council and has sat on many focus groups for the community.

Linda and her husband, Gary, are longtime residents of Buffalo Grove. They have two married children, Steven (Lauren) and Laura (Brian). Linda is the Music Teacher/Choral Director in the Kildeer Countryside School District 96.

Other finalists for this award-Ed Baker & Mike Brown
Business Philanthropy Award

Marilyn Wagner The Best Salon & Spa
Marilyn Wagner and husband, Phil, have been the owners of The Best Salon & Spa for nearly 30 years. Marilyn has never said ‘”no” to fundraising efforts in the community. She has annually donated approximately $10,000 in gift certificates to various charity and community events. She has helped to raise funds at the salon for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the ALS Foundation, hosted Haircuts for the Unemployed, assists with Saint Mary Parish’s Fashion Show and is a member of the Lady Lifesavers, a group of women that annually participate in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, which, over the past six years, have raised over $300,000 for breast cancer research.

Marilyn has seven children—Debbie, Linda, Joe, Kathy, Amanda, Jennifer and Andrew—and 15 grandchildren. Marilyn and Phil are longtime residents of Buffalo Grove.

Other finalists for this award—Drew Olbur, Weiner Take All, & Peter Panayiotou, Continental Restaurant

Community Volunteer Award

Nancy Winter
Nancy Winter has an impressive resume of volunteer work within the community. She served on the Buffalo Grove High School Parent Association as president for three years and was the Girls’ Golf Liaison to the Booster Club and a member of the Parent Advisory Council. She also served as PTO Treasurer at the Cooper PTO. Nancy served on the village of Buffalo Grove 50th Anniversary Committee, played in the Buddy Baseball game during Buffalo Grove Days and is a member the village’s CERT team and EMA. She is on the Alumni Board for the College of Lake County where she co-chairs the Activities/Events Committee, which hosts the Alumni Gala and the Annual Golf Benefit and much more.

Nancy Winter resides in Buffalo Grove with her husband, Bob, and daughter, Rebecca Lynn. Nancy has worked at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., for 37 years and is a Customer Service Specialist.

Other finalists for this award—the Jerod Loeb Family and Jim Papreck

Environmentally Friendly Award

Jeff Weiss
Jeff Weiss is the founder of the Buffalo Grove Environmental Action Team (BG EAT),which assists the Buffalo Grove Park District in protecting its nature areas and removing trash and invasive plant species. He has also organized road clean-ups, electronic recycling days, a bicycle collection program and created exhibits on recycling and energy conservation. Jeff also volunteers at many of the area forest preserves, is a committee member for Chicago Cares, serves at a Waukegan soup kitchen and is a merit badge counselor for Boy Scout Troop 140.

Jeff is a longtime resident of Buffalo Grove with his wife, Martha, and children Emily, Claire, Vincent and Paul. He is the Land Management Coordinator for the Emily Oaks Nature Center within the Skokie Park District. Jeff has also served as a Commissioner for the Buffalo Grove Park District.

Other finalists for this award—Katie DeVogelaere & Kristi Smith

Senior Volunteer Award

Calli DuSell
Calli is a member of the Buffalo Grove Police Department’s Volunteer Program. She spends a great deal of time driving department transmittals to various court buildings several times each month. She also volunteers for various programs and activities for the department’s Crime Prevention Division. Besides her ‘police work,’ Calli is a member of the CERT Team, the BG Days Committee, serves as a Director of the Buffalo Grove Friends of the Parks Foundation and is a member of St. Mary’s Finance Committee. She also volunteers time at the Kingswood Methodist Church PADS Program and in their Food pantry, as well as volunteering at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Calli DuSell lives in Buffalo Grove with her husband Roy. She has two adult children, Joe and Judy.

Other finalist for this award—Larry Wankovsky

Teach & Inspire Award

Dean Klassman
Dean Klassman has been a longtime advocate for those with disabilities. He is the Commissioner of the Keshet Buddy Baseball Program and a Manager of the BGRA Buddy Baseball Program. As one parent stated, “He brings much happiness, enthusiasm, confidence, self-esteem, athleticism and just plain fun to those in the program.” Dean is a commissioner of the Buffalo Grove Commission for Residents with Disabilities where he helps to educate the public about the issues of special needs families. He is the Director of the Progressive Services Network and a past Board Member and VP for the Center for Enriched Living.

Dean is a resident of Buffalo Grove with his wife, Leslie. He has two children, Brooke and Ben, and is the owner of Klassman Financial Services in Arlington Heights.

Other finalists for this award—Amy Gluck & Howard Green

Youth Volunteer Award #1

Buffalo Grove Hammer AZA
The Buffalo Grove Hammer AZA is a chapter of the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO). The chapter is comprised of pre-teen and teenage boys in grades 8 through 12. Representing the Hammer AZA board is Josh Nahrstadt, a Buffalo Grove resident.

A member of the Buffalo Grove Hammer AZA, Jacob Waxberg, drowned at summer camp this year, and to help with their grieving process, the organization sold wristbands to area youth in memory of their friend. The SMILE4WAXY wristbands have already raised over $2,000 and the organization has purchased a bronze leaf in Jacob’s honor at the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo at Brookfield Zoo. The remainder of the money collected will go into a scholarship program in Jacob’s memory. Hammer AZA also volunteers at Wings (a shelter for abused women), has held clothing drives and raises money for Invisible Children.

Youth Volunteer Award #2

Alexander Wziontka
Alexander Wziontka is an Eagle Scout with Troop 140 sponsored by Saint Mary Parish. For his Eagle Scout Project, Alexander made and sent solar cooking ovens to earthquake victims in Haiti and to Solar Household Energy, a Washington, DC nonprofit that promotes solar cooking internationally. He has also earned the Bronze, Silver and Gold Eagle palms representing 15 merit badges beyond his Eagle Scout requirements. He assists other scouts in the troop with their Eagle Scout Projects. Alexander has participated in road clean-ups, handed out flyers for the police department, helped a veteran’s group place flags at Saint Mary Cemetery and organized a shoe drive, Soles for Souls, which earned him the Jimmy Stewart Boy Scout Good Citizen Award. He has achieved highest honors in scouting and is currently the Lakota Lodge Chapter Chief. He is also active in his church.

Alexander is a Buffalo Grove resident and goes to Buffalo Grove High School. He is a member of the Cross Country team and also a member of the school’s Science Olympiad, Math and Robotics teams. He takes the Boy Scout oath’s “On my honor, I will do my best…to help other people at all times…” and the Scout’s laws (…trustworthy, helpful…) to heart.

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