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Article updated: 3/22/2013 11:39 AM

A Record Setting Year for Clearbrook's PAL Program

Guest speaker J.J. O'Connor, center, chats with PAL/Clearbrook supporters at the 16th annual PAL fundraiser.

Guest speaker J.J. O'Connor, center, chats with PAL/Clearbrook supporters at the 16th annual PAL fundraiser.



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By Clearbrook

On Sunday, March 17th, Clearbrook's Partners in Adult Learning Program (PAL) hosted its 16th annual fundraiser at Maggiano's Little Italy at the Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg.

In addition to enjoying a traditional family-style meal, the 250 event attendees were treated to a motivating speech by J.J. O'Connor. After suffering a paralyzing neck injury, he went on to graduate from college and manage the U.S. Sled Hockey team who won a Gold Medal at the Paralympics in 2010.


O'Connor's inspirational speech helped raise $11,000 for Pal's "Extreme Makeover" project which includes more floor space, better lighting, and more efficient furniture- all designed to create a workspace that accommodate the needs of the clients in this growing program.

"We are very grateful to have such a wonderful group of dedicated supporters," said Paul Jochim, PAL parent and one of the event organizers. "Their continued kindness and generosity, especially during these tough economic times, is truly incredible."

PAL is a partnership between Clearbrook, Northwest Special Recreational Association, Community Alternatives Unlimited, and families of young adults with developmental disabilities and physical challenges who have graduated out of the school system. PAL offers its participants year-round, full-day programming aimed at providing experiences, services, and supports that promote lifelong learning and community membership.

For information about PAL, contact Paul Jochim at or visit

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