Marklund closing Wood Dale resale store

A Wood Dale resale store run by Marklund, a nonprofit serving children and adults with profound developmental disabilities, is closing next month.

The store, located at 490 Georgetown Square in Wood Dale, was renovated a few years ago, but Marklund President and CEO Gil Fonger said that wasn't enough to keep it competitive with other resale stores in the area.

"Whenever you have an ancillary retail outlet it always becomes somewhat of a distraction from your core," he said, adding that the store required the attention of the organization's maintenance, finance and volunteer departments.

Officials have agreed to close the store June 17, after concluding it was not generating enough revenue to justify its continued operation. Donations are no longer being accepted and all merchandise prices have been reduced by 50 percent.

Marklund has operated suburban resale stores to help support its mission for more than 40 years. At one point the organization ran seven stores in Roselle, Arlington Heights, Oak Lawn, Downers Grove, West Chicago, Addison and Palatine. In 2004, the resale program was consolidated into the Wood Dale location.

Dawn Lassiter-Brueske, director of marketing and communications, said the Wood Dale store is run by three paid employees and more than 500 volunteers. She said so far the news of the store's closing has been met with sadness because it was an important part of the organization's history, but also "with an understanding, particularly with what's going on with the state of Illinois and the lack of a budget."

"We need to really watch our resources," she said.

Fonger said the store's closing does not have anything to do with the strength of Marklund.

"It's just about us really focusing our core mission of making everyday life possible for individuals with profound disabilities," he said.

The organization recently completed a $4.5 million expansion to Marklund Day School in Bloomingdale to serve more children with autism. In addition, Fonger said residential and therapeutic services offered in Geneva and Bloomingdale are "financially solid and going forward."

"We hope that the volunteers are going to stick with us and just utilize their efforts directly toward the clients," he said.

The Marklund Resale store in Wood Dale is closing on June 17, after 12 years of operation. The organization, which serves children and adults with profound disabilities, has run a resale store program for more than 40 years. Photo courtesy of Marklund
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