Valerie Profit, founder of Schaumburg's Powerhouse Productions, dies
Valerie Profit, a 38-year Schaumburg resident who won the village's Volunteer of the Year award in 2008 for founding the local theater company Powerhouse Productions, has died at the age of 69.
A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday -- a day before what would have been Profit's 70th birthday -- at Christian Tabernacle Church, 100 S. Park St. in Roselle.
The theater group she established has put on an original Black History Month play every February since 1999 at Schaumburg's Al Larson Prairie Center for the Arts,
Profit was equally passionate about her job as employment coordinator for Schaumburg, Palatine and Wheeling townships, helping many unemployed residents -- especially seniors -- find jobs.
"She was really dedicated to that," former Schaumburg Township Supervisor Mary Wroblewski said. "She did numerous job fairs. People needed it and township government is the closest to the people."
Profit's son, Maurice Proffit, said it was Valerie's father who inspired her to find a way to fulfill a need in society herself rather than wait for someone else to do it -- or complain that they weren't doing it.
"My grandfather owned one of the best known, black-owned barbershops on the South Side of Chicago," Proffit said. "She took those entrepreneurial lessons and applied it to Powerhouse. She was always into acting and writing and storytelling, ever since she was a child."
That inspiration was inherited by the younger of her two sons. Proffit has since founded his own production company, B-Side Studios LLC, and taken over the responsibility of writing and directing Powerhouse Production's Black History Month plays for the past several years.
He said when his family first moved to Schaumburg in 1981, it was still in the process of growing and modernizing. His mother wanted to be a part of that development, particularly on the cultural side.
"Her love for Schaumburg and the community knew no bounds," Proffit said. "She really wore her heart on her sleeve. She had no shame about that at all."
One of his mother's proudest moments was winning the village's Volunteer of the Year Award 11 years ago for the work she'd put into Powerhouse Productions.
"When she won that award, you would have thought she won an Oscar," her son said.
Though Profit suffered a stroke in 2015 and was battling a slight case of dementia, her son considers it a blessing that as recently as last February's Black History Month play she was able to fully appreciate it as a legacy of her work.
"I'm glad she lived to see 20-plus years of Powerhouse Productions," he said. "She left this life really being able to reach that dream."
Though her health had not been strong, her death during a hospital visit Dec. 6 still came as a shock. Proffit said that even though he'd been informed she was going to the hospital that day, he had no reason to think of it as anything other than a routine visit.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Christian Tabernacle Church Scholarship fund at ctcchurch.org/give/ are requested.