Buffalo Grove disabilities commission renamed after longtime chairman

For more than 20 years, Rick Kahen's name was synonymous with Buffalo Grove's Commission for Residents with Disabilities.

Now, more than a month after his passing, the link between Kahen and the commission has been made permanent. The commission officially became the Rick Kahen Commission for Residents with Disabilities at Monday's village board meeting.

Kahen, who died Sept. 4, joined the commission in 1994, two years after it was created. He went on to serve a lengthy tenure as the panel's chairman.

He was instrumental in the development of institutions such as the Buffalo Grove Days Fun & Food Program for residents with disabilities and their families, as well as Buddy Baseball.

Kahen also worked alongside the Buffalo Grove Park District to increase accessibility to the parks through poured-in-place surfacing, ramps, panel games and swings.

"Every person with disabilities is the beneficiary of Rick's vision and inspiration," said Trustee Lester Ottenheimer III.

"He was a very special person who cared about people," Village President Beverly Sussman added. "Rick was always looking for different opportunities for the (commission) to get involved in."

Trustee Andrew Stein said Kahen was helpful to him when he dealt with a temporary physical disability of his own in 2009 and reached out to the commission.

Trustee David Weidenfeld said Kahen's family has encouraged people to donate to the Buffalo Grove Community Foundation in his memory. More than 20 donors have contributed more than $1,600, he said.

"Rick has been a tireless worker for the rights of the disabled, even when, in fact, he was seriously ill himself," Weidenfeld said.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.