Judson honors community volunteers at annual breakfast
Judson University in Elgin honored several community volunteers for their service during its annual Community Prayer Breakfast Wednesday.
Vivian Maly of Elburn received this year's D. Ray Wilson Volunteer Service Award. She has volunteered for Boy Scouts of America, Kaneland Unit District 302 and Right to Life of Kane County.
Maly launched TLC Pregnancy Services in Elgin in 1996, serving as a volunteer executive director and raising funds to purchase the nonprofit's current building in Elgin. The organization provides free pregnancy tests, emotional and spiritual support and items such as diapers, formula and clothing to those in need.
She also helped TLC raise funds for a medical clinic offering pregnancy tests, limited obstetric ultrasounds and STD facilitation free to clients and to convert a recreational vehicle into a mobile ultrasound unit. In 2014, she championed the opening of satellite offices in Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Roselle, Hanover Park and Streamwood.
Kylee Siers, a junior at Westminster Christian School in Elgin, received this year's Bea Wilson Youth Volunteer Service Award, honoring young people in the Fox Valley who give back to their communities. The award includes a $3,000 annual scholarship to attend Judson.
Siers volunteers at Illinois Park School, a public at-risk preschool in Elgin, and is involved with serving the homeless through Vineyard Church of Elgin. She is an honor student, student ambassador at Westminster and at Westminster Presbyterian Church, a Student Council representative and captain of the soccer team.
More than 150 people including community members, local dignitaries, civic leaders and school administrators attended the event held at the Love Family Christian Foundation in downtown Elgin.
Judson trustee Lawrence Drake, president and CEO of LEAD, an organization focused on developing equal learning access models, gave the keynote address.
Drake, a global business leader and former executive for Coca-Cola, spoke about how the recent loss of his adult child caused him to explore the intersection of vulnerability and courage as a man of faith. Drake lost his 41-year-old daughter a year ago to stomach cancer.
"As a culture, we don't often equate vulnerability with courage and strength," he said, noting that men especially do not have a safe space to be vulnerable.
Drake began interviewing other adults, specifically other black men, to learn how they were coping with the loss of a child. He now is writing a book to help others navigate the topic.