The North Shore Heroin Epidemic

Yes, there really is a heroin epidemic on the North Shore.

Survivor Paula Nixon and her mother share their story, with the hopes of saving others.

PJ and Paula Nixon

Read their story and more here:

She’s dancing in heaven today.

Melissa Mueller of Stuart Weitzman with Kendall Schaffner (Julie’s daughter ), Emma Noyes and the Events Coordinator of De Pescara, at the Stuart Weitzman store in Northbrook Court.

My friend, Julie Schaffner, is dancing in heaven today. Her family, Make It Better and Stuart Weitzman raised over $11,000 in support of ovarian cancer research through Advocate Lutheran General Hospital last night.

Julie was an early champion for Make It Better. She believed in my dream of growing a trusted community network that did the most good for the women at its’ heart. She died, much too young, of ovarian cancer. Now we champion early detection of this insidious disease, in her memory.

Thank you Stuart Weitzman for spectacular generosity and a great party.

Should you live for your resume… Or your eulogy?

David Brooks is spot on with this.

You will never regret having one last child or saying yes to people who really need help, even though you don’t have the time, when you’re looking back at your life.

Should you live for your résumé … or your eulogy?

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April 14, 2014

Today’s TED Talk

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé … or your eulogy?


05:01 minutes · Filmed Mar 2014 · Posted Apr 2014 · TED2014

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love — the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves “Adam I” and “Adam II.”) Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

New York Times columnist David Brooks is the author of Bobos in Paradise, On Paradise Drive, and the narrative of neuroscience, The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement.

Watch now »

Quote of the Day

Mercy instead of revenge, collaboration instead of competition, inclusion instead of exclusion — these are the ideals that a war-torn Libya needs desperately.”

Zahra' Langhi

Zahra’ Langhi

Zahra’ Langhi: Why Libya’s revolution didn’t work — and what might

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Ike Hong fixes lives and the food desert just beyond his own backyard.

"Affect lives within a 10 mile radius of where you live."

Ike & Grace Hong, of Bannockburn

For Ike Hong, of Bannockburn, a few inspiring words by his pastor motivated him, “Affect lives within a 10 mile radius of where you live.“

Hong was “blown away" when he started looking just beyond his own back yard and saw a food desert in North Chicago. He was also mindful of the growing number of people struggling with diabetes, like his father. So as a board member of NorthShore University HealthSystem, he worked with the Be Well-Lake County diabetes program and the Auxiliary at NorthShore Highland Park Hospital, to launch the Community Garden at the North Chicago Community Health Center.

This weekend’s glorious weather is a reminder that the garden will soon be providing fresh produce to residents again. It has grown to become a valuable educational resource for more than 500 patients struggling with controlling their diabetes as well as more than 54,000 adult Lake County residents diagnosed with diabetes. That is a lot of lives made better by Hong just beyond his own backyard!

LIFTing for a good cause

“When we feel like the sky is falling, we need people LIFTing us up.  At LIFT we listen.  I think our logo should be a giant ear. All of us in this room can be part of changing the game.  It’s happening here in Chicago on the ground every day.”

      – Ben Reuler, Executive Director of LIFT at the hip fundraiser last night

ben reuler

We can change the world, with our own two hands.”

       - Ben Harper, in this song he performed at the LIFT event last year.

“I can make it better, with my own two hands…” 

” They’re changing the world every day, with their talents and time”

       – Susan B. Noyes about the super talented women below:


Why I Say Yes & The Winners

“The more you put into something, the more you get out of it. Always. Every time. Guaranteed.

“If you or your children are involved with something, you have an obligation to give back in some way at some time. It’s what makes the world go around.

“By actively participating and showing up, you become connected to the causes, places and people you care about in ways that are far richer and more tangible than the feeling you get when you write a check. [But we appreciate and need those check writers too.]

“Everyone has a story. A wonderful story. By giving of your time you get a chance to learn and share in those stories. You build community.

“I have been blessed to be able to do this because of my husband, who always says ‘You should go for it. We’ll make it work.’ “

- Charlotte McGee, accepting the Woman of the Year Award at the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce’s 37th Annual Recognition Lunch.

Charlotte & Jim McGee at the Awards Luncheon

Congratulations to Charlotte and the other honorees at yesterday’s inspiring Annual Recognition luncheon:

Woman Of The Year: Charlotte McGee

Man Of The Year: Jim McNitt

Business Leaders Of The Year: Paul Zurowski & Bill Hiscott of Sawbridge Studios, Ann Heinz & Kate Rooney, Three Tarts

Educator Of The Year: Rose Marchuk

Public Safety Officer Of The Year: Firemedic Chris Kopecky

Park District Employee Of The Year: Costa Kutulas

And thank you to Winnetka-Northfield Chamber Director Terry Dason, and real estate firm Caldwell Banker who always say yes to the best community building ideas too!

With Winnetka-Northfield Chamber Director Terry Dason. And with ongoing appreciation for the support of community-centric real estate firm Caldwell Banker.

Cast Your Votes for Advocate!

Please vote for Advocate Children’s Hospital and Advocate Christ Medical Center too. This could bring additional funds to help sick kids in our hometowns.

Thank you.


Vote now!
Advocate Children’s Hospital and Advocate Christ Medical Center have been named finalists in the LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project and we need your help to win! The hospitals with the highest number of votes in each region will receive training and funding to replicate a LIVESTRONG program that has demonstrated success in supporting people affected by cancer.

Thank you to everyone who has already voted! If you haven’t there is still time.


Details and voting information below…


6 Easy Ways To Make A Big Difference For Others With Children – Brava Kristina Tober.

6 Easy Ways To Make A Big Difference For Others With Children

“The reality is, everyone, at one time or another, will have to deal with some sort of adversity.

And while you may not be in the same shoes as a special needs person, you can certainly learn how to appreciate their perspective and do what you can to support them and their families. Because chances are, you may need some extra support yourself someday.”

- Kristina Tober, Make It Better writer and mother to a special needs child.

Kristina Tober

Talented writer Kristina Tober offers sage advise for how to react to children with special needs and their families in her article, “Small Ways to Make A Difference for Someone With Special Needs.” Really though, it’s advise that works in situations with with all children too – not just those involving special needs kids.

1. Learn the right lingo.

2. Try not to stare.

3. Offer to help.

4. Remember that this is someone’s child who is loved.

5. It’s ok to laugh.

6. Always look for the good, regardless of ability.

There have been more times than I care to remember than my kids were misbehaving in public, and I not only appreciated, I desperately needed a response by strangers that reminded me to laugh, love and look for the good instead of scold.

Brava Kristina!

Read more: click here

The Best Investors Of All – Top Chicago Women Philanthropists

“We think investing in young people is the best investment of all” – Mellody Hobson

Inline image 1

Mellody Hobson joins 10 other inspiring women on Make It Better’s Best Chicago Female Philanthropists list, published yesterday in honor of the #WomenLeading Philanthropy Symposium and Women’s Philanthropy Week in Chicago. Alphabetically listed, these women are:

Frances Comer

Sister Mary Connelley

Paula Fasseas

Francia Harrington

Joan Harris

Mellody Hobson

Liz Lefkofsky

Ann Lurie

Diana Mendley Rauner

Shirley Welch Ryan

Bernarda Wong

We agree that investing to create a future where all kids can feel safe, loved, educated and prepared to meaningfully contribute to the world is a great investment. But we’re also enthusiastic about the other causes supported by these strategic thinkers too – from humane treatment of animals to the environment to help for Asian immigrants.

Learn more about these women and their impact: click here