Service Award Winner & National Lodge Person of the Year
Congratulations to our 2019 Service Award Winner and National Lodge Person of the Year!
National Service Award
Gary Sackman was chosen for KSKJ Life’s 2019 National Service Award. Gary belongs to St. Joseph Lodge #53 in Waukegan, IL. Gary has impacted the local community through his generosity and kindness for as long as one can remember. From donating winter clothes and Thanksgiving turkeys to families in need, to offering pro bono services through his work as a financial adviser, Gary is always on the lookout for ways to make his hometown of Waukegan a better, more enjoyable place to live. Gary is involved in several charitable organizations, but the majority of his attention and efforts are aimed towards helping children with cancer. He does this through a deep involvement with the St. Baldrick’s Organization. St. Baldrick’s raises money to fund life-saving cancer research in the severely underfunded area of childhood cancers. Gary has been involved with the St. Baldrick’s charity for over 10 years now, and along with his family has helped raise over $65,000. Gary is also instrumental in helping the charity host their annual head shaving event by donating and gathering items for the silent auction. Gary shaved his head with St. Baldrick’s on March 7 to raise money for lifesaving research to find cures and better treatments for kids. You can donate online by CLICKING HERE.
Congratulations, Gary, on all of your amazing accomplishments and thank you for your service to your community!
National Lodge Person of the Year
Joanna Pucel was selected for KSKJ Life’s 2019 National Lodge Person of the Year. Joanna belongs to St. Stephen Lodge #197 in St. Cloud, MN. As an active lodge member, Joanna has served as the lodge’s Vice President for several years. Fellow lodge officers describe her as an instrumental member who can be relied on to take charge and help out at any given time. This past year, Joanna took the lead in organizing and raising funds for the 8th Annual Stearns Bank Mended Hearts Golf Tournament held in Sartell, MN, a charitable event that raised awareness for heart disease. This was a KSKJ Life Matching Funds event that gained a lot of recognition within the local community. Joanna also was pivotal in other Matching Funds events in 2019 and helping out with her lodge’s Slovenian History Project. A former professor at St. Cloud State University and past president of American Association of University Women, Joanna is very active in her community and routinely volunteers on church committees’ State Board representing MN colleges and universities. She created the Mended Hearts Chapter 10 cardiac support group in St. Cloud 35 years ago and helps distribute AED’s and Safe Stations across the St. Cloud region.
Congratulations, Joanna, and thank you for all you do for KSKJ Life and for your community!
Bowling Tournament Hosted By Lodge #65 – Cancelled
Announcement: Given the current environment and escalation of social-distancing directives by the CDC, the Bowling Tournament hosted by Lodge 65 in Milwaukee has been postponed until further notice. The health and safety of all our members is the most important thing.
Stay tuned to our Facebook Activities Page for updates on this tournament and other KSKJ Life events.
KSKJ Day 2020
For the second year in a row, KSKJ Life will be hosting “KSKJ Day”, a day held each year that is dedicated to giving back to our local communities. For this year’s KSKJ Day, Home Office staff will be holding a food collection drive for the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Joliet and participating in a day of service at the food packing site.
To view photos from last year’s KSKJ Day, please click here.
Waukegan Lodges Golf Tournament
Save the Date for the Waukegan KSKJ Life Lodges Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Bonnie Brook Golf Course in Waukegan, IL. More information to come.
With heartfelt appreciation, we want to thank all our wonderful members, lodge officers, agents and employees who participated in this year’s Supporting Soldiers Campaign: Socks for Soldiers. The Supporting Soldiers Campaign was created in 2015 as an effort to show our support and gratitude towards the active and retired military and their families. In December of each year we choose a charitable organization whose mission is to assist our brave American soldiers. This past holiday season the military-based charity selected was Operation Care Package.
Based in Manhattan, IL, Operation Care Package is a volunteer 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to the mission that no Hero serving our Nation should be forgotten. Their goal is to support our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen through care packages and letters of encouragement. Learn more about the organization and the impact they make by visiting their website and Facebook page. You can even refer soldiers overseas that you know for the program.
For this year’s campaign, we asked for help collecting socks for soldiers. 1,077 pairs of socks were donated and monetary donations received were an incredible $2,665, which the Home Office matched. For each lodge that participated, the Home Office also donated $50 to Operation Care Package as part of the Charitable Giving program. A total of $6,480 was presented to this very deserving charity.
Thank you to all who organized collection drives on behalf of the campaign. Donations were received from high school students, military officers, churches and other fraternal organizations. We heard some incredibly touching stories and innovative ideas from members who have a personal connection to the cause. One example from a KSKJ Life member: “My wife and I always keep some new socks in the car. We put a dollar in each pair and give them to homeless people we see in Chicago, some of whom are veterans.” – Joseph Z.
Another military-based charity will be selected for our Supporting Soldiers Campaign next Christmas season. Suggestions are welcome if you have a military-based charity in mind. Please email email@example.com with your recommendation.
|Pairs of Socks Collected:||1,077|
|Member Donations for OCP:||$2,665|
|Home Office Contribution:||$3,815|
|Total Amount for OCP:||$6,480|
|Total Amount Raised for Veterans Since 2015:||$18,067|