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Tom and Ginny Neuckranz Recognized with the 2011 Governor's Volunteer Service Award
April 6, 2011
On April 6, 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service presented 25 Illinoisans with the Governor's Volunteer Service Award. The award recognizes volunteers who have made a difference in Illinois and highlights the importance of volunteerism and community service. Tom Neuckranz, a partner with the firm, and his wife, Ginny, were recognized for their volunteer efforts on behalf of Erika's Lighthouse.
In 2004, Tom and Ginny's youngest daughter, Erika, succumbed to clinical depression and took her own life. In an effort to honor Erika's memory they, along with friends, founded the not for profit Erika's Lighthouse: A Beacon of Hope for Adolescent Depression. The organization strives to educate the community, particularly young people, about depression and good mental health. Prior to 2004, there were no educational curriculums teaching young people what depression is, what its treatment looks like, and how to treat a friend that is struggling with depression. Erika's Lighthouse now has a presence in over 54 schools in the Chicago area and the programs sponsored by Erika's Lighthouse remind everyone in the area that depression is a common illness, that it is treatable, and that it should be addressed.