Eileen Bennin

Daily Point of Light # 3483 Jun 11, 2007

Eileen exemplifies the values Glenkirk embraces and has inspired people inside and outside our organization to make a difference in the lives of the developmentally disabled. Eileen addresses real needs and concerns by bringing awareness to every person she meets with an energetic compassion that is contagious.

Eileen Bennin founded Glenkirk's Annual Benefit Brunch in 1997 to help raise needed monies for services and programs specifically impacting the developmentally disabled. The first year Eileen was the sole committee, raising $25,000. In 2006, the brunch had grown into a $175,000 sold-out event. Eileen created a strong foundation by engaging the efforts of four co-chairs and 18 committee members. They worked to produce nine successful Benefit Brunch events, raising $667,000. Eileen encourages volunteers to generously give of their time, solicit donations, and familiarize people with Glenkirk. Using press releases, partner advertising and this year's awareness bracelets, she has raised the profile of her event.

Since 1997, Eileen and her volunteers reached out to family, friends, and businesses. Resources have been leveraged and attendance has grown each year. An astonishing amount of volunteer hours have been contributed to make the Glenkirk Benefit Brunch an ever-increasing success. We estimate that more than 50,000 volunteer hours of phone calls, e-mails, solicitations and meeting attendance, have been contributed in the effort of this successful annual event.

The results of Eileen's vision for the Brunch are evidenced by the growing numbers of participants, donations, and partnerships developed along with the smiles on the faces and in the hearts of the attendees. The immediate impact for Glenkirk has been in both financial and human capital.

Funding has been used to support Glenkirk's Next Generation Services: Career makers provides job seeking skills and training in preparation for community-based employment. Foundations for Neighborhood Living provides apartment living with intermittent support. Full Life and College for Living offers classes geared to continuing education and life-enhancing activities, such as wellness, citizenship, creative arts and entrepreneurship.

Glenkirk's Individual and Family Therapy, Education and Development programs promote personal growth through therapies and psycho-education classes conducted by Glenkirk therapists and clinicians. Each year Eileen makes it her personal challenge to exceed last year’s goal by bringing more people and companies into the event. She has never failed and makes things happen with a sense of determination and savvy. Challenge is a word that runs away when Eileen is involved.

While Eileen is the mother of two sons with developmental disabilities, she is a tireless supporter of all her children in the Glenkirk family. In honor of her support for Glenkirk, we recognize a level of commitment and caring that knows no bounds. When it comes to the developmentally disabled, Eileen doesn't know the meaning of the word "NO." We hope to honor her with a resounding “YES” for all her efforts.