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2006 Betty Henry Awards Announced

November 13, 2006

SwedishAmerican Health System has presented the annual Betty Henry Community Service Awards to Barbara Berman and The Dixieland Docs. The awards are given annually in honor of Betty Henry, a long-time Rockford area community volunteer who died of cancer in 1994.

The awards were presented at SwedishAmerican’s annual Puttin’ On The Glitz fashion show/luncheon held November 10th at Giovanni’s Restaurant and Convention Center. The event is a fundraiser for the Regional Cancer Center at SwedishAmerican.

Berman received the Betty Henry Community Service award for her 20 years as a tireless community volunteer. Since her retirement as executive director of the Arthritis Foundation, Berman has stepped up her community involvement. Most recently she founded the local chapter of Becca’s Closet, a national nonprofit organization that provides donated prom and homecoming dresses to low-income high school students. This year, Becca’s Closet provided free dresses to 135 grateful high-school teens. Berman also gives her time and talents to being a Kiwanis Key Club Advisor for local high schools. She serves on the boards of Winnebago County 911 and Rock River Homeowners Association and serves on committees for Rockford Network of Professional women, Heritage Kiwanis, Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s Business Women’s Council and Ambassadors. Berman has been a volunteer for Crusader Clinic’s gala, Klehm Arboretum, Greenwich Art Fair, First Night, Epilepsy Association, Heritage Run, Light the Night for Leukemia, The Mill, Mother House, Roc Vale Children’s Home, Spectrum School, Trinity House, Tinker Swiss Cottage, and many others. Barb is a strong role model for Rockford citizens of all ages and richly deserves this year’s Betty Henry Community Service Award.

This year’s Betty Henry Corporate or Organization award went to The Dixieland Docs. The Dixieland Docs are a group of medical professionals, including physicians, dentists, orthodontists, paramedics and various others. “We get together for our own and other’s entertainment, amusement, amazement and group psychotherapy,” according to founder and leader Dr. Jan Elliott, a pediatrician at SwedishAmerican Medical Group/Woodside.

Their play dates are limited to supporting community, regional and national not-for-profit agencies and fundraisers. They have also played for several church services, senior citizens highrises and retirement homes. The Dixieland Docs receive no payment for services, but instead encourage honoraria payable to the SwedishAmerican Chaplains Fund.

The Dixieland Docs are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. Over the past 20 years, they have performed in over 500 different venues and have donated over $40,000 to the Chaplaincy Fund at SwedishAmerican.

The presentation of the Betty Henry Awards each year is an opportunity to recognize the impact Betty Henry made on the Rockford community during her lifetime.

Previous recipients of the awards have been Dennis Johnson, Paul Logli, Barb Roman, Dr. Robert Heerens, Mildred Geddes, Arthur W. Anderson, Warren & Ardene Friest, DoAnn Geiger, Lou Franchini, Shirley G. Sievers, Clarcor, Amcore Bank, Bank One (Chase), SMSF Club, Habitat for Humanity, Alpine Bank, and Kids Around The World.

For further information, contact:
Jan Hagenlocher

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1401 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61104
(779) 696-4400


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