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Public Statements

Ten Americans Showing America's Best Face from the 10th District

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KIRK. Madam Speaker, I'd like to talk about 10 Americans showing America's best face from the 10th Congressional district. Today I rise to honor 10 very special individuals from my congressional district who are making a difference for the United States overseas. These ``Ten for the Tenth'' go beyond dedicating themselves to building a stronger community here, but also show the best face and values of America overseas.

Marillyn Tallman, from Highland Park, has been working for more than 60 years, leading the fight against anti-Semitism. After a trip to the Soviet Union in 1968, Marillyn joined Chicago Action for Soviet Jewry to fight human rights violations against Jews. Since 1972, the Highland Park-based Chicago Action has been a vocal advocate for the third largest Jewish community in the world, sponsoring fact-finding missions, linking synagogues with communities in the former Soviet Union, and pressing for legislative action.

Lori Dillon, from Lake Forest, works closely with Eric Peasah at the Counter Trafficking Center to support the rescued children sold into child labor in Ghana. They have been working to save hundreds of trafficked children. Lori started a pen pal program where children in the Lake Forest community write to rescued children in Ghana offering support. She also started a child trafficking awareness initiative at the Deerpath Middle School and Lake Forest High School where her daughter, Claire, is a sophomore.

Zack Harris, of Glencoe, was a New Trier freshman when he learned about and studied the conflict in Darfur, and he became determined to help. As an 8th-grade student and president of the Central School in Glencoe, he organized a ``Dance for Darfur,'' a fundraiser for the Luol Deng Foundation, which works with the World Food Program in Darfur, to assist in food distribution. The ``Dance For Darfur'' was the first charity dance ever held at the school, and helped raise awareness, and over $1,000, with over $5,000 more contributed by the community.

Gene Marks, of Northbrook, realized that many Latinos in the 10th Congressional District come from only three villages in Mexico: La Luz, Tonatico, and San Jose. Last year Northbrook purchased a new ambulance for the Fire Department, and instead of scrapping the fully operational older ambulance, Gene contacted my office and arranged with our Latino Advisory Board member, Miguel Arizmendi, to donate this ambulance to Tonatico, Mexico, the first ambulance they will ever have, where it will benefit thousands.

Connie Duckworth, of Lake Forest, after retiring as a partner and the managing director of Goldman Sachs, she founded Arzu to better the lives of Afghan women. This nonprofit group provides sustainable incomes and access to education for many women in Afghanistan by selling homemade rugs here in the United States.

The Fred Outa Foundation in Northbrook, in 2006 Susan Vaickauski of Northbrook and Maryann Gibbs of Gurnee founded this foundation to raise money for a girls school in Kenya. The foundation provides school supplies, food and medicines, all for Fred Outa's school in Kenya.

The International Sharing Ministry in Libertyville was created by Libertyville's St. Joseph's parish in 2005 to build an elementary school for the children of Mailisita in Tanzania. Additionally, the organization is now building a guest house in Moshi to generate revenue for people traveling in the country or climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. To date, they have raised over $100,000 and built five classrooms already.

Pastor Stackhouse of Waukegan, who from May 2007 to July 2007 led his church members at Sign of the Dove Church in Waukegan and North Chicago to institute a water system and clean rainwater for local residents in Masaka, Uganda. This is notable because his community of South Waukegan and North Chicago is a lower-income community. But they are representing the United States very well overseas.

Wendy Abrams of Highland Park is one of the leaders in the fight against climate change. Wendy developed and implemented Chicago's ``Cool Globes'' art and public awareness exhibit along the lake front. In conjunction with the city, 123 five-foot-tall globes were designed for artists on environmental themes to raise awareness about reducing our carbon footprint.

The COVE Alliance of Indian Creek, in April 2005 formed a nonprofit organization serving orphaned and vulnerable children in central Uganda. Parishioners are actively involved in fund-raising, as well as mission trips to Kapeeka, Uganda.

Finally, an honorable mention to Dr. Wayne Goldstein, who is a doctor to doctors in Sierra Leone. These 10, with an honorable mention, 11 Americans, have led the best face of the United States overseas from my congressional district.


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