The Elgin Community College Foundation Gala Virtual Mas’k’erade: Dare to Dream event took place on Saturday, October 17. The live virtual event brought together community members, students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of the college to celebrate ECC’s resiliency since the start of the pandemic and raise funds for the Student Success Fund.
The event was the final push needed for the ECC Foundation to surpass its overall goal of raising more than $100,000 for the fund by the end of 2020. David Davin, executive director of institutional advancement and ECC Foundation, said, “All of the funds raised will go directly to students to ensure they can successfully continue their education. A donation to the Student Success Fund is a donation to the future health and viability of our community. Thank you to all who donated and continue to donate. Your support means everything to our students.”
2020 ECC Foundation Award Winners
In addition to student performances, the event honored the following individuals for their extraordinary contributions and dedication to ECC students and the greater community.
Elgin Community College Distinguished Alumni Award – Linda Deering Dean, '81, has achieved outstanding success in the field of health care leadership. With more than 35 years of experience in the health care industry, she most recently served as president and CEO of Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. Deering Dean makes time to give back to the "outstanding" institution where she began her professional journey. In 2017, she became a member of Purses with Purpose, the ECC Foundation's women's leadership group, and joined the ECC Foundation Board of Directors in 2019. Most recently, she established a full-tuition scholarship program for nursing students of color.
Exceptional Friend of the Foundation Award – Adrienne Butler, MD, JD, dedicated her life's work to the practice of oncology and as a hospice physician. Butler's husband, William Pelz, PhD, was a long-time ECC professor of European history and political science. Pelz died unexpectedly in December of 2017. Butler describes him as a gifted writer of numerous books, a respected teacher who loved his students, and a wonderful travel companion. In his honor, she donated a portion of his estate to Elgin Community College to establish The Bill Pelz Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded annually to first-generation students in history and political science. Butler enjoys helping students attend ECC, the college where her husband spent so many happy and productive years of his life.
Elgin Community College Friend of Education Award – Robert Malm started his career as an intern in the Elgin city manager's office in the late 1960s, working his way up to assistant city manager and chief operating officer until retiring in 1998. During that time, he served as interim city manager on four separate occasions. Throughout his tenure with the city, Malm recognized the intrinsic value Elgin Community College provided the region. Malm refers to ECC as an institutional treasure to our region and one that is vital to individual and community success. He credits ECC for being a valuable partner in developing the area's workforce by creating programs to build a diverse and qualified workforce that, in turn, improves the quality of life for all citizens.
Lasting Impact Awards – Mike Shales and Ed Hunter
Mike Shales, CPA, a native of Elgin, and his family are long-time advocates of Elgin Community College. Carrying on the legacy of his parents, Jack and Marlene, Shales has dedicated his time and treasure in support of ECC for decades. Over the years, his civic involvement included many organizations, such as the Elgin Community College Foundation, Boys and Girls Club of Elgin, Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce, Sherman Hospital Foundation, and United Way of Elgin. Shales is co-founder of Elgin contractor Shales McNutt, LLC.
Ed Hunter is also an Elgin native, having retired as the mission officer and head chaplain at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin and Mercy Medical Center in Aurora. Through his work in health care, Hunter understood and fostered a strong partnership with ECC so that faith, business, and health care organizations could walk alongside each other to find creative ways to address the community's diverse and growing needs. Hunter continues his dedication to his community as a volunteer chaplain for the Elgin fire and police departments and serves on several area non-profit boards of directors.