BY JUDY CARMACK BROSS
The Chicago Child Care Society’s spring luncheon honored the late Peggy Carr, a vital member of their Board of Directors for 77 years, who hardly ever missed a meeting even at 103.
Members of Peggy’s family, friends, and fellow volunteers representing numerous other boards graced by Peggy’s leadership celebrated Illinois’s oldest social services organization at the luncheon. Nearly $130,000 was raised to continue Child Care’s legacy of community and philanthropy, providing under-resourced Chicago children and families access to essential education and supportive programs. Tickets to the luncheon sold out early, a tribute to Peggy’s lasting legacy.
CEO Dara Munson and guest speakers Andrea Zopp, Deputy Mayor and Chief Neighborhood Development Officer, and Liz Dozier, Managing Director of Chicago Beyond, dialogued about strengthening neighborhoods and empowering youth.
Dara spoke recently of the community she serves:
“Each year, CCCS assists more than 1,500 at-risk children and families on the South and Southwest sides of Chicago and some nearby predominantly low-income suburbs. The generous support of those attending the luncheon will allow us to continue construction on two new preschool classrooms at our Hyde Park Center.
“These early education programs change the trajectory of young lives in crisis and help close the achievement gap for those that start to fall behind.”
Guests also heard from Keandria Washington, a 24-year-old mother of three who received help through CCS’s Beyond Parenting program and has since received her high school diploma. She now works at the agency. Another highlight of the day was meeting other young people in CCCS’s varied programs.
Peggy’s sons Terry Carr, and CCCS Honorary Chair and board member, Tommy Carr, along with the late Mrs. Carr’s granddaughter, Lucy Carr, beamed as co-chairs Judy Block and Francia Harrington paid tribute to Peggy. Steven Hunter and Robert Parsons also served as co-chairs. Julia Beringer is President of the Board.
Welcoming guests, Francia described Peggy as a “timeless and fearless advocate for children.” In attendance were representatives from many of the boards on which Peggy served, including the Junior League of Chicago, Planned Parenthood, the Founder’s Board of the Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Art Institute’s Old Masters and Antiquarian Societies, and the women’s boards of Lurie Children’s Hospital, Chicago Horticultural Society, and the Field Museum.
Judy Block read How to be More Like Peggy, prepared by a close friend, which included these tips:
“Be passionate about the causes that excite you: go to meetings, advocate; bring others into the conversation. Peggy’s mother had been President of the Chicago Child Care Society in the early days, and Peggy was true to those roots while being involved in current initiatives until the time of her death.
“Develop lasting friendships: keep meeting people of all ages; learn their first names and remember them.
“Be brave: Peggy expressed strong opinions about controversial and important topics and brought people into the fold.
“Be confident about your mission: know your accomplishments and then share your legacy with others. We believe that Peggy died a very happy woman who loved each and every organization she felt passionate about through her long life. Joining with committed volunteers to get a job done just came naturally, but like the beloved gardens she cultivated for CCCS and others, she did it to help others with great care.
“And, always, have an opinion and ask a good question.”
Photo credit: Chicago Child Care Society