May 29th, 2019 12:00 AM
On Monday, June 17th the Infant Welfare Society of Oak Park River Forest will hold their 8th annual Tee It Up For Healthy Kids fundraiser at the Riverside Golf Club. The day includes 18 holes of golf, a raffle, grill lunch, and dinner in support of the IWS Children's Clinic, which provides pediatric medical, dental and behavioral health care to children in need. Tee It Up For Healthy Kids is a way for the community, families and friends to get involved and support IWS's mission of providing a healthcare home and safety net for vulnerable children. Julie McKune, who has chaired the event for five years, says that Tee It Up For Healthy Kids is just one way she and her family support the mission of IWS.
"My parents were very philanthropic, and they taught me the importance of volunteering," says the lifelong Oak Parker of her commitment to the IWS. In her almost twenty-three years with the organization, McKune has worn many hats from Circle leader to annual fund chair, and she says the years of dedication have come easily, as her time at IWS has given her much in return.
"You go in to give back, and you stay because it's so enjoyable. It's meant a lot to do something good, and to be able to do it with friends is even better."
Giving back is a family affair for the Julie and her husband Pat. This year, Pat will be the recipient of the Green Jacket Award, and IWS President Debbie Blanco, says the choice was easy.
"We started the Green Jacket Award because we wanted to honor those people in the community who have supported us, and it's a fun play on the green jacket given to the winner of the Masters Golf Tournament. Pat has been a long-time supporter if IWS, and he has brought in a lot of friends to be supporters as well. While our fundraisers are obviously meant to raise funds, they are also meant to build community as 'friend-raiser,' and Pat has really contributed to that."
Pat gives Julie much of the credit for their family's philanthropy and says the pair, who attended OPRF High School together, grew up realizing the importance of the work of IWS.
"We live in Oak Park and grew up in Oak Park. IWS is the organization that directly helps children, and in doing so, helps families too. Healthcare, or lack of access to healthcare, can really change a person's life. The work IWS does is so important."
Blanco notes that not only is Julie's mom Judy Scully a dedicated supporter of IWS, but the family involvement extends to a third generation with Julie and Pat's daughter Erinn McKune, a social worker and an IWS board member. Erinn got involved with IWS while in high school when Julie led Circle 80, the group for students. Today, Blanco states that Erinn is leading the membership committee and spearheading the formation of a young professionals group in the city.
Long-standing support from families like the McKunes enable IWS to serve more than 3,400 patients over 10,000 healthcare visits each year. To help support that mission, Click Here. To learn more about Tee It Up For Healthy Kids fundraising event Click Here.
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