CDEL to Light Up the Loop at 2015 Winter Awards Benefit on Feb. 25th

The Chicago-based Center for Disability & Elder Law will host its 31st Annual Winter Awards Benefit on February 25, 2015 at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago.

Online PR News – 23-February-2015 – Chicago, IL – The Center for Disability & Elder Law (CDEL) is pleased to announce the winners of its Annual Awards to be presented at its "Light Up the Loop" Winter Awards Benefit on February 25th at Baker & McKenzie. The event is chaired by CDEL Governing Board Member Theresa Jaffe, Principal of Theresa Jaffe Consulting. Honorary Co-Chairs of the event are Daniel A. Cotter, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for Fidelity Life Association and President of the Chicago Bar Association; Brett J. Hart, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for United Airlines, Inc.; and Michael S. Smith, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie’s Chicago Office.

The CDEL Corporate Partner of the Year Award will be presented to McDonald’s Corporation for its commitment to seniors in Cook County exemplified by its instrumental participation in the Senior Center Initiative. Over 50 volunteers from McDonald’s Legal Department have been trained by CDEL. They have assisted 190 senior citizens in drafting their advanced directives which include Property and Healthcare documents and Living Wills. The Award will be accepted by Gloria Santona, Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary at McDonald’s.

The Honorable Richard J. Elrod, Circuit Court of Cook County will be posthumously presented with CDEL’s Founders Award by the Honorable Michael B. Hyman, Illinois Appellate Court Justice and President of the Illinois Judges Association. Judge Elrod actively served CDEL during his tenure on the bench and as a member of CDEL’s Governing Board. As Chair of CDEL’s Case Oversight Committee, the late Judge Elrod provided extensive and valuable guidance and direction to CDEL volunteers. The Award will be accepted by Steven M. Elrod, Judge Elrod’s son.

We are grateful to our Event Chair and fellow Board member Theresa Jaffe for heading up our fundraising efforts and guiding every aspect of this event

Alderman Edward M. Burke, 14th Ward Alderman, City of Chicago will be presented with CDEL’s Impact Award. Working with CDEL’s Board and staff, Alderman Burke has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to seniors and people with disabilities and has been a strong advocate for CDEL and expansion of its programs.

The Volunteer Law Firm of the Year Award will be presented to Locke Lord Edwards for its longstanding commitment to providing individual representation of low-income seniors and people with disabilities in a wide range of matters. CDEL Governing Board member Ann Walsh, the firm’s Pro Bono Committee’s Co-Chair, will accept the Award.

"We are grateful to our Event Chair and fellow Board member, Theresa Jaffe, for heading up our fundraising efforts and guiding every aspect of this event," said Anthony O’Neill, CDEL’s Board President.

As part of its biggest annual fundraiser, CDEL is raffling off a Florida vacation condo package for seven days in a three bedroom condo on the beach in Daytona Beach donated by Corboy & Demetrio, which also includes a $900 Airfare Card; two airline tickets donated by United Airlines that are valid anywhere in US48, Caribbean, Alaska, Canada or Mexico; a Hilton Head vacation condo for seven days at Indigo Run Plantation in a three bedroom private home at The Owners Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina donated by Annette & Bob Michalak; a Skin Medispa Package with a four-hour Ultimate Renewal Treatment, one Botox treatment and consultation with Dr. Anthony J. Geroulis donated by The North Shore Center for Facial Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery; and a VIP Champagne Tasting for six guests at the upscale cocktail lounge SHAY.

"It’s a privilege and an honor to serve as Chair of this important event for a fourth year," Jaffe said. "Our event has become a Winter networking destination and we are thrilled and grateful to the companies and law firms that have joined us as sponsors."

The 31st Annual CDEL Winter Awards Benefit will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on February 25, 2015 at Baker & McKenzie, 300 East Randolph Street in Chicago. Tickets may be purchased online at

An After Party will also be part of this year’s event allowing guests to continue their evening. SHAY, located in the heart of River North at 222 W. Ontario St., is opening its private doors to CDEL’s guests. Each attendee at the Winter Awards Benefit will receive a complimentary VIP pass which can be used the night of the event. "People really enjoy seeing one another at our event and this generous offer by SHAY to host us for an After Party is ideal," said Anthony O’Neill, CDEL’s President.

In the last 31 years, more than 30,000 disabled people and senior citizens have been provided free legal services from the Center for Disability & Elder Law, with its staff of four attorneys and hundreds of volunteer lawyers. Those services provided include: adult guardianship, landlord/tenant disputes, financial elder abuse, consumer fraud, mortgage fraud and property tax and assistance at the Pro Se Guardianship Help Desk. In addition, CDEL runs workshops and assists seniors with powers of attorney for healthcare and property, and living will declarations. CDEL trains volunteers who provide counseling to senior citizens who are at risk of losing their homes due to delinquent property taxes, helping them take advantage of tax assistance programs and exemptions.

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