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Mary Kay Gustafson Honored for Ronald House Service

Mary Kay Gustafson receives the Ann Eppen award from Doug Porter, CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

Mary Kay Gustafson receives the Ann Eppen award from Doug Porter, CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.

Congratulations to Mary Kay Gustafson, Customer Service Manager, Lemont, Ill., DC, who was awarded the prestigious “Ann Eppen Award” for her service to the Ronald McDonald House near University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. The award was presented to her at the Ronald McDonald Volunteer Recognition Luncheon held on Sunday, April 3rd. The Ann Eppen Award is the highest honor a volunteer can receive for their outstanding service to this Ronald McDonald House. Mary Kay received a mounted glass plate etched with an image of the Ronald House with an inscription recognizing her years of giving and sharing.

“I was honored and humbled to be this year’s recipient, yet overwhelmed,” expressed Mary Kay. “I felt that there were other volunteers who were more deserving of the award. I would like to thank Mardelle Gundlach [Comer Children’s Hospital RMH Manager]. She was the one who led the charge on nominating me. I would also like to thank every volunteer at the luncheon and let them know that this award, although it has my name on it, belongs to all of them.”

According to Mardelle, Mary Kay’s enthusiasm and ability to lead and motivate others is invaluable to the RMH organization. She has earned the respect of donors, board members, and fellow volunteers as well as the larger corporate community, not only because of her hard work and commitment, but also because she is a person of integrity, dignity, and true generosity of spirit.

“Mary Kay continuously demonstrates extraordinary dedication to the local Ronald House Charities and is certainly very deserving of this recognition,” said Charlie Stone, GSF-Lemont DC General Manager. “She has been an example of unselfish giving, tireless commitment and consistently puts the needs of the charity and the children first. Her experience from years of involvement has created a level of expertise combined with a ‘can do’ belief which explains why she is so successful as Sporting Clays chair, member of a variety of committees, and a House Council leader. What’s most impressive is that she does all of this work with- out any desire for recognition or fanfare. Mary Kay leads, motivates and inspires many people by her charitable efforts.”

Mary Kay has worked for Golden State Foods since 1982, when the business was still owned by Perlman Rocque. She has actively served with the GSFF in Lemont since its inception in 2007 and is currently the co-chair of the Lemont Foundation Committee. She is also part of the annual GSFF Golden Ride fundraiser in Lemont. Both the RMH near the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Hope House have benefited from the proceeds of the Golden Ride fundraiser. The last two years’ proceeds have helped to support fundraising efforts for building the largest Ronald House in the world which is under construction in downtown Chicago.

In recent years, Mary Kay has been an essential contributor to most of the major fundraisers for both the Comer Children’s Hospital RMH and the RMH Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Charity (RMHCCNI) chapter in Chicago and Northwest Indiana which governs four Ronald Houses. She was previously a member of the RMHCCNI Board of Directors for four years and is currently the Chairperson of the RMH Comer Children’s Hospital House Council. She has been on the RMHCCNI planning committees for their annual Golf Outing since 1994, the charity Fashion Show since 2004, and has chaired the annual Sporting Clays Tournament (target course shooting) for the last six years, all of which benefit area Ronald Houses.

Please join the GSF Foundation in congratulating Mary Kay for her exemplary volunteer service to the Ronald McDonald House Charities!