‘We worked so well together:’ Volunteers recognized by Northfield officials for life-saving work at vaccine clinics
More than 20,000 COVID-19 vaccinations were administered at 28 clinics this year in the Village of Northfield, thanks to town officials, staff and three residents who stepped up to volunteer.
This spring, 10,000 people were fully vaccinated against the virus after the Cook County Department of Public Health, MABAS Division 3 communities, Jewel-Osco, New Trier and Village of Northfield partnered to distribute the vaccines at the high school, according to Melissa Jewett, the Village’s director of administrative services.
The Northfield Village Board honored and celebrated the group with two resolutions — one for the Village employees and the other for the three volunteers — at its June 15 meeting.
Village employees that assisted with the planning and staffing of the clinics included: Ken Borre, Tom Burke, Keith Dawson, Brian Farano, Mike Hutensky, Bill Lustig, Mike Nystrand, Ken Paczosa, Jesus Rocha, Stacy Sigman, Dinah Spadoni, Lauren Weller and Jewett.
The community volunteers were: Mary Ann Bogacki, Rivka Daar and Patricia Gainsberg.
“[They] gave selflessly of their time to help ensure that area residents received a vaccination,” Jewett said about the community volunteers in a press release. “These volunteers staffed multiple clinics each week with a smile.”
Jewett told The Record there was not a public call for clinic volunteers; however, she received a call from Gainsberg, who wanted to help out and include her friends.
“They really care about the community,” Jewett said.
Together, “everyone had a role to play,” she added about the entire group.
“This was my favorite initiative in my 12 years of working [in local government],” Jewett said. “Typically our departments are so siloed. This was a joint effort and we worked so well together. It reminded me of why I got into it.”
The local clinic closed in mid-May after what Jewett described as a “huge decline” in demand for the shot after it became widely available in the area. Now, she recommends residents book a vaccine appointment at Walgreens or Jewel if needed.
According to data from the Cook County Department of Health website, the COVID-19 test positivity rate in Cook County is at 0.9 percent as of June 29. The percent of population with at least one vaccine dose in our coverage area include:
• 83.7% in Northfield
• 77.5% in Winnetka
• 75.2% in Wilmette
• 70% in Glencoe
• 69.3% in Kenilworth
For more information and case data, click here.
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Megan Bernard is a co-founder and the managing editor who directs day-to-day journalism of The Record. Megan enjoys writing about restaurants, entertainment and education and is an established human-interest reporter.