2017 Janet Burgoon Philanthropic Excellence Award for Distinguished Community Partner
North Shore Senior Center was founded in 1956 with Janet Burgoon at its helm. Our first Executive Director, Janet was a professional social worker who trained under Jane Addams at Chicago’s Hull House. She had innovative ideas about aging and firmly believed that older adults should enjoy full participation in community life—and that their involvement was equally beneficial to the community.
In these challenging economic times, our organization has enjoyed the support of many steadfast donors. In gratitude, we created the Janet Burgoon Philanthropic Excellence Awards. We wanted to recognize those whose generosity has helped older adults maintain their independence and their connections to the communities in which they live.
Since 2003, The Russell & Josephine Kott Memorial Charitable Trust has provided funding to charitable organizations that improve the livelihood of individuals, especially through education or medical services, with an emphasis on such services for the elderly. Grants are given to a variety of organizations, always with an emphasis on improving the lives of our older population. The Trust’s focus on the elderly was decided very early in the life of the Trust as one of the trustees, Michael Kott, grandson of Russell and Josephine, mentioned how difficult it was for his grandmother to find good caregivers at the end of her life—“and she had substantial financial resources! What about all of those who do not have those resources?”
A significant accomplishment of the Trust began through an application to the Trust to fund “Kott Scholars” through a consortium of nine agencies serving the elderly population. This initial application has grown into a separate non-profit, the Kott Gerontology Institute (KGI). While the number and type of agencies has expanded through the years, North Shore Senior Center was one of the inaugural consortium agencies. The Center currently employs nine former Kott interns and often has a dance movement intern at the House of Welcome Adult Day Services—the only intern with such focus within KGI. More than 80 percent of the interns since the inception of the program in 2005 have remained in the gerontological field—an accomplishment in which the trustees are proud to have played a role. Grants also have been provided to North Shore Senior Center for such items as its Adult Protective Services program and Older Adults Benefits Program.Back to Blogs