National Alliance on Mental Illness honors ‘Stars’

Honored at the NAMI event at Klehm Arboretum March 6 were Mary Gubbe Lee (from left), Steve Vrtol III, Bonnie Gilmore, Sherry Fink, Cindy Krigbaum and Rachel Albreckson. Also receiving awards at the ceremony were Barbara Fredrickson and Eldon Wigget, not pictured. The Stars of Light Theatre Troupe also was honored. (Photo provided)

The Rockford chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) honored eight individuals and recognized a local theater troupe for excellence at an event March 6 at Klehm Arboretum.

The annual Get to Know NAMI event is designed to provide families with information they need to help loved ones who have mental illness. NAMI also uses the occasion to recognize groups and individuals who provide stellar service to those seeking treatment.

Five Rosecrance staff members were honored, along with the agency’s client-based theater troupe. NAMI recognized Sherry Fink, a longtime counselor at the Rosecrance Ware Center; Bonnie Gilmore, manager of the Recovery Resource Center; Barbara Frederickson, volunteer coordinator at the Recovery Resource Center; and Mary Gubbe Lee, training/ volunteer coordinator for Rosecrance and founder of the Stars of Light Theatre Troupe. The ceremony was emceed by Steve Vrtol of Rosecrance, who was honored for his work directing the Stars of Light and other contributions to NAMI.

Stars of Light members received individual awards for their community presentations, which are designed to educate the public about mental illness and reduce stigma. The group is composed of clients and family members, volunteers and Rosecrance staff.

Others who received NAMI awards were Rachel Albreckson, a counselor at Rockford Intervention Center; Cindy Krigbaum, a caseworker at Stepping Stones; and Eldon Wigget, a longtime NAMI volunteer who is a consumer recovery support specialist at Singer Mental Health Center. Wigget was named the “2012 Friend of NAMI.”

From the March 14-20, 2012, issue

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