A team of Abbvie Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG) of the North-Chicago based pharmaceuticals company, made many children of Veterans happy by giving them 16 new bikes, helmets, and bike locks at LCVFSF’s Drop-In Center in Grayslake on June 22nd. The event included safe-riding lessons from Police Officer Mario Balarin Patrolman and training instructor,of the Grayslake Police Department.
“It’s nice to see so many happy young faces,” said ERG Co-Chair Kristen Howard, “It’s also nice to give back to the Veteran community with something fun for family members.”
“I heard about the idea from another company and thought, ‘Why couldn’t Abbvie do this?’, Kristen said. So I proposed it to management and got the OK.”
“I heard about the idea from another company and thought, ‘Why couldn’t AbbVie do this?’, Kristen said. So I proposed it to management and got the OK.”
Together with Kristen and Co-Chair Michelle Raine-Shepard, Community Affairs Co-Chair, MJ Hodgins of LCVFSF worked hard to find finding deserving children of Veterans. Despite rainy weather, the team bought and delivered the bikes and equipment to Dry-Hootch.Then before the test ride,Officer Balarin showed the kids how to wear their new helmets, how to make proper hand signals, and talked about safe bike attire. Each got a certifi-cate of completion.
“The children asked a lot of good questions and were really interested in learning about safe riding,” Officer Balarin said.
“My two boys will love these,” said Ashley Siwula, mother of Cooper and Caden. “This is really nice of Abbvie.” Siwula is an Iraq Veteran and former LCVFSF Peer Specialist.
“We thank the Abbvie Employee Resource Group for their generosity, ” said LCVFSF Community Development Director MJ Hodg-ins. “The company has been a great support-er of Veterans and family members. Now the kids can enjoy these bikes all summer long and do it safely.”