CJD Foundation Awards

Volunteer of the Year: Karen Adams -- If you are a Facebook user and joined the CJD Family group, then you know this name. In memory of her mother, Karen Adams facilitates the most supportive, kind, open, and honest discussion group you could possible imagine. She also worked hard with her family and the committee to make the first Chicago Strides for CJD a huge success. Thank you, Karen!

Circle of Excellence: Dr. Brian Appleby -- Dr. Appleby is an instrumental part of our programs, from grand rounds to family workshops. He patiently responds to the questions and concerns of the countless families we refer to him, and he hosts evening teleconferences each month, to help support and educate families around the country. His dedication to the Foundation and the families knows no bounds. We're truly proud to present the Circle of Excellence Award to our friend Dr. Brian Appleby.

Strides Founders Award: Karen Adams, Trevor Baierl, Brandi Evans, Maryann Forgan, Corby Foster, Molly Nocerino, Janine Cook, Pamela Fear, Kristin May, Julie Moreno, Maria Thacker and Mike Vitanza -- Each of these people and their committees ran a separate Strides for CJD event in their community. They created a place for affected families and friends and their communities to gather and pay quiet tribute to their loved ones. They raised awareness of CJD, and they reached an incredible fundraising goal, collectively raising more than $100K. And most of them are back at it for 2016. See you on October 1. Thank you to all!

Florence J. Kranitz Leadership Award: Marie and Bob Kassai -- A dynamic duo, Bob and Marie Kassai have been involved with the Foundation pretty much from the beginning. They share with us, the families, and infectious disease and funeral professionals, their extensive professional knowledge and their personal experience with CJD. Bob (a funeral professional) and Marie (an infectious disease nurse) have spoken on behalf of the Foundation at numerous professional events around the country. They are dedicated board members who take seriously their role as trustees of the Foundation’s mission. There literally has not been a thing we’ve asked them to do, or even casually suggested, that they have not followed through on. Profound thanks to Bob and Marie.

Co-Volunteer of the Year: Maria Thacker Goethe -- Maria energetically approached us one year ago, urging us to find a role for her in supporting the families of the Foundation. Since then she has had an impact on so many programs. She has helped us with social media and promotion, and she was instrumental in making the Atlanta family workshop an extraordinary experience. She has been a valuable member of our fundraising committee and our board, and she plans to host a Strides4 CJD event in Atlanta. She recently designed and launched the Strides4CJD website. Maria, thank you for all you do!

Co-Volunteer of the Year: Veronica Oberdorf -- Veronica has faithfully staffed our nighttime and weekend HelpLine for many years. She is a member of our board, has supported the grand rounds, family workshops and other programs, and has been a wonderful supporter of family members on a one-on-one basis. We send wholehearted thanks to Veronica for all she does!

Florence J. Kranitz Leadership Award: Florence Kranitz -- The board has voted to establish an annual leadership award in honor of Florence Kranitz. The Florence J. Kranitz Leadership Award will be given each year to an individual who demonstrates leadership in achieving the Foundation’s missions, in a volunteer or other role ... to someone who embodies the vision, dedication, and goal-oriented leadership Florence has demonstrated. This year, in its inception year, we're very pleased to present the Florence J Kranitz Leadership Award to Florence Kranitz.