November 16, 2007

Internationally known author and speaker Rasheda Ali provided the keynote address at AgeOptions’ "Celebrating Caregivers" fundraiser, recently hosted by Jenner & Block to honor individuals who voluntarily devote their time to care for loved ones. Partner Carla J. Rozycki served on the organizing committee for the event, which raised more than $60,000 in donations and auction proceeds to support vital programs and services that address the diverse and complex needs of caregivers.

At the reception, guests enjoyed classical music performed by young musicians from the Suzuki-Orff School of Music while bidding on the donated items displayed around the room for the silent auction. The event also featured a live auction including donated vacation packages and celebrity lunch dates.

Ms. Rozycki welcomed the 230 guests, and introduced the AgeOptions Board Chairperson, Donna Moore, who gave a toast at the reception in celebration of caregivers.

Ms. Ali, a caregiver advocate on behalf of families afflicted by Parkinson’s disease, spoke of her family’s personal experiences caring for her father, the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, who has suffered from Parkinson’s disease for 24 years. Among other things, Ms. Ali stressed the importance of love and the power of support. "Care is the power behind the patient," she said.

Following her address, Ms. Ali signed copies of her children’s book, I’ll Hold Your Hand So You Won’t Fall - A Child’s Guide to Parkinson’s Disease, which she wrote to encourage dialogue and better communications between families and their loved ones who suffer from the debilitating illness.

AgeOptions, a not-for-profit organization located in Oak Park, Illinois, connects older adults with a wide range of support services and programs. Ms. Rozycki has been a member of the board of directors of AgeOptions since 2000, and has also served as President of the organization. In 2005, Ms. Rozycki received the Governor's Award for Unique Achievement from the Illinois Department of Aging, in recognition of her "dedicated community service and exceptional concern for Illinois seniors."

Jenner & Block was a platinum sponsor of the AgeOptions’ "Celebrating Caregivers" fundraiser.