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McHenry County Turning Point » 2011 » May

Archive for May, 2011

Turning Point Celebrates 30 Years with Open House

Triblocal has the story of our Open House: 

Turning Point, McHenry County’s only comprehensive domestic violence agency and shelter will celebrate thirty years of service to McHenry County with an open house one Thursday May 19. The agency’s Woodstock office at 11019 Route 14 will be open to visitors from 5 to 8 PM with staff on hand to answer questions.
The agency was incorporated in 1981, after being started as a telephone “help line” by three volunteers. Thirty years later, Turning Point serves about 1800 clients a year and operates the county’s only secure shelter for victims of domestic violence. The agency offers individual and group counseling, emergency intervention (including orders of protection) and legal and other advocacy to name just a few of the services offered.
The agency operates with strict security and confidentiality to provide services for victims safely. Access to the agency offices is traditionally limited to staff, volunteers and clients only. Executive Director Jane Farmer explained that Turning Point will open its doors to the public this one night “To show what it is that we do and why we do it.”
The offices will be open Thursday May 19th from 5-8 PM. Attendees are asked to call (815) 338-8081 to RSVP.

May 12 2011 | Events and In the news | No Comments »

Mary Tyler Moore to undergo brain surgery

mary-tyler-moore

The Chicago Tribune is reporting:

“Beloved actress Mary Tyler Moore will undergo brain surgery to remove a benign tumor, a representative for the 74-year-old actress said on Thursday.

“Mary Tyler Moore went in for an elective surgery to remove a meningioma, which is a benign tumor of the lining tissue of the brain (not a brain tumor),” her spokeswoman Alla Plotkin said in a statement.

“At the recommendation of her neurologist, who has been monitoring this for years, and a neurosurgeon, Mary decided to proceed with this fairly routine procedure,” Plotkin said. She did not say where the surgery would take place.”

Mary was featured in our “Extraordinary Woman” series last month:

Mary’s first job in show business was as “Happy Hotpoint,” a tiny elf that danced on GE appliances in a series of commercials shown during “Ozzie and Harriet.” Mary filmed 39 commercials in 5 days and earned $6000. She had several one-time and recurring roles in 1950’s TV shows, including playing the receptionist on Richard Diamond, Private Detective. The role brought Mary a lot of attention but also a lot of frustration: Viewers heard her voice but only saw only her shapely legs.  She auditioned for the role of Danny Thomas’ daughter on “Make Room for Daddy” but, as he explained “no daughter of mine could have that [little] nose.” He did remember her later when he was producing a new show starring Dick Van Dyke.

 

The Dick Van Dyke Show debuted in 1961 and Mary was a hit as wife Laura Petrie, who caused a stir when she was shown wearing tight-fitting Capri pants. She won an Emmy that first season and accepted it saying “I know this will never happen again.” (She couldn’t have been more wrong- she’s won 7 so far).

 

After the show went off the air in 1966, Mary considered several options and made a few poorly reviewed movies. She felt more comfortable in television, and wanted to return. She had guest-starred on a Dick Van Dyke special that was well-received so she and then-husband Grant Tinker pitched a new sitcom to CBS: Mary would star as Mary Richards, a single career woman and the show would divide its focus between home and work, much like the Dick Van Dyke show did. 

 

Mary Richards was the only women on television at the time that was not married, widowed or divorced. The show was a comedy but didn’t shy away from serious issues. Over its seven years on TV, the Mary Tyler Moore Show dealt with equal pay for women, homosexuality, alcoholism, infidelity, divorce and prostitution. One of the shows most enduring (and funny) episodes dealt with the death of one of Mary’s co-workers at the television station, Chuckles the Clown. The Mary Tyler Moore show also focused on the importance of friends and co-workers and their role as surrogate families.

 

TIME magazine named The Mary Tyler Moore Show one of “17 Shows That Changed Television,” saying that the show “liberated TV for adults—of both sexes” by being “a sophisticated show about grownups among other grownups, having grownup conversations.” The show took home 29 Emmy awards (Mary won four herself) as well as several Golden Globes and a Peabody award.

 

The show was the first created and produced by MTM Productions, In addition to the three shows spun off from the Mary Tyler Moore Show (featuring Rhoda, Phyllis and Lou Grant) MTM created produced several hit shows including The Bob Newhart Show, WKRP in Cincinnati, Hill Street Blues, and Newhart.

 

Since the Mary Tyler Moore Show went off the air, she’s had two variety series, several specials and a handful of sitcoms. She has also done several films and was nominated for an Oscar for 1980’s Ordinary People. She’s made several well-received made-for-television films. Her first Broadway show was “Holly Golightly” which closed after only a handful of performances in 1966, but Mary made a triumphant return with a Tony Award-winning performance in 1980’s “Whose Life Is It Anyways?” She appeared in a couple other Broadway shows and her production company produced the hits Noises Off, The Octet Bridge Club, Joe Egg, Benefactors, and Safe Sex. She’s also written two memoirs.

 

Mary is also the International Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. She’s had the disease since childhood. Her adoption of a Golden Retriever Puppy led to her role as a spokesman for Animal Rights. She & actress Bernadette Peters have started an animal charity called Broadway Barks which works to promote animal adoption and raises money to fund no-kill shelters.

 

Mary continues to turn up on various televisions shows, most notably “Hot in Cleveland” where she reunited with co-star and pal Betty White. The surviving cast of the Mary Tyler Moore show reunited for a special Oprah Winfrey Show; Oprah was one of an army of young women who aspired to be like Mary Richards and ended up just like her- producing a TV show and supporting herself.

 

In 2002, TV Land Network unveiled a statue in Minneapolis, recreating the scene from the opening credits of the Mary Tyler Moore show when Mary tosses her hat in the air jubilantly. When the Mary Tyler Moore Show was on the air, busloads of tourists would turn up outside the home on Kenwood Parkway and stare up at the third floor windows that supposedly were Mary Richards’. Now, pilgrims journey to the corner of 7th Street and Nicollet Mall to toss their hat in the air in celebration of Mary Richards- and that extraordinary woman behind her, Mary Tyler Moore.

May 12 2011 | Extraordinary Women | 1 Comment »

Turning Point Board Member Larry Bennett Reminisces

pictures-4-5-009

Board Member Larry Bennett’s essay on the early days of Turning Point:

Turning Point turns 30 this month. When I turned 30, Turning Point was not yet a domestic violence agency, except in the mind of a few women whom I had not yet met.

 

A social worker at Lake County Youth Services Bureau, in 1978 I sponsored a Parents Anonymous group for parents referred by DCFS and I quickly discovered that every participant was a battered woman.

 

I knew almost nothing about domestic violence. The only article I read in graduate school was called “The wife-beater’s wife,” and it was about how women’s psychological deficits provoke men into hitting them.

 

Worse still, in 1978 there were no domestic violence programs or shelters in either Lake or McHenry counties. Since I knew next to nothing, for two years the women in that group had to take me to school, and that is exactly what they did. I had the best of all educations – from the survivors themselves.

 

A few years later, I moved to the crisis program at Family Services in McHenry, and once again found myself on the business end of domestic violence. This time, however, I was fortunate to find a group of women who were starting a special hotline for domestic violence victims.

 

I soon found that our new, 24-hour crisis line at Family Services (still in business at 1-800-892-8900) and the hotline and safe homes these women were organizing had much common ground, and we soon began to learn from each other. After Turning Point was incorporated in May 1981, they became active participants in the county’s response to emergencies. Equally important, Turning Point began the domestic violence education of Family Services, Youth Service Bureau, Pioneer Center, and other county agency staff, an education that continues to this day.

 

In 1986, Turning Point asked me to help start a program for men who battered. Back then, the Turning Point groups were free, and it was good they were free, because we didn’t really know how to work with men who battered. There were few such programs in the country, and no training programs yet. We had a mimeographed workbook that we had pirated from Family Services in Madison, Wis., but for the most part we were learning to fly the plane as we were building it.

 

Again, I was learning from the people I was trying to help, this time from the men in the group. By the end of 1990, when I did my last Turning Point group, I had logged nearly 1,000 hours in groups for men who batter, an education that is very hard to come by these days. I elected to spend the rest of my career as a teacher and researcher of domestic violence, thanks to Turning Point.

 

While I worked away in academia, Turning Point expanded and became a major county institution. Turning Point became a recognized leader in Illinois service networks, and a key member of McHenry County’s coordinated effort to prevent violence against women and children. After 25 years of safe homes, the shelter opened in 2007, taking a giant step forward and making McHenry County a safer place.

 

On this occasion of Turning Point’s birthday, I want to acknowledge what they have meant to me as an academic, as a social worker, and as a McHenry County taxpayer for 33 years. Lives have been saved, tax dollars have been wisely spent, adults have grown older, and thousands of children have grown into more responsible, safer adults because of Turning Point.

 

I encourage everyone to join me in celebrating Turning Point’s Big-Three-0 at an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, at the Turning Point office, 11019 Route 14 in Woodstock (815-338-8081 for information and donations).

 

And to those women who ran the hotline and safe houses out of their homes – B.J. Jones, Lela Voerner, Nancy McNirney, Cher Austin, D.J. Johnson, Mary Beth Strack, Sheila Grandt, Irene Lee, Sally McConnell, and others – thank you.

 

 

May 12 2011 | Events and In the news | 1 Comment »

Special Report: Turning Point Turns 30

An early home of Turning Point was this office on Eastwood Drive.

An early home of Turning Point was this office on Eastwood Drive.

As we prepare for our open house celebrating 30 years of Turning Point (Thursday, May 19, 5 to 8 PM), we’ll be sharing some information on our history and mission! 

Once upon a time, there were three women who would get together for coffee and conversation. After many years, one of them finally got up the nerve to tell her friends a secret: She was being abused by her husband.  (Incidentally, about one in three women will find themselves in an abusive relationship at some point in their lifetime.)

 

This was 1981- there was no place that a woman in an abusive relationship could turn for help. The three women discussed it and agreed- they might not be able to do something right them to help their friend, but they could do something for the women who might have that problem in the future.

 

They recruited some other volunteers and started a “Help Line”- a phone number women could call to talk about their problems. Later, one of the women said ‘Looking back, I think we were crazy! We had no training and nowhere to refer these women. All we could do was listen. Sometimes that was enough.”

 

Their help line grew. Eventually Turning Point opened- a Domestic Violence agency providing individual and group counseling and advocacy to battered women. Services for children came later. The agency was founded on the principal that violence and abuse in the home is never okay and should never be tolerated.

 

Thirty years later, Turning Point serves about 1,800 clients a year with individual and group counseling, advocacy, case management, 24 hours crisis intervention, mental health services and orders of protection. Since 2007, Turning Point has operated the county’s only secure shelter for victims of domestic violence- and it all grew out of those three women sitting at a kitchen table, wanting to help.

 

Please attend our Open House!

May 11 2011 | Events | No Comments »

Jane Fonda - An Extraordinary Woman

jane_fonda

Jane Fonda (1937 - )

 

Born Lady Jane Seymour Fonda, Jane Fonda was famous from birth; the first child of actor Henry Fonda and socialite Frances Brokaw appeared in fan magazines and news photographs as a baby and at age 5 would act out her father’s films for eager audiences. She got serious about acting in her teens and auditioned for Actors’ Studio head Lee Strasberg who gave her a glowing critique: “Lee Strasberg told me I had talent. Real talent. It was the first time that anyone, except my father—who had to say so—told me I was good. At anything. It was a turning point in my life.”

 

She made a few appearances on Broadway to good reviews and was soon making movies. She won a Golden Globe as “Most Promising Newcomer” in 1962 and had her first big hit in 1965, starring in Cat Ballou, which was nominated for 5 Academy awards and one of the top-grossing films of the year. In 1968, she starred in then-husband Roger Vadim’s sci-fi spoof Barbarella and made her name as a sex symbol. The next year, she switched gears entirely and received an Oscar nomination for her dramatic turn in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

 

She was very much in demand in Hollywood, and had her pick of roles, turning down such blockbuster films as Bonnie and Clyde and Rosemary’s Baby. Her first Oscar came in 1971 for Klute. Jane’s fame and fortune led her to be more outspoken on issues she felt strongly about. In the late 60’s she had been outspoken in her support of civil rights and her time in France had made her disillusioned with the Viet Nam war. She first toured cities on the West Coast, speaking out against the war in an anti-war roadshow, then became active with Vietnam Veterans against the War and traveled college campuses making speeches against the draft. In 1972 she traveled to Hanoi. She visited POWs and brought their messages home to their families. She also posed for pictures on a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun, an action that brought her extreme criticism and attacks to this day. She said later that the incident was a “betrayal” of American forces and of the “country that gave me privilege”. Fonda said, “The image of Jane Fonda, Barbarella, Henry Fonda’s daughter … sitting on an enemy aircraft gun was a betrayal … the largest lapse of judgment that I can even imagine.”

 

Her trip to North Vietnam left her with the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” Forty years later, she can still count on being greeted by angry protests several times a year. She continued to make films, but was more selective and attempted to stick to films that had an agenda or message she endorsed. Among these was the hugely popular China Syndrome, a film about the dangers of nuclear power. “The suggestion is that because of my actions against the war my career had been destroyed … But the truth is that my career, far from being destroyed after the war, flourished with a vigor it had not previously enjoyed…. When I hear admonitions … warning outspoken actors to remember ‘what happened to Jane Fonda back in the seventies’, this has me scratching my head: And what would that be…?”

 

During filming of The China Syndrome, Jane injured her foot and was forced to abandon her chosen daily ballet workout. To keep in shape, she formulated a workout with trainer Leni Cazden and in 1982, released a home-workout video. The tape sold 17 million copies, making it the biggest selling home video release in history. She eventually made 23 workout videos, 13 audio tapes and 5 fitness books. She has continued to make and sell workout videos, most recently one in 2010 geared toward senior citizens.

 

Jane has continued to perform, sometimes taking breaks of as long as 15 years between projects. She has never fallen from public view, however. She’s had three high-profile marriages; the first to director Roger Vadim at the start of her career, a second to politician and activist Tom Hayden in 1973 and a third to media tycoon Ted Turner in 1991. Shortly after her divorce, Jane came forward to announce that she had become a Christian and she wrote her autobiography, saying that the last third of her life would be the most important, partly because of her newly discovered Christian faith.

 

In 2010 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy. She continues to be outspoken on issues of importance to her. In addition to her anti-war activism, she continues to work for feminist issues, and has been quite active in V-Day, a movement to stop violence against women, inspired by the off-Broadway hit The Vagina Monologues. But she’s not a big believer in “movements” observing once “But the whole point of liberation is that you get out. Restructure your life. Act by yourself.”

May 09 2011 | Extraordinary Women | No Comments »

Turning Point aids abused women, children for 30 years

dr-kubik-office

Turning Point Board Member Larry Bennett has a guest Editorial in the Northwest Herald:

Turning Point turns 30 this month. When I turned 30, Turning Point was not yet a domestic violence agency, except in the mind of a few women whom I had not yet met.

A social worker at Lake County Youth Services Bureau, in 1978 I sponsored a Parents Anonymous group for parents referred by DCFS and I quickly discovered that every participant was a battered woman.

I knew almost nothing about domestic violence. The only article I read in graduate school was called “The wife-beater’s wife,” and it was about how women’s psychological deficits provoke men into hitting them.

Worse still, in 1978 there were no domestic violence programs or shelters in either Lake or McHenry counties. Since I knew next to nothing, for two years the women in that group had to take me to school, and that is exactly what they did. I had the best of all educations – from the survivors themselves.

A few years later, I moved to the crisis program at Family Services in McHenry, and once again found myself on the business end of domestic violence. This time, however, I was fortunate to find a group of women who were starting a special hotline for domestic violence victims.

I soon found that our new, 24-hour crisis line at Family Services (still in business at 1-800-892-8900) and the hotline and safe homes these women were organizing had much common ground, and we soon began to learn from each other. After Turning Point was incorporated in May 1981, they became active participants in the county’s response to emergencies. Equally important, Turning Point began the domestic violence education of Family Services, Youth Service Bureau, Pioneer Center, and other county agency staff, an education that continues to this day.

In 1986, Turning Point asked me to help start a program for men who battered. Back then, the Turning Point groups were free, and it was good they were free, because we didn’t really know how to work with men who battered. There were few such programs in the country, and no training programs yet. We had a mimeographed workbook that we had pirated from Family Services in Madison, Wis., but for the most part we were learning to fly the plane as we were building it.

Again, I was learning from the people I was trying to help, this time from the men in the group. By the end of 1990, when I did my last Turning Point group, I had logged nearly 1,000 hours in groups for men who batter, an education that is very hard to come by these days. I elected to spend the rest of my career as a teacher and researcher of domestic violence, thanks to Turning Point.

While I worked away in academia, Turning Point expanded and became a major county institution. Turning Point became a recognized leader in Illinois service networks, and a key member of McHenry County’s coordinated effort to prevent violence against women and children. After 25 years of safe homes, the shelter opened in 2007, taking a giant step forward and making McHenry County a safer place.

On this occasion of Turning Point’s birthday, I want to acknowledge what they have meant to me as an academic, as a social worker, and as a McHenry County taxpayer for 33 years. Lives have been saved, tax dollars have been wisely spent, adults have grown older, and thousands of children have grown into more responsible, safer adults because of Turning Point.

I encourage everyone to join me in celebrating Turning Point’s Big-Three-0 at an open house from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, at the Turning Point office, 11019 Route 14 in Woodstock (815-338-8081 for information and donations).

And to those women who ran the hotline and safe houses out of their homes – B.J. Jones, Lela Voerner, Nancy McNirney, Cher Austin, D.J. Johnson, Mary Beth Strack, Sheila Grandt, Irene Lee, Sally McConnell, and others – thank you.

 

• Larry Bennett, Ph.D., is secretary of the Turning Point Board of Directors.

May 06 2011 | In the news and Volunteers | 1 Comment »

Turning Point celebrates 30 years in Woodstock

Today’s Northwest Herald:

WOODSTOCK – Turning Point is opening its doors for a 30th anniversary open house celebration.

The open house will be from 5 to 8 p.m. May 19. The public is invited to see how far Turning Point has come and to learn more about what it does to confront violence against women and children in McHenry County. There will be staff and volunteers on hand to answer questions and provide information about its programs and mission.

Turning Point is at 11019 Route 14, Woodstock.

In 1981, three friends started a “help line” for women, and 30 years later, that “help line” has grown into Turning Point, helping about 1,800 clients a year with emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, orders of protection and more.

For information, call 815-338 8081.

– Chelsea McDougall

May 06 2011 | Events and In the news | No Comments »

Consumer website: Mothers replaceable for about $61K

i_love_mom_tattoo

I think not! A tongue-in-cheek report from today’s Chicago Tribune:

So much for that mushy greeting-card sentiment of moms being “irreplaceable.”

Consumer website Insure.com looked at the various tasks, including nursing, taking care of children and cooking, that a typical family matriarch does. It figured out how much a family would have to spend to pay professionals such as housekeepers, chauffeurs and party planners to do the same things if Mom weren’t on the scene.

Her replacement cost: $61,436 a year. That doesn’t include the salary that Mom might make at her job.

Insure.com said it based its first Mother’s Day Index on Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers.

The biggest single replacement would be a child-care worker. At 40 hours a week for 52 weeks at $9.95 an hour, it makes up $20,696 of the index. It’s followed by community service specialists who can plan summer activities, at a cost of $8,726, and teachers, who would fill in to help with homework, at a cost of $7,140.

To see the chart laying out the costs, click here.

May 05 2011 | In the news | No Comments »

Letter to the Editor

In today’s Northwest Herald:

To The Editor:

Illinois legislators are close to making disastrous cuts to vital human services that will harm children and families throughout the state. Proposed cuts place the heaviest burden on human services when need is especially critical.

Instead of cuts, consider:

1. The Legislature’s bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CoGFA) has a record for accuracy in projecting revenue. The Senate based its revenue estimate on this figure while the House estimated next year’s revenues at over $1 billion less, thereby demanding massive cuts. Both chambers should use FY12 CoGFA estimates for spending decisions.

2. Illinois should “decouple” its tax law from the federal bonus-depreciation tax break for businesses ($600 million), authorize transfers of revenue from special state funds into the General Revenue Fund as in the past ($283 million), and reconsider transfers required by law that might better be used to balance the budget than enacting cuts.

3. Reducing capacity of community-based programs supporting children and families results in outcomes that increase costs to the state and taxpayers in the short and long term. Cuts are illogical when we have effective programs that help struggling families and children succeed.

My organization, Turning Point Inc. provides crisis intervention and stabilization services to more than 1,800 adult and child victims yearly. We understand the state’s financial crisis calls for reforms and spending restraint. But it is shortsighted and wrong to place the heaviest burden on our most vulnerable when the result is both more costly and damaging to people’s lives.

 

Jane Farmer

Executive director, Turning Point

May 05 2011 | In the news | No Comments »

Happy Mother’s day

red-carnation

As early as the 1870’s, people proposed the idea of a day to honor mothers, but it never really came together as a national holiday. In the aftermath of the civil war, Women’s Peace groups held “Mother’s Days” as a way for grieving parents to come together from both sides of the conflict to mourn their losses.   Ann Jarvis was one of those women and she organized a “Mother’s Friendship Day” up until her death n 1905.

 

In 1908, her daughter Anna Jarvis from Grafton West Virginia resolved that she would establish establish a “mother’s day” across the country. She enlisted John Wanamaker, a Philadelphia merchant, who immediately realized the potential for the day to take off as a gift-giving holiday. Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday in 1914.

 

It didn’t take long until Anna Jarvis began to wish she’d left well enough alone; She condemned the popular “mother’s day card” as being fit only for those ”too lazy to write a letter.” By 1923, Anna was speaking out against any celebration of the day and she spent the rest of her life fighting the holiday. In 1948 she was arrested in a protest against Mother’s Day and issued a statement saying she “wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control …”

 

She wouldn’t recognize the holiday’s modern incarnation. The National Restaurant Association ranks Mother’s day as the single biggest day to eat out. It is estimated that Americans spent over $4 Billion on Mother’s day gifts and $68 million on cards. Jewelers see a huge bump in sales and the holiday accounts for about 8% of the industry’s total profits.

 

The first Mother’s day was celebrated mostly in churches and the initial presidential proclamation suggested only flying the flag as a way to mark the day. Anna had brought 500 of her mother’s favorite flower, the carnation, to her weekly church service and passed them out to mothers in attendance. The wearing of the flower on Mother’s day became so popular that florists couldn’t keep up with demand for white carnations and soon hit on the idea of advertising that one should wear a  red carnation if ones’ mother was deceased and  white one if she were still alive. This distinction still remains a popular custom today and florists mark the day as a one of their biggest with $2.5 Billion dollars in sales each year.

 

Happy Mothers Day to all mothers everywhere!

 

May 05 2011 | Extraordinary Women | No Comments »

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