CHICAGO, Oct. 6, 2009 - The Chicagoland Dealers Care program has joined with Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) member and dealer Jim Jennings to benefit the Advocate Health Care Adult Association for Down Syndrome Center.
At a presentation at the center adjoining Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, CATA Chairman Kevin Mize and Chevrolet dealer Jim Jennings presented a check to Dr. Brian Chicoine, attending physician for the center.
"The CATA's charitable activities go on far beyond our Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity event," said Mize. "By joining up with the generous contributions that Jim (Jennings) has made to this group, we help a very worthwhile organization. Both Jim's and my family have been touched by Down syndrome, so these dollars made available via Chicagoland Dealers Care are of particular note to both of us on behalf of our more than 500 area new-car dealers."
"There are just a handful of centers such as the one in Park Ridge," said Dr. Chicoine. "As Down Syndrome found both Kevin Mize and Jim Jennings, it found me via a family member. We've made such remarkable gains in the treatment and quality of life for Down syndrome patients, though. When my uncle was a boy his life expectancy was about ten years. Now the average life expectancy has risen to 56."
"That's why contributions such as this are so important," continued the physician. "Conditions such as heart disease used to be the biggest problem, but now because of increased longevity we face other challenges. We so appreciate the efforts of Mr. Jennings and Chicagoland Dealers Care."
Dr. Chicoine-with only one other full-time MD and a short staff of social workers-not only see patients inside the center, but also makes numerous "van calls" where they will see patients in the vehicles in which they travel to the center.
"I'm proud that our charitable arm can help with this group," said Mize. "They do remarkable work here and deserve the assist."