September 2016 Newsletter
View this email in your browser

A Message from the Board President

Friends of Willow House,

Happy September! Kids are returning to school, families are getting ready for cooler weather and change is all around. Change is also happening at Willow House and I would like to take a quick moment to formally share the changes at Willow House with you.

We are excited to introduce you to Susan Tybon, the new Executive Director of Willow House. Susan joined Willow House in May and comes to us with tremendous experience running non-profit organizations, most recently Susan G. Komen Chicago as CEO. Susan helped lead the SGK Chicago for the last two years and prior to that led the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) as the CEO for two years. Prior to JASC, Susan was the founding Executive Director of Autism Speaks Chicago and led the organization through change, excelled their growth and achieved their goals.

Susan's track record of leading organizations and meeting short and long term goals makes her an excellent fit for Willow House. We are confident in her ability to work with the board and alongside the staff to help Willow House reach short-term success and also expand our long-term reach to more families in and around Chicagoland. Susan has compassion for missions like ours, which started when she was working with the Leukemia and Lymphoma society in Chicago several years ago. Her passion for Willow House's mission was evident the first time we spoke with her and that passion has translated into Susan quickly learning about Willow House, our families, and services and already making great progress against our strategic plan. We look forward to all of you meeting Susan in the coming months. Please join me in formally welcoming Susan to Willow House!

Susan replaces founder, Stefanie Norris, who retired in June. We are grateful for all that Stefanie has done to build Willow House over the last 18 years and wish her all the best for her retirement.

If you would like to make a donation in Stefanie's honor, please click here. All proceeds will go to a Willow House program of Stefanie's choosing to ensure the continued success of her efforts over the years to come.

Please join us on September 19th from 5:30 - 7:30 pm for an Open House at Willow House where you will have a chance to meet Susan and members of the Willow House Board of Directors, and see all the great work that our staff has been busy accomplishing this summer. Further details can be found in the Upcoming Events portion of this newsletter.

We are excited for the year ahead and could not do any of this without your support of Willow House. Thank you for volunteering your time and skills as well as all the financial contributions you've made to Willow House. Each penny we raise goes a long way in providing grief support to our families and the children, teens, and parents across Chicagoland. We could not do this without you.

With sincere thanks on behalf of the Board of Directors,

President, Willow House Board of Directors

Willow House Family Recipe - Volume #2

As part of the Willow House newsletter we are featuring recipes that are treasured by Willow House families. Food can play a huge role in remembering our loved ones and honoring their memory. This month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Asiya Mulani about the haleem recipe that her husband, Barvez, loved to enjoy on his birthday. Thank you Asiya for sharing your story and this traditional Indian dish with all of us.

- Marissa Rogina, Willow House Intern

"I was very scared how the kids were going to react but when we started cooking they were so involved. It has helped all of us."

Click here to view the unique recipe and read the full interview.

Willow House 2016-17 Program Update

After a successful summer with a brand new Expressive Arts program and the "Life After Loss" support group, Willow House is returning to its regular monthly peer support group program. In response to families requesting more meeting times, we will continue providing Drop-In groups featuring more expressive arts, including a wide range of activities for all ages such as Qigong and song writing.

We would also like to announce that Willow House is expanding its school and community outreach programs. Erica Morand, LPC, Mindy Waxman, Psy.D. and new staff will be educating students, staff/faculty, and community members about grief, the grieving process, and how to support someone that has had a significant loss. They will be providing crisis response, lunch and learns for school staff, school support groups, and much more.

If you know of an individual, family, school, company, or organization that would benefit from our services, please:
"Never underestimate the power of reaching out." 

If you haven't yet, check out our website and photo albums from the 2016 Walk to Remember & 5K Run for Hope.


Upcoming Events

September 19, 2016 -
Open House

5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Please join us for an open house on Monday, September 19 to meet the new Executive Director, Susan Tybon and members of the Willow House Board of Directors. Lights snacks and refreshments will be provided. No need to RSVP, just stop by:
Willow House in Riverwoods
300 Saunders Road, Suite 300
Riverwoods, IL 60015

September 28, 2016
6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

School Professional Development Seminar at Gilda's Club Chicago

This FREE seminar providing school and healthcare professionals with the necessary information to support children, families and friends who have experienced the loss of a loved one will take place at Gilda's Club Chicago - Wells Street.

Presented by Willow House: Erica Morand, LPC, Program Director and Betsy Downs, Willow House family member.

Click here for more information, RSVP is required.


November 31, 2016 -
Moving Day!

The Willow House Riverwoods Center will be officially moved to a beautiful new location in Bannockburn, IL by the end of November. We will need boxes, packaging materials, and lots of volunteers to help pack & move.

Please contact us if you might be able to help

Willow House Interns

A special thank you to Willow House Interns, Marissa Rogina and Lindsey Johnson for volunteering their time at Willow House this summer. Their hard work and dedication has made a huge impact on the children and families of Willow House and we can't thank them enough!
Please also join us in welcoming Alyssa Mannucci, Charlotte Shuber, and Shaunie Weiner to the Willow House Intern family. The three of them will be working closely with program staff this year and we are thrilled to have them!

How you can help


Visit, enter Willow House as your preferred charity, and your purchases are automatically eligible for a 0.5% Amazon donation to Willow House! Click here for full instructions.

Visit our website or contact us for more information on how you can help.
“At group, my children saw hope. They also sensed an arena in which they could feel safe expressing their innermost feelings, and someone who cared was listening. And someone with a like experience was sitting right next to them.”

- Willow House Widowed Father
Since 1998, Willow House has provided support to children, teens, adults, and families who are coping with grief and the death of a loved one, and also to schools and communities coping with grief and death. Willow House services are open-ended and provided at no cost to thousands of Chicago-area families, including survivors of 9/11 and those grieving a death from suicide.

Peer Support Groups
Survivors of Suicide Loss
In-School Support Program
Community Outreach and Education
Crisis Support Services
Special Remembrance Events
Please contact us for more information: (847) 236-9300 or
Copyright © 2016 Willow House, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a friend of Willow House.

Our mailing address is:
Willow House
300 Saunders Road, Suite #300
RiverwoodsIL 60015

Add us to your address book

Unsubscribe from this list

Willow House is committed to keeping your e-mail address confidential. We do not sell, rent, or lease our subscription lists to third parties, and we will not provide your personal information to any third party individual, government agency, or company at any time unless compelled to do so by law.