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Lali Watt Receives Unsung Heroine Award

Monday, March 31, 2003
Special to

Lali Watt of Wilmette received the 2003 Unsung Heroine Award from the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues. Watt, representing Cook County's 13th District, was honored along with sixteen other women - one from each District - during Women's History Month at a March 27 breakfast at the Chicago Cultural Center. Awards were presented by CBS 2 anchor Mary Ann Childers.

Honorees were awarded for their contributions to their communities, families and professional endeavors that are vital, but seldom recognized. "These honorees are our neighbors, our mothers, our sisters and our daughters," Jennifer Vidis, Executive Director of the Cook County Commission on Women's Issues, said. "They are drawn from the community they serve."

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and Women's Commission member Trina Janes led the selection committee for the 13th County Board District, which includes areas of Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Skokie, Wilmette, Winnetka and Chicago's 49th and 50th Wards.

"Lali Watt was selected as the 13th District’s Unsung Heroine because of her remarkable efforts that spearheaded a grassroots campaign and led to the successful passage of a $25 million bond referendum for the Wilmette Park District in March 2002," commented Commissioner Suffredin. The referendum approved the purchase of 17 acres of land that included open space and historic Mallinckrodt College buildings.

Concerned that the campus would be demolished and the land developed without any community input, Watt organized the Citizens' Action League for Mallinckrodt (CALM) and served as its President and Treasurer. Under her leadership, community members waged a thriving education campaign, which persuaded local elected officials to support the desires of the Wilmette voters and successfully passed the referendum.

Watt is also a board member of Friends of Battered Women and their Children, co-chair of the Illinois CPA Society's Strategic Planning Committee, member of the Community Review Commission of the District 39 Board of Education and on the board of the Community Supported Agriculture Learning Center at Angelic Organics.

Larry Suffredin took office as Cook County Commissioner for the 13th District in December 2002. Suffredin is Chairman of the Legislation & Intergovernmental Relations Committee. sHe resides in Evanston with his family. 

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