Greg and Rose Guarrine are all about helping others. They're both professional educators dedicated to serving not only young people, but also their church and community as active volunteers. So joining the Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) Foundation's President's Circle giving society seemed like a natural extension of who they are.
The Guarrines first met as students at Illinois State University, where they were trained as special education teachers. Residents of Mount Prospect, they settled in the village 38 years ago and raised their son, Michael, there. After a distinguished career in education, Greg recently retired from his post as superintendent of Prospect Heights School District 23. Although Rose is officially retired from her longtime classroom teaching position, she continues to serve Wheeling's School District 21 as a special ed teaching assistant.
The Guarrines also volunteer for United Way, and Greg belongs to their local Rotary Club. They've served a couple of Catholic parishes in various ways. These days, they go to St. Edna's, where Rose volunteers as a religious education teacher and they've both helped with the congregation's capital campaign.
Greg and Rose got involved in President's Circle (PC), a giving society for all donors who make annual charitable gifts of $1,000 or more to NCH, at the invitation of their friend Skip Braband, an NCH Foundation trustee and enthusiastic PC donor. Members enjoy special educational events, an annual recognition dinner and assistance from Foundation staff with physician referrals and navigating the healthcare system.
Giving back to their hospital is important because "NCH is not part of a conglomerate," Rose says. "It was started by the community, and it remains an independent not-for-profit with excellent care in a convenient location."
Although they've been spared any serious medical conditions, the Guarrines regard NCH as their family hospital—the place where their son was born and the place they trust to deliver the right care when they need it. "Anytime we have been in the ER or needed an outpatient procedure, we've had a positive experience," Rose says.
The Guarrines are now co-chairs of a President's Circle Growth Committee composed of fellow PC members from the Mount Prospect-Prospect Heights-Des Plaines area. The group encourages their friends, neighbors and colleagues to join them in supporting NCH at the President's Circle level. Through President's Circle events, members learn about everything from healthcare reform to robotic surgery.
"It's good to understand the future direction of the Hospital and to know what's available. If we are informed about new options, we can help others by suggesting alternatives," Greg says.
Greg and Rose also appreciate the camaraderie of belonging to President's Circle and leading the growth committee.
"This is a group with a definite commitment to keeping NCH a community-based hospital," Rose says. "Together, we can ensure that the best healthcare close to home is available to all of us."