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Everyday Heroes 2015

Making a difference - Kane County Chronicle recognizes Everyday Heroes

The Kane County Chronicle's 2015 Everyday Heroes section features 12 individuals who have made a positive impact in the lives of others.

These are men and women who – as a group – have helped host fundraisers for those in need and volunteered for nonprofit organizations. They have assisted children, teens and adults. And they have helped people locally and abroad.

What do they all share in common?

They are outstanding community members who are making Kane County a better place to live, work and play.

Take Doug Dirks of Campton Township, for example. When he retired, he went to a training session for the CASA organization, and he has been a volunteer with that group since 2008.

CASA stands for court appointed special advocate, and the organization's volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children who are going through the court system.

"I was struck by children who needed help in an immense way," Dirks said. "What a great thing to be able to do something on behalf of children who can't help themselves and need a giant investment if they are going to grow up and be healthy adults."

And then there is Quinta Sloan-Beasley of North Aurora. She is the rehabilitation manager  for the Association for Individual Development, an organization that provides support for those with developmental disabilities.

Deb Russo nominated Sloan-Beasley for an Everyday Heroes award. She said Sloan-Beasley goes the extra mile when caring for her brother, who has Down syndrome.

"He loves Quinta, as we all do!" Russo wrote in her nomination form. "I can't say enough about her kind ways and warmth she shows her clients. I appreciate her every day."

Feedback can be sent to me using the contact information at the end of this column.

Congratulations to all of the 2015 Everyday Heroes!

• Kathy Balcazar is editor of the Kane County Chronicle and a member of the Northern Illinois Newspaper Association Board. Contact her at or 630-845-5368. Learn more about NINA at

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