Chuck Connors Sr. of Wilmette honored for his family’s more than 20 years of commitment and generous support of Cohn Weil Outing
Raising a million dollars for multiple sclerosis is all in a day’s work for the dedicated committee and staff who organize the annual Carol Cohn and Margie Weil Memorial MS Outing, which has become one of the premier charity golf events on Chicago’s North Shore. More than 600 people attended the 37th annual event, on Monday, July 6, at Northmoor Country Club, in Highland Park, which raised over $1.1 million for statewide MS research, programs and service. More than $13 million has now been raised to fight multiple sclerosis throughout the event’s 37-year history.
The all-day outing included an 18-hole golf tournament with morning and afternoon tee times, bridge, canasta, and mahjong tournaments, silent auction, and a sit-down gourmet dinner and program. Joseph Weil, of Highland Park, whose mother lived with the disease, has been instrumental in the outing’s success and growth, having served as the event’s chairman since 1984.
“This cause is one that is very personal to me as my mother was diagnosed with MS when I was one year old,” said Weil, who also served as master of ceremonies for the evening program. “I watched her face the physical and psychological challenges of having one’s mobility and independence taken away in the prime of her life and watched her courageous fight for many years before her passing.”
Chuck Connors Sr., of Wilmette, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Magneco/Metrel Inc., was honored at this year’s event for his family’s generous annual support of the Cohn Weil Outing over the past 20 years. Connors, whose daughter Colleen was diagnosed with MS more than 24 years ago, has been an MS activist since that time, having served on the board of trustees and as chairman of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and on the organization’s national board.
In addition, Earl Rusnak Jr., of Chicago, was honored as the third inductee into the “The Chuck and Margie Barancik Hall of Fame of Giving,” established in the names of Chuck and Margie Barancik. The award acknowledges those selfless individuals who have exemplified extraordinary annual financial support of The Carol Cohn and Margie Weil MS Outing over the past 37 years. For over two decades, the Baranciks have been major supporters of research projects in the field of multiple sclerosis.
Weil, who has served as chairman of the outing since 1984, credits the event’s success to the many dedicated individuals who serve on the committee, which is comprised heavily of members of the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) fraternity from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
“I learned a long time ago in life that Tom Sawyer knew what he was doing and when you get people to help you paint the fence, you hand out as many paint brushes as there are capable painters,” said Weil. “We are very lucky, we have lots of painters in our community helping us grow the event and we have a lot of fun. This is truly a fraternal feeling when you come to this golf event.”
The first Carol Cohn Invitation Golf Outing was held in August 1979 at Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette, Ill. The outing honored the wife of Norman Cohn, then president of the National MS Society, and former chairman of the chapter. Mrs. Cohn, who lived with MS, was a regular attendee at the outing until her passing in 1988. Margie Weil lived with MS for 40 years, and during that time raised three children while dedicating many years to counseling MS clients and supporting her husband Julian Weil’s 20 years of volunteer leadership with the chapter. In 1998 the event was renamed the Carol Cohn & Margie Weil Memorial MS Outing in their honor.