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Dorothy and Stan Banas: Treasured Friends of Resurrection Medical Center

Dorothy and Stan Banas: Treasured Friends of Resurrection Medical Center

Resurrection Medical Center (RMC) has been blessed with the friendship of Stan and Dorothy Banas from the earliest days of the hospital. The affiliation may have begun after their six children were among the first to be born at RMC.

Or perhaps it started earlier when Dorothy visited the hospital on behalf of her family's business, Skaja Funeral Home.

Or maybe the friendship blossomed when Stan joined the Resurrection Hospital lay advisory board in the 1950s.

Although it is unclear how this wonderful partnership began, it is crystal clear how Stan and Dorothy have nurtured and supported the growth of Resurrection Health Care.

Both native Chicagoans and devout Roman Catholics, Stan was raised in Portage Park while Dorothy grew up in the Albany Park neighborhood. After graduating from Purdue University, Stan joined the family business, Stanley Spring and Stamping Corporation. His father had started the business in the family's basement during World War II. In fact, Stan and his mother were its first employees.

Dorothy raised the children while still involved with Skaja Funeral Home. "She was a devoted mother, but occasionally Dorothy's brother would call and say, 'Dorothy, the family is asking for you,'" Stan recalled. "Dorothy had a special way with families at their time of loss, and often she was needed."

In 1983, Sister Bonaventure Kusek, C.R., at the time president and CEO of Resurrection Health Care, invited Stan to join the newly formed Resurrection Development Foundation board of which he later became its first chairman. A few years later Joseph F. Toomey, current President and CEO of Resurrection Health Care, asked Stan and Dorothy to chair The Monarch Ball, Resurrection Health Care's first black-tie gala in 1995.

"Our goal was to have at least 500 guests, so Stan and I were thrilled when we sold out with 1,200," Dorothy said. "We recruited a great committee comprising our personal friends, family, RMC Auxiliary members, Resurrection sisters and Resurrection Retirement Community residents. We hand-addressed thousands of invitations and wrapped gifts for everyone who attended. Our committee paid attention to every detail, and we had a lot of fun," she added.

"Dorothy and Stan created a beautiful event to celebrate Resurrection Health Care and the many lives we touch across Chicago," said Sister Patricia Ann Koschalke, Sponsorship Board Chair, Resurrection Health Care. "Since its inception, The Monarch Ball has raised millions of dollars to support critical programs and services provided by RHC facilities."

"The Banases set the tone of elegance and excellence that still marks The Ball to this day," Mr. Toomey said. "They have been most instrumental in making Resurrection the great health care system it is today. We have been blessed with their invaluable friendship and guidance and will forever be grateful to them both," he added.

Note: Mr. Banas passed away on May 10, 2008, at age 81, after a long illness. He will be missed.

A charitable gift annuity is a fast and simple way to make a gift today and still enjoy a lifetime income. For more information, contact Moira McGinley, Presence Health Foundation Office of Gift Planning Services, at 312-308-3244.

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