A version of this article appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Erikson on Children under the headline “Playing for a good cause.”
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Friends of Erikson turned out to dine, dance, and support young children at Erikson’s annual benefit, play ball, on May 11.

Image: Joseph Gregoire at Erikson's play ball

Joseph A. Gregoire

At the benefit, the Spirit of Erikson Institute Award was presented to Joseph A. Gregoire, regional president, Illinois banking, PNC Bank.
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Kate Neisser, chair of the Erikson Board of Trustees, presented the award to Gregoire in recognition of his support of PNC’s Growing up Great Program, a $350 million investment by PNC in young children, and his involvement with a number of civic organizations that support children and families, including the Big Shoulders Fund, the Museum of Science and Industry, and Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Accepting the award, Gregoire said, “In my eyes, Erikson has always stood for one thing—the education of children. It was among the first to recognize the importance of our earliest years to later achievement in life, and it has been that nationwide leader in early childhood education for more than 45 years.”

“I am honored to receive this Spirit of Erikson Award and to be in the distinguished company of past awardees.”

Chairing this year’s event were trustee Ed Loeb and his wife Courtney.

The event raised more than $630,000 and had more than 300 attendees. Guests also made special additional contributions toward student scholarships and toward a new initiative to support children and families in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood.

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