The Musical Arts Institute received a generous extension of a baby grand piano from the Topinka Family Charitable Foundation. This video is from the dedication ceremony with Joseph Topeka. It features the piano talents of Joshua Mhoon, as well as statements from our board members.
News & Events
Happy Judy Day! Today, January 16, Judy Baar Topinka would have been 80 years old. We lost her too soon.
We miss her honesty, hardwork, her love of her state, and her love of animals!
Celebrate “Judy Day 2024” By Donating Pet Food or Time To Your Favorite Animal Shelter
Tuesday, January 16, 2024, would have been Judy Baar Topinka’s 80th birthday.
To honor Judy’s legacy and commitment to saving shelter dogs and cats…the Judy Baar Topinka Foundation encourages you to donate a can of pet food (or other needed wish list item) to your favorite local animal shelter or rescue group.
Please consider adopting a pet, or volunteering your time, to an animal shelter, if you are in a position to do so.
Judy believed EVERYBODY can make a difference.
Animals were very near and dear to Judy’s heart. While she was the Illinois State Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka, spearheaded “Comptroller’s Critters”, a groundbreaking program connecting Illinois no-kill animal shelters, rescue groups, and pet-lovers, to reduce the number of cats and dogs roaming the streets, and connect them with loving fur-ever families. This unique pet-saving program received national attention in the “Litty Kitter the Cat” theatre for young audiences stage play and best-selling children’s books.
Judy Baar Topinka is remembered by many as a trailblazing female public servant who paved the way for young girls who dreamed of becoming elected officials. The uniquely open-minded leader smashed gender stereotypes and served the people of the State of Illinois in the roles of senator, representative, treasurer and comptroller.
Judy Baar Topinka was flexible, never caved in to political party demands, diligently served ALL people regardless of party affiliation, and worked together on both sides of the aisle to create common sense solutions to complicated issues.
As a public servant, she was truly one-of-a-kind, a champion of human rights and animal rights.
Judy Baar Topinka – left us entirely too soon – although she left behind a treasure trove of positive accomplishments for humankind and animalkind, countless memories, and unpublished manuscripts – her physical presence is deeply missed by her family, friends and constituents.
Illinois cemeteries are aesthetically pleasing, architecturally stunning, wondrous, vibrant nature preserves, overflowing with rich history, and brimming with “secrets”, including the final resting places of many “famous” people. Movie stars, authors, sports figures, television icons, radio personalities, politicians, scientists, singers, comedians and business moguls may all seem larger than life…but when all is said and done…everyone is equal in the graveyard. The book in your hands explores those graveyards.
Always thinking outside the box, Judy Baar Topinka took a creative approach by structuring this book as a “Guess the Celebrity” trivia book. This book has been posthumously published exactly as it was found in Judy’s estate.
While this is not a definitive list of EVERY famous person buried in Illinois…it is a brilliantly creative starting point…and provides a springboard for the reader to engage in their own research as well.
When visiting cemeteries as a celebrity death enthusiast, paranormal explorer, curious traveler, or historical researcher…please remember these are sacred grounds, leave everything exactly as you found it, and always be respectful of the property, posted rules, active funeral processions, committal services, and other visitors who may be mourning.
YOU are now officially an Illinois Cemetery Sleuth. Put on your detective coat and try your luck at uncovering “Grave Secrets”.
The Judy Baar Topinka Foundation is so proud of this year’s CAHME/Judy Baar Topinka Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship is designed to help graduate students as they face the ever increasing costs of being a student especially during residencies where often they are unpaid. The Judy Baar Topinka Foundation would like to offer more types of these scholarship in Judy’s name. Consider a donation to help our future healthcare leaders.
Along with generous corporate partners, foundations, board, and personal donations, CAHME takes great pride in recognizing through our CAHME Awards program those programs and their students that have distinguished themselves.
This year’s recipients will be honored during the CAHME Award Ceremony at ACHE Congress on Sunday, March 19, 2023, and are acknowledged in the January 17, 2023 edition of Modern Healthcare.
- The CAHME/ Canon Solutions America Award for Sustainability in Healthcare Management recipient is the George Mason University – Master’s in Health System Management Program, recognized for excellence in sustainability as a combination of cultural competency, community involvement, environmental focus, and accessibility.
- The CAHME/George and Regi Herzlinger Innovation Education Award recipient is the Boise State University – Master in Population & Health Systems Management Program in collaboration with the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), recognized for excellence in providing a foundation in the principles of innovation for future leaders to be the change needed in healthcare.
- The CAHME/Sachs Family Foundation in Honor of Michael A Sachs for Entrepreneurs in Healthcare Management recipient is Michael Allgood, MSHA Candidate from the University of Louisville. Michael overcame many obstacles to pursue his dream of becoming a healthcare manager and focuses his career in service to the community.
- The CAHME/Dawn Gideon Foundation Scholarship for Women Supporting Communities in Need recipient is Adriana Kotchkoski, MHA Candidate from the University of Iowa. Adriana is passionate about enhancing the patient experience and improving their interaction with the healthcare system through community-based service organizations.
- The CAHME/Judy Baar Topinka Foundation Scholarship for Health Policy recipient is Thomas Levu, MHSA Candidate from Georgetown University. Thomas dedicates his knowledge in healthcare and in law to offer pro bono legal assistance to indigent clients to ensure access to vital health services.
- The CAHME/Tim Campbell Scholarship for Selfless Service to Others and the Community recipient is Steven Mosher, MSHA Candidate from Virginia Commonwealth University. Steven’s service to US veterans transcends his role as the Chief Biomedical Engineer in the VA to creating a culture focused on employees, veterans and their family.
- The CAHME/Fawn Lopez Future Leaders Award recipient is Lilian Abbo, MD, MBA Candidate at the University of Miami. Dr. Abbo is a patient advocate, health system leader and frontline disease expert managing infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship through a complex ecosystem in Miami, Florida.
Visit cahme.org/awards to learn more.
Leadership and commitment to the common good is flourishing through CAHME’s Accredited programs and their students. Congratulations to these exceptional programs and students who are advancing the quality of healthcare management education.
Judy Baar Topinka left us too early. Today, Judy would have been 79 years old. Imagine what she would have accomplished. Imagine what she would say today about our current leaders. Imagine what it would be like if the State of Illinois, her home County of Cook, and her hometown, the Village of Riverside, ever did anything to honor this incredible populist leader who was born in, lived her entire life in, and then died in Illinois while in office serving her fellow Illinois citizens. So far, these entities have done nothing. However, one fellow Illinoisian has done something to honor Judy’s legacy and to inspire his young students. His story is a great one to be told on “Judy Day.”
Tim Klein | Staunton High School in Staunton, Illinois
Tim Klein is a high school English teacher at Staunton High School in Staunton, Illinois. Tim started at Saint Louis University Law School before going into the classroom full time in 2015. He has been at the Center for Educational Opportunities in Troy; Edwardsville High School for summer Government; Jersey Community High School, and his current position at Staunton High School teaching English 1 and US Government. In his past US Government courses at Staunton High School, Tim has used the book, Just Judy, A Citizen and Leader for Illinois to allow his upperclassmen to see the life and times of a great Illinoisan and how she battled through many political conflicts. His students really liked Judy’s victory speech (third link below) because they gravitate toward winners. Judy’s son talked to Tim Klein a few months ago. Tim told Judy’s son words to the effect that Tim’s students “thought Judy was like one of them.”
Below you will see links to the videos that Tim has shown to his students to supplement their reading of Just Judy:
The Judy Baar Topinka Charitable Foundation hopes that teachers around Illinois and beyond use Tim’s example going forward.
The Illinois State Senate at the Illinois State Capitol
In addition, we are proud to present to you a digital copy of Your Guide to the Illinois Senate. This guide is a must for teachers all over Illinois and beyond for their students. Judy Baar Topinka served two terms as an Illinois State Senator. She loved the Illinois Senate. As is tradition in the Illinois Senate, when a Senator passed his or her first bill, it was signed by all of the Senators.
A picture of Judy’s first Senate Bill (SB) can be found in Just Judy, A Citizen and Leader for Illinois along with many interesting stories about Judy’s service in the Illinois State Senate. One of those stories addresses how Judy was often referred to as “Honey” or “Baby” by many male senators and staff when she began her tenure in the Senate. In typical Judy style, she began wearing the attached button along with her incredible smile in an effort to set a standard for all senators. She was a senator and proud of that title. Anything less than that title was dishonorable to the chamber itself.
Remember that the foundation is always willing to donate copies of Just Judy to interested teachers. In an age of negatives, Judy Baar Topinka’s story is a positive one that can inspire young people to do great things for their communities in the future. Judy Baar Topinka was a model for all of us demonstrating that anyone with passion, drive, and hard work can triumph in the face of great odds.
Eight years ago, we lost someone that was simply incredible. Here are some great, virtual gifts to bring a Judy Baar Topinka smile to all your faces and to provide inspiration to teachers all over who teach civics!
This year, the Judy Baar Topinka Charitable Foundation is proud to show you the video taken in 2004 with Bob Sirott and his wife Mariann Murciano. It will make you laugh! The accordion recital is incredible!
Remodeling at the Illinois State Capitol
In addition, we are proud to present to you a copy of a guide that was produced years ago on the remodeling done at the Illinois State Capitol. This is a must for teachers all over Illinois and beyond for their students. Judy served two terms as a state representative and then two terms as a state senator. She loved both chambers in the capitol as they were full of stories, symbols, and history.
Because of her love for the Illinois state capitol, Judy would take her son, Joseph, around the county and the world visiting state capitols and world seats of government. The visits were part of a never ending civics lesson for Judy and her son.
B.J. Ogata | Staunton High School in Staunton, Illinois
Finally, we want to highlight the efforts of B.J. Ogata who is a teacher at Staunton High School in Staunton, Illinois. B.J. has been teaching for twenty-two years at Staunton High School. He has coached several sports throughout this time at Staunton High School, including being the head track and field coach. B.J. has also taught a variety of social studies classes, mostly at the high school level but some at the junior high level as well. Currently, he is teaching World History, Geography, U.S. Government, and a dual-credit Political Science class through Lewis and Clark Community College.
B.J. is currently using the book, Just Judy, A Citizen and Leader for Illinois, for his high school U.S Government course. This one semester course fulfills the State of Illinois Civics requirement, as well as the requirements to cover the U.S. Flag, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Illinois State Constitution. B.J. uses Just Judy along with a handout in order to inspire his students to consider Judy’s life and Illinois civics. With B.J. permission, we are proud to present you with a copy of his handout that you can download. We hope that teachers around Illinois and beyond use B.J. example going forward.
The foundation is always willing to donate copies of Just Judy to interested teachers. Judy’s story is a positive story in an age of negatives that can inspire young people to do great things for their communities in the future. Judy Baar Topinka was a model for all of us demonstrating that anyone with passion, drive, and hard work can triumph in the face of great odds.
Just like Judy, you can take on the establishment and make changes which are good. Like Judy, you may not always win, but you should never give up. During this holiday season, Judy would often wish you a pleasant and loving season: “FA LA LA LA LA LA!” (This is actually a Judy quote.)