Dear Mr. Topinka:
I wish to thank you and the members of the selection committee who chose me to be the recipient of the 2nd Annual Judy A ward, in honor of your mother, my colleague, and a great public servant to all of us, Judy Baar Topinka.
Thank you, as well, for inviting me to the wonderful luncheon and fashion show. I enjoyed the company and it felt so good to be able to remember Judy at an event that she would have loved.
I congratulate you, as well, for keeping Judy’s legacy and commitment to public service alive with the scholarships awarded by the Judy Baar Topinka Foundation. These students are our future leaders and providing them with assistance and encouragement is a fitting way to honor Judy.
Karen A Yarbrough,
Cook County Clerk
News & Events
The Judy Baar Topinka Foundation is honored to announce that the recipient of the second Judy Award named after Judy Baar Topinka is none other than Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough. Clerk Yarbrough’s biograph is below. Like Judy, Clerk Yarbrough was also a State Representative from the 7th District. What an incredible representative for Judy’s legacy! We will be presenting the award on September 5th in McCook, Illinois.
Karen A. Yarbrough
Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough, Cook County’s first African American and female Clerk, has a B.A. in Business Management from Chicago State University, an M.A. in Inner City Studies from Northeastern Illinois University, and advanced leadership studies at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Karen has served on numerous boards, enhancing the quality of life for citizens and has received many prestigious awards highlighting her advocacy, community service and legislative work.
Previously, Karen served as State Representative for the 7th District for 12 years, which included Chicago’s West-Side and western suburbs. As an Assistant Majority Leader in the Illinois House of Representatives, her legislative themes were public health, public safety, and social justice. She has been a stalwart fighter to increase assistance for those incarcerated, and funding for programs that provide a “Second Chance.” In 2007, Karen successfully fought the tobacco lobby as the chief sponsor of “Smoke Free Illinois” and made Illinois the first Midwestern state to go “smoke-free.”
She’s taken on powerful real estate interests in her pursuit of “source of income” legislation that prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to those on subsidies. She sponsored “Quality of Life,” a bill using lottery money to fund groups that treat individuals with HIV-AIDS.
In 2011, Yarbrough, as chief House Sponsor helped make history by passing legislation to end the death penalty in Illinois. This legislation was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn making it the 16th state to do so, earning her recognition from the Pope and a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
Karen and her husband, Henderson, have a blended family of six and share twelve grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Join Us For The Award Ceremony on September 5, 2019
With the new academic year starting in just a few days at many colleges and universities, CAHME is pleased to announce that we will once again offer the CAHME/Judy Baar Topinka Foundation Scholarship for Health Policy for students at CAHME-accredited programs.
The CAHME/Judy Baar Topinka Foundation Scholarship for Health Policy is name in memory Judy Baar Topinka, who dedicated herself to a lifetime of service to the people of the State of Illinois both in government and as an award-winning journalist. The Scholarship is targeted to supporting student living expenses/other costs while they are pursuing a health policy internship/fellowship.
You can read more about the scholarship and prior winners on our web site, or simply click on the links below to go directly to the application.
We are deeply grateful for the family and friends of the Judy Barr Topinka Foundation for their support of future leaders of healthcare.
Enjoy Shopping, Lunch, Award Ceremony and Special Presentation Given By Joseph Baar Topinka, Son of the Late Illinois State Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka.
Best-selling author and professor, Joseph Baar Topinka will entertain with a fascinating presentation, focusing on the women’s empowerment, through the determination, leadership and spirit exhibited by his late mother, Illinois State Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka.
Judy was a pioneering leader, role model and animal rights crusader, who founded “Comptroller’s Critters Pet Adoption Program”. She worked tirelessly as a public servant, reaching across the aisle, appealing to all parties, and taking Illinois by Storm, with her dedication to open and honest government.
The presentation, based upon his best-selling book, “Just Judy!”, chronicles her storied life as a journalist, state senator, and Illinois State Comptroller, where she broke through glass ceilings, time and time again, all while being a devoted mother and volunteering her time to worthy causes.
Crystal Sky Banquets
7941 West 47th Street, McCook, Illinois
September 5, 2019
[Includes Lunch, Tax & Tip]
With Every Total Purchase of Clothing and/or Accessories From Mary Ann @ This Event, We Will Give You One $5 Certificate To Use Toward the Purchase of Joseph’s Book, “Just Judy”, Making the Book Purchase Price Just $11.95!
R.S.V.P. Mary Ann
Doors Open: 11 a.m.
Lunch and Presentation: 12 p.m.
Followed By Shopping With Mary Ann
Joseph Baar Topinka Book Sale and Signing
Judy Adored Mary Ann’s Shoppe!
Discover The Latest Fall Fashions!
And Don’t Forget To Check Out Judy’s Bargain Racks!
John Rice has written up a wonderful article about Judy’s deep ties to Forest Park, IL outlined in the book Just Judy, written by her son, Joseph Baar Topinka.
Join Author Joseph Baar Topinka at the Centuries and Slueths Bookstore in Forest Park, IL for a discussion of his book, Just Judy: A Citizen & Leader for Illinois (The Story of Judy Baar Topinka)
Saturday, July 6, 2019
2:00pm to 4:00pm
Centuries and Slueths Bookstore
7419 Madison Street
Forest Park, IL 60130
Just Judy: A Citizen and Leader for Illinois is a wonderful resource for 6th grade and up, with over 100 interactive classroom activities, critical thinking and self-reflection essay questions, and research prompts to fuel additional learning based on the same principles that are covered throughout Judy’s story. Judy Baar Topinka continues to inspire us all and, through the voice of her son, encourages us to follow in her footsteps to support our local communities, actively participate in our civic duties, respect one another, take pride in our own unique heritage, and embrace life-long learning.