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Mar 2011  |  By Liz Logan and Laura Hine  |  Comments

Jennifer Woolford, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, Wilmette

Jennifer Woolford’s job as a Senior Vice President at Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., gives her great opportunities to support causes both personally and professionally.

Her daughter, Aubrey, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes four years ago, and since then Jennifer has supported her in educating people about the disease. “I’m so proud that she’s really active,” Jennifer says.

Among Aubrey’s accomplishments, she sang the national anthem at the Ron Santo Walk to Cure Diabetes, a fundraising event for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, for which she is also a past youth ambassador. In June, Aubrey will travel to Washington, D.C., where she’ll be meeting with lawmakers as part of JDRF’s Children’s Congress, as one of only a few children selected from Illinois. “More kids are getting diabetes, so we want to do whatever we can to raise funds for research,” Jennifer says.

Professionally, Jennifer is a member of the Greater North Michigan Avenue Association and chaired the committee for the 2008 and 2009 Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, which was attended by 1 million people. She brought her love of charity into the project by starting, “The Extra Mile,” an initiative in which each business selects a charity to support during the holiday season.

She says of her work with Aubrey, “You get a challenge in your life, and the bright spot is it brings us together to work toward something meaningful.”

To learn how you can get involved with the JDRF in Illinois, head to

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