Mary Anne Brown led Hephzibah for four decades.

The River Forest Village Board on July 10 unanimously adopted a resolution to honor Mary Anne Brown’s service as executive director of Hephzibah Children’s Association. Brown retired at the end of June after leading the organization for four decades.

The 7500 block of Lake Street will now have the honorary distinction of being “Mary Anne Brown Way.”

Brown, who has degrees from the University of Iowa and Clark College, began serving as executive director of Hephzibah in 1976. Under her leadership, Hephzibah grew from a center with an annual budget of $100,000 to an agency with annual budget of about $9 million. Hephzibah operates group and foster homes, centers for abused children, after school programs, family counseling and summer daycare programs. 

“I love this village,” said Brown, a River Forest resident. “I’ve enjoyed my 40 years of service here. I’m five days into retirement and I’m not sure what I’m going to do. If you see me walking around, always ask me to help out with something.”

This latest honor aside, throughout her career Brown has received numerous accolades including a service award from the Illinois Humane Society in 2002.

“During her tenure, Hephzibah became known as the home with a heart,” River Forest Village President Catherine Adduci said, reading from the resolution. “And numerous specialized programs were initiated.”

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