River Forest mom was involved in a little of everything

Villagers of the year: Runner up

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

If there was a political or social cause being pursued in River Forest last year, chances are Susan Lucci had something to do with it.

The energetic 45-year-old mother of three had her hands in pretty much everything. Lucci founded a service-learning group for kids at Willard Elementary School called the Kindly Wizards, which has 70 members and celebrated its sixth year in 2010. She helped arrange to have the documentary, Race to Nowhere, screened in River Forest, and promoted it, too, and wants to have it shown at the high school next. Lucci started a program called "All Heads in Helmets" in 2009 to encourage kids to protect their noggins while biking, and she held coffees earlier in 2010 to discuss a River Forest Park District referendum.

She has three children, 10, 12 and 14, so where does she get all the vigor?

"I don't know about the energy; it's just heredity or something," Lucci said. "I really care about the world, and I think we can make it a better place. I'm fortunate that I have time that I can give to this, and that I really do care about it."

Lucci, a five-year resident of River Forest, left her job as a real estate lawyer to devote her time to parenting her three kids. Her other involvements are too numerous to list, but she also serves the "Friends of PADS" board at the local homeless shelter, helped arrange a hunger banquet at Dominican in November, and started a business this year called 2 Big 4 Words, which holds dialogues for middle school-age girls.

"I'm really community minded and always talking to whoever I bump into about the million things I'm working on," Lucci said. "I think my passion is contagious and people can't help but at least try it."

Reader Comments

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Susan Lucci from River Forest   

Posted: January 10th, 2011 8:30 AM

Thanks for all the great comments here! I am honored to have received this award. Know that I did not do it alone by any stretch. Without the energy and enthusiasm of fellow community minded activists like Sue Crothers Gee and Maureen Spielman, this efforts would not have been so successful. I share this award with all of us who want to make a difference and know it begins right here, right now. I also applaud the fabulous work of the PAC, women whom I am privileged to be in community with!

Michael Sletten  

Posted: January 7th, 2011 9:58 AM

On behalf of the River Forest Park District, I would like to congratulate Susan Lucci on being recognized by the Wednesday Journal for her outstanding contribution to River Forest. I would also like to thank Susan for her valued contributions to the River Forest Parks Foundation last year, yet another of her many contributions to our community and one that was not mentioned in your article.

Melissa from Oak Park  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 9:13 PM

Check out Susan's website: www.2big4words.org and give yourself the gift of joining one of her Circles! She's an expert facilitator with a kind, compassionate heart. Congratulations, Sue!

Matt Palkert from River Forest  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 4:12 PM

Thank you for recognizing Susan's work for a better world. Congrats Susan!

Maureen Spielman from River Forest  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 1:57 PM

I'm so happy to see Susan recognized as well! This woman is incredibly dynamic and if you haven't tried her Circles yet, give yourself a gift and do so!

Mary Pat Heelan from Lunenburg, MA  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 1:19 PM

Congratulations, Sue! What a nice article for jobs well done!

Sylvie from River Forest  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 12:24 PM

This is a well earned recognition, Susan! You are an inspiration...

Sylvie from River Forest  

Posted: January 5th, 2011 12:23 PM

This is a recognition well earned, Susan!


Posted: January 5th, 2011 11:04 AM

Congrats Sue. I always knew Susan Lucci was a famous name. Keep up all your amazing great work. Love you Hope

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