Today, real estate brokerage firm, Baird & Warner, recognizes and salutes one of its own, Marlene Rubenstein of Highland Park, for her longstanding commitment to the National Kidney Foundation. “Marlene’s tireless work and contributions to this important cause are noteworthy,” remarks Steve Baird, CEO and president.
Rubenstein was recently feted by the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois (NKFI) with its “Gift of Life” award. Rubenstein helped to establish the organization’s signature event, “Gift of Life Gala,” over 25 years ago with co-founder Sandy Kagan-Angell. Rubenstein and Angell are credited with helping NKFI raise over $3 million dollars since 1985.
“Back in the early 80’s this wasn’t an issue that was getting a lot of attention and little was known about preventing and aiding those suffering from kidney failure,” adds Baird. Rubenstein was moved to action in memory of her father, Benjamin Nortman, who passed away in 1981. Rubenstein has said that her father was able to survive the Holocaust, but not renal kidney failure. This fact alone propelled her into action.
“What made our efforts successful was the bond of a committed group of wonderful, driving individuals who wanted to make a genuine difference,” Rubenstein says. “Our group worked together to raise critical dollars for a camp for children with kidney disease, establish a medical research fund to provide seed money for local researchers, and educate patients, family members, and medical professionals.”
Baird & Warner knows about “making a difference.” The company received the national award from USA Weekend and the Paul Newman Foundation for its annual efforts to support “Make A Difference Day,” the national day of community service. “Marlene is an amazing force of nature,” remarks Lynn Kosner, managing broker, Baird & Warner Highland Park. “Her energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to making positive change in the world around her is inspiring.”