ENGLEWOOD—A neighborhood foundation honored Congressman Bobby Rush (D-1st) Saturday with a Lifetime Achievement award for his years of community service work.
The award was presented at the the Calahan Foundation's 4th Annual Celebration of Giving event, hosted by Calahan Funeral Home and held at the UIC Forum, which doubled as a fundraiser to raise money for scholarships to needy college students.
"It feels strange receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from a funeral director,” joked as he accepted the award. “I have long believed that everyone has a role to serve in this world and God has chosen the role of public servant for me.
"It is through God’s grace and mercy that I am able to help others and serve the community as a member of Congress."
Edward Calahan and his wife Shirley, founders of Calahan Funeral Home, said they got the idea to start a foundation from their son Edric.
As a graduate of Florida A&M University, Edric said he felt it was his responsibility to help other students who are less fortunate.
“I was lucky because I had parents who helped me pay for my college education but a lot of students at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) do not have that family support and most end up dropping out because of it,” said Edric Calahan, marketing director for Calahan Funeral Home, during the event he moderated with FOX News Reporter Darlene Hill.
The 300 people who attended the event gave a standing ovation to the Calahan family for their commitment to the Englewood community, whose residents are predominately black, according to census data.
Ald. Latasha Thomas, whose 17th ward includes the Calahan Funeral Home at 7030 S. Halsted St., said she could not express her gratitude to the Calahans for keeping their small business in her ward.
“The 17th ward has a lot of challenges, both good and bad, but through it all the Calahans have remained at the same location where they continue to do marvelous things for the community,” said Thomas.