The Preeclampsia Foundation announced today that Ms. Jill Siegel of Chicago, IL is the 2010 recipient of its annual Hope Award for Volunteer of the Year. This prestigious award will be presented to Ms. Siegel at its annual benefit gala, Saving Grace – A Night of Hope Around the World, on Saturday, November 6, at the Olympic Fairmont Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The award recognizes an individual who epitomizes the true spirit of volunteerism and has made significant contributions to the Foundation.
Eleni Tsigas, Executive Director of the Preeclampsia Foundation, said, “It’s hard to identify Jill’s most significant contribution as she has been instrumental in so many areas. In 2009, she served as our Saving Grace chair, organizing, motivating and arranging everything for our annual fundraising gala and throughout 2010 has done an overwhelming amount of work as our Director of Communications, including spearheading several new publications such as our Expectations newsletter and our 10th anniversary compendium.”
Nominations for the Volunteer of the Year award come from the volunteers themselves. A committee comprising former recipients and a member of the Board of Directors reviews the applications and scores them according to published metrics. These recommendations described Siegel as a tireless volunteer who is “passionate, works well with others…. a true leader, who recognizes people's strengths and talents and motivates them to use these assets to their best ability.”
Siegel suffered from severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome with the delivery of her daughter, Brooklyn, in 2004. She delivered Brooklyn 10 weeks early and suffered from multiple organ failure and a post-partum stroke. Upon “recovering” her neurologist told her she had been “the sickest person to leave this hospital alive.” She decided that she would mark her own recovery process by completing the New York City Marathon, which she did in November of 2006. During that time, she became acquainted with the Foundation and decided to turn her “recovery race” into a fundraising and awareness-raising effort. Her story was highlighted on Runner’s World website, calling attention to preeclampsia.
Since 2006, Siegel and her family have helped raise more than $190,000 to benefit the Foundation through her role as the 2009 Saving Grace Chair and co-coordinator of the 2010 Chicago “Promise Walk for Preeclampsia.” Jill Siegel is an award-winning urban planner who has taken a hiatus from her career in planning and economic development to support fundraising efforts at her daughter’s school. She is a native of Enid, OK and attended Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA and Washington University in St. Louis, MO.
When asked to comment on her award, Siegel says, “I am so honored to be recognized by the Preeclampsia Foundation in this way. The commitment and passion behind this organization continues to amaze me and I am humbled to have been singled out among the many talented volunteers who give a portion of their lives to helping educate and save the lives of others.”