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Jacobs wins AIADA's prestigious 2002 All-Star Dealer Award

November 24, 2010

Bill Jacobs, principal of seven area dealerships, is one of seven winners of the 2002 All-Star Dealer Award, presented by the American International Automobile Dealers Association. Jacobs accepted the award May 21 at an awards banquet in Washington, D.C., held in conjunction with the annual AIADA Automotive Congress. The award, sponsored by Newsweek and the Washington Post, honors the notable contributions that automobile dealers make to their communities through civic volunteerism and charitable giving. Over the past five years, Jacobs raised more than $1.5 million to found the Rush Neurobehavioral Center (RNBC), which deals comprehensively with the issues faced by children with learning disabilities.

The center is one of just two or three in the country to join specialists from a variety of areas to identify and address learning disabilities. His success in creating RNBC, and the difference it is making in the lives of children, has inspired others. A world-renowned pediatric brain surgeon, who is a neighbor and friend of Jacobs, was motivated to create a similar facility for children with brain tumors. Jacobs became a founding board member and lent his fund-raising skills.

To date, $250,000 has been raised, and the Midwest Children's Brain Tumor Center is doing for children with brain tu- mors what the RNBC does for children with learning disabilities. "The center provides a single place for the care these children need, as well as support, education and assistance in dealing with affordability issues," Jacobs said.

"It is a special place that makes these kids comfortable and less afraid of what is happening to them." Jacobs now leads a statewide effort to provide wheelchairs to everyone who needs a wheelchair but cannot afford one. In his work with the RNBC, Jacobs learned that he also grew up with learning disabilities. Last year, the RNBC honored Jacobs with the Living Proof Award, created by the center to demonstrate to children that they still can be successful in the challenges they face.

"There is a fine line between helping these children get the support they need, and their giving up and having real problems," Jacobs said. "I am happy to offer myself as an example of how these issues actually helped me become more versatile and creative in achieving success." Oak Lawn Toyota's Ron Colosimo won the national AIADA award in 2001