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EVERY DAY CAN BE MARDI GRAS: HOMECOMING 2019
While Mardi Gras is technically in late winter, when ICO alumni gather, any day can be a celebration! Homecoming 2019 welcomed ODs from 23 different states and 4 Canadian provinces. The class of 1984 had the highest attendance for the second reunion in a row. We were especially honored by Robert Voss, OD ’49, who traveled all the way from Texas for his 70-year reunion.
Homecoming weekend combined some of the best events from previous years. ICO once again hosted a family-friendly kickoff party with fun activities like face painting, fortune-telling, and plenty of food. Students mingled with alumni at a networking event, and a CE course focused on telehealth- a hot topic in the profession! We also brought back our popular Spirit of Chicago cruise on Lake Michigan.
Strike up the band, find your shiniest beads to wear, and enjoy several pages recapping Homecoming at ICO.
MARDI GRAS KICKOFF PARTY
The prop booth is ready to go; Alumni Council members strike a pose with ICO President Dr. Mark Colip; henna tattoo on display. Stacy M. Hinkemeyer-Colatrella, OD ’96, and Jeanette C. Varanelli, OD ’97 get their henna tattoos; Nora Kuby ’20 is presented with an award from Essilor.
Commemorative pins awarded to 50 Year Club members; All 50 Year Club members in attendance including new 2019 inductees; Peter Nelson, OD ’67 addresses the 50 Year Club.
50 YEAR LUNCH
CONTINUING EDUCATION & STUDENT / ALUMNI NETWORKING
LEARN AND MINGLE
Ryan P. Ames, OD ’07, MBA, presents CE on Telehealth and Emerging Technologies; ICO students with their networking raffle prizes; Daphne Anderson, Director of Career Development announcing raffle prizes. ICO students visit the Ocular Instruments, Inc. booth; Miranda Mok, OD ’09 networking with an ICO student.
Leadership Circle Awards on display; ICO President Dr. Mark Colip presents Erik J. Mothersbaugh, OD ’12, FAAO with the Young Alumnus of the Year Award; Jennifer S. Harthan, OD ’06, FAAO, FSLS receives the Excellence in Education Award; ICO President Dr. Mark Colip presents Janice M. Jurkus, OD ’74 with the Lifetime Service Award.
LEADERSHIP CIRCLE & ALUMNI AWARDS
2019 ICO ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AWARD RECIPIENTS
Distinguished Friend Award
Richard E. Castillo, OD, DO
James J. Hess, OD ’79
Alumnus of the Year Award
Kevin A. Danahey, OD ’91
Lifetime Service Award
Janice M. Jurkus, OD ’74, MBA, FAAO, FIACLE
Excellence in Education Award
Jennifer S. Harthan, OD ’06, FAAO, FSLS
Young Alumnus of the Year Award
Erik J. Mothersbaugh, OD ’12, FAAO
Professional Achievement Award
Charles W. Harrill, OD ’74, FVAO, Dipl. ABO
CLASS REUNION CRUISE
CRUISE ON LAKE MICHIGAN
Spirit of Chicago ready to depart; Class of 2009 group photo; Kamran Ahrar, OD ’04 wins a Roomba; Robert Voss, OD ’49 celebrates 70 yrs in optometry.
THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 SPONSORS
Robert Fait, OD
Jeff Smith, OD, MBA
Sandra S. Block, OD ’81, MEd, FAAO
Donovan L. Crouch, OD ’63, FAAO
Mohamed Eid, OD ’03
Casey Hogan, OD ’97, FAAO, FSLS
Stacy M. Hinkemeyer-Colatrella, OD ’96, FAAO
Thomas L. Lim, OD ’77
Nana Owusu, OD ’08
Robin Rinearson, OD ’77
Peter A. Russo, OD ’87, FAAO
Larry H. Van Daalen, OD ’87
Jeanette C. Varanelli, OD ’97
Bryce Boente, ’22
Kim Fazio, ’21
With ICO’s annual Homecoming weekend upon us, I take a step back to reflect on my position as a third year in this prestigious program and those who have made it a reality for me. Combing through all the contributing factors, the biggest of them is 2019’s Alumnus of the Year, Kevin Danahey, OD ’91. Were it not for him, ICO would have been but an unrealized dream on my quest to pursue higher education and serve my community.
Like any great mentor, Dr. Danahey inspires future generations. One of the penultimate truths to life is that “actions speak louder than words.” Simply through his actions, Dr. Danahey inspired a wayward graduate, with no concrete direction in life, into pursuing optometry through ICO. His genuine persona, for me, has become synonymous with what it means to be a doctor- his smile, laugh, concern for his patients, and commitment to mentoring the minds of the future.
As the joke around his office goes, Dr. Danahey can remember every minute detail about every one of his patients but cannot remember what he had for breakfast that day. In my opinion, this “joke” is what sets him apart from other professionals in this field. It shows a profound commitment to making one’s patients their own, not just on a professional level, but on a familial level. Patients are inspired to return yearly, not thinking, “This is an exam,” but rather, an opportunity to see Dr. Danahey and commit to their own eye health well-being. When I ask about how this demeanor came to be, I can feel the sincerity and humility as he mentions his beloved parents, family, teachers, and mentors from ICO.
While I continue my journey through ICO, I reflect on the actions taught to me by Dr. Danahey. I strive to implement them while working with patients and colleagues alike. In doing so, I find a sense of fulfillment that I could only achieve through the mentorship of such an honorable ICO alumnus. Through his eyes, I observe the truth behind ICO’s commitment to producing not just any ordinary optometrist, but the absolute best optometrists who strive to make meaningful impacts in their communities all around the world. A million thank yous would not suffice in my gratitude toward you, Dr. Danahey.
THE ICO ALUMNI EFFECT
by Hasan Salam, '21