2015 Distinguished Citizen Award
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District 39 alumnus and current New Trier senior, Sydney Martin, founder of Syd Rocks, will be honored with the District 39 Educational Foundation’s eighth annual Distinguished Citizen Award. Rocks will be the youngest recipient of this award to date, she was just 10 years old when she was diagnosed with Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), a rare blood disease. Family and friends wore necklaces that Rocks had made from rocks collected along the Lake Michigan shore, aptly named Syd Rocks. This sparked Rocks' idea to sell the necklaces to raise money for research for this uncommon and under-funded disease. Rocks' efforts have helped raise more than $340,000 to fund research projects for LCH and pediatric cancer (www.sydrocks.com). In 2012, Rocks and her family founded the non-profit Giving Rocks Foundation. Rocks has been doing well since stopping treatment and is very active locally as speaker and participant at many school and hospital fundraisers. She also is a Kids Advisory Board Member at Lurie Children’s Hospital. All are invited to attend the Distinguished Citizen reception. Advance registration is requested at www.d39foundation.org. If available, tickets will be sold at the door. All net proceeds from this event benefit the District 39 Educational Foundation’s Gripp Grants promoting educational innovations in Wilmette schools.