For more than 46 years, the nonprofit Samaritan Counseling Center has provided faith-based counseling services to families in Chicago and the North Shore. Therapists work with a variety of wellness and mental health issues, including anxiety, marital relationships, depression, family dynamics, grief and premarital counseling.
Substantial fundraising makes it possible for the center to offer sliding-scale fees, based on need and income, to over 30 percent of their clients.
This year, the center inaugurates the “Guiding Light Award” as part of its annual fundraiser. The first recipients are Gil and Marlene Bowen – a worthy choice, because of their many decades of service to families through their ministry at Kenilworth Union Church (KUC), and because the Gil and Marlene Christian Outreach Fund regularly contributes to the center.
Gil studied at the Center for Religion and Psychotherapy, and earned a PhD from McCormick Theological Seminary. He served as senior minister at KUC for 37 years; his wife also was beloved by the congregation and integral to the life of the church. KUC grew dramatically during their tenure, in part because they carefully tended to all aspects of healthy family life, as well serving the spiritual needs of individuals. When new members were welcomed during worship services, Gil described KUC as “their new extended family, their second family.”
Upon the Bowens’ retirement, appreciative KUC members endowed the Bowen Fund. Supporting the Samaritan Center’s work through the fund is a natural extension of the Bowens’ ministry and priorities.
“Gil and Marlene understand the need for quality counseling to help individuals, couples and families move toward hope and healing,” says Executive Director Diane Hart. “Their generous support allows us to see clients who are struggling financially.”
Make It Better is proud to be a media sponsor of the Guiding Light Award Dinner and Silent Auction on Nov. 8 at the Kenilworth Club. Tickets are available for $125 per person. To purchase tickets online, click here. To purchase tickets by phone, call Nan Krause at 847-446-6955, ext. 10.
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