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Mayor Hagerty proclaims May 19 "JoAnn Avery Day"

Want to get choked up?

Last night, a very special person was honored at City Council, when Mayor Steve Hagerty proclaimed May 19 as JoAnn Avery Day.

It was a well-kept secret and a big surprise to JoAnn McKire Avery, who was surrounded in the chambers by a large crowd of people who showed up to support her and celebrate the 37 years she has dedicated to children and families at Family Focus Evanston.

"I am deeply honored and humbled by what happened last night," JoAnn said this morning.

[photo cred: Tosha Wilson]

"It touched my heart and my spirit. Some of you I hadn’t seen in a long time since you were kids. Thank you parents for trusting me with your children over 37 years. Many of you that are now adults are trusting me with your children that are with me now. I would not change anything, I really would do it all over again. Correction, I would: if I could change losing the youth I did have to senseless violence, I would change this. We all know that God has the last say and that everything that happens it’s already written. But I miss them all the same."

[photo cred: Tosha Wilson]

This Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., she'll be feted at an event at Family Focus to celebrate her birthday. Doors open at 5 p.m. The event ends at 8 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.

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