Ray Graham Association Awarded Grant from Union Pacific Railroad

This weekend marks the 150th Anniversary of signing the Pacific Railway Act by President Abraham Lincoln, beginning an incredible history for Union Pacific Railroad.  Today, Union Pacific not only provides safe and innovative passage across the United States but, through the Union Pacific Foundation, provides organizations, like Ray Graham Association, funding to make positive changes across their railroad network.
“Supporting these charitable organizations helps them continue to play important roles in improving the communities where our employees live and work,” said Robert W. Turner, Union Pacific Senior Vice President – Corporate Relations and Union Pacific Foundation President. 

From Left to Right: Wes Lujan, Union Pacific Railroad Director of Public Affairs; Tiana Brazzale, Grant Administrator at RGA; Kim Zoeller, President and CEO of RGA; Chris Nybo, Illinois State Representative- 41st District; and Mary Beth Glenn, Major Gifts Facilitator and Corporate Relations at RGA

Ray Graham Association is proud to participate in the celebration of this iconic company’s anniversary through the acceptance and awarding of this grant.  Union Pacific Foundation granted approximately $270,000 in 2012 to 38 Illinois non-profit organizations and Ray Graham Association is honored to be among these recipients. 

For 50 years, Ray Graham Association has provided innovative programs and services to nearly 2,000 children and adults with developmental disability.  In response to the growing population of people diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, RGA has introduce Monarch Academy and Monarch Customized Sensory Integration (CSI) programs designed for young adults transitioning from high school.  The CSI program, specifically designed for individuals diagnosed under the spectrum of Autism, provides a highly structured, routine curriculum that includes the use of individualized schedules, movement, sensory and community experiences. The delivery of many of these experiences incorporate the use of technology.  Advances in technology are helpful in implementing many exercises and Ray Graham Association strives to keep on trend with the growth of knowledge in these areas.  The purchase of a listening carral was imperative and made possible through the Union Pacific Foundation grant and efforts made by Wes Lujan, Union Pacific Railroad Director of Public Affairs – Illinois.

Kim Zoeller, President & CEO of Ray Graham Association, shares her thoughts, “We are so grateful for the efforts made on behalf of Union Pacific. This gift will support the enhancement and expansion of our new Monarch services that support young adults exiting high school.”

Ray Graham Association would like to thank State Representative Chris Nybo for his efforts to promote Ray Graham Association and their mission to Union Pacific Railroad.  Representative Nybo is a long-time supporter and friend to RGA providing leadership on the Board of Directors and support at many Ray Graham Association events. The combined efforts helped to enhance the organization and assist Ray Graham Association in providing the very best services and supports.
“I am thrilled to have facilitated this relationship between Ray Graham Association, one of the best non-profits in DuPage County, and Union Pacific Railroad, one of the county’s best greatest corporate partners. Not only does the UP help keep our local economy strong and vibrant, but their support of groups like Ray Graham Association helps keep our local community strong and vibrant, as well. They are a model corporate citizen and their contribution will go a long way toward helping people with disabilities right here in our community.” – Chris Nybo

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