In 1976, Judy Stowe responded when a local priest asked parishioners to help residents in a poor Chicago area neighborhood through a charity called Marillac House (now called Marillac St. Vincent Family Services). She kept helping residents of that neighborhood for the next 40 years.
Stowe, her husband Tom and a friend who lived in Arlington Heights, Judy Volger, started collecting toys, used furniture and other items that struggling families could use for their homes. Eventually, that evolved into annual drives to provide for residents during the holidays and “Christmas in September” events. Some rooms of their own home would get cramped for space as toys piled up. The Stowes’ own children would help deliver the gifts.
“Marillac has provided child care for young children of working parents, recreation programs for children, teenagers and young adults as well as services for senior citizens,” says Stowe. “They provide after school programs, too. Their work is comparable to the work of Mother Teresa.”
So what has made Stowe so loyal to the charity?
“If you go down there and see what they are doing for the community, it makes you want to keep coming back to help,” she says.
Stowe says her own mother’s devotion to volunteer work at their church gave her the example to follow as a young woman. Her father, a dentist, also gave back to the community by donating his services to those who couldn’t afford to pay.
Stowe, a broker for Baird and Warner in Glen Ellyn, became a REALTOR® in 1988 through her local association. In 2002, she became the president of the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®. In 1997, she served on her first committee for the Illinois REALTORS®, and from 2000 to 2011, she worked on multiple committees every year. In 2009, she was chair of the RPAC Trustees and vice chair in 2008. She also served as an NAR director for five years.
During her entire real estate career, Stowe has worked for Baird and Warner, helping buyers and sellers in Glen Ellyn, Wheaton and Lombard. “It is the Cadillac of brokerage firms. They treat you like family.”
In her spare time, she’s volunteered for the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce and chaired its annual golf outing for a decade. In 2010, she was appointed to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board and she’s continued in that position ever since.
“I’ve been extremely fortunate in my life,” says Stowe. “The community has always been good to me, and I wanted to give back.”
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