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People in Need Forum to Feature Huntley High School Senior as Opening Speaker

[Thursday, January 26, 2017]


Camille Paddock (Photo by Monica Sweis)

The annual People in Need Forum will take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 at McHenry County College featuring Camille Paddock, a senior from Huntley High School who will give the opening address, “Dare to be Different” beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Paddock’s talk is titled after her Facebook group, “Cam’s Dare to be Different,” which she started in 2012 as a way to connect with others who were going through similar experiences as her. She was bullied in grade school because of her appearance. She developed bald spots caused by alopecia, an auto-immune disease that causes balding, and in some cases, total hair loss. She lost all of her hair last year.

Her disease doesn’t stop her from being herself and helping others through her blog and she also spread her message to others as her platform when she was named Miss Teen International 2014.

“You should always stay true to who you are and stand up for what you believe in,” Paddock. “There’s always hope.”

She hopes her speech will raise awareness about how people treat each other.

“I want people to think about what they say and how they react toward others,” she said. “We never truly know what someone is going through, and being kind and showing compassion towards others can make such a difference.”

The forum features people and resources available in the area to help individuals in need through breakout sessions, panel discussions and workshops. Topics for the 2017 event include: homelessness, veterans services, suicide prevention, Alzheimers, resources for young adults, financial planning, “too much month at the end of your money” advice, therapy animals, human trafficking, children and families in crisis, heroin in McHenry County, rape culture and cyber safety.

Featured this year are 82 exhibitors, 15 different workshops with more than 30 speakers, providing an opportunity for participants to take home practical information on how to resolve client and community member concerns.

“The People in Need Forum is a one-stop shop for everything in human services resources in McHenry County,” said J. Scott Campbell, ACSW, LCSW, clinical director of Samaritan Counseling Center of the Northwest Suburbs.

According to Mary Margaret Maule, president of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce, a healthy community includes not only economic opportunities, but a support system to ensure citizens have the resources necessary to care for those in their lives.

“The People in Need Forum ensures that our community not only has that system of support but that it is a system that is well connected, and works collaboratively to provide the greatest amount  of assistance with limited resources,” Maule said. “The People in Need Forum is good for business because it helps to strengthen the community. We are all in this together.”  

Participants will receive helpful handouts, plus an updated community Resource Directory in both paper and electronic format, which is the only one of its kind in McHenry County.

The event is free and open to the public. Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. in the Luecht Conference Center in Building B at the college. Each attendee will receive the 2017 Resource Directory. To register or for more information, visit or call Bev Thomas at (815) 479-7792.


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