Patty Jacobsen’s connection to the Barrington Community started before she was born, when her parents met at Barrington High School (BHS) in 1950 and married in 1956. After a brief time away, her family settled back in Barrington to raise their children and enjoy time with grandparents. She attended Countryside school when it was K-8, which is where she first met Young Chung, now President of Barrington Area Community Foundation (BACF), whom she partnered with to form the Barrington Area COVID Relief Fund (BACRF). Jacobsen and her husband also raised their two daughters in Barrington, in Fox Point, where their daughters first became competitive swimmers. She credits Barrington with giving them the foundation for success. Professionally, Jacobsen bought her father’s independent insurance agency in 2007; became actively involved in the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, serving as Chairman in 2016; and began working with the BAUW on its Allocation committee, before becoming President two years ago.
BACF approached Jacobsen and the BAUW with an idea of creating a $100,000 Challenge grant to help raise funds for the jointly formed BACRF. “Since Young Chung was involved and the current President of BACF, I had no hesitation that it would be beneficial for all, and it has been,” she says. “We have joined members from our board with other community leaders to see where the most pressing needs are in our community and have granted money to several organizations. We are reviewing our next grant cycle to be distributed within the next few weeks.”
1. Last grant made by the new BACRF that demonstrates the significance of this program and its support of people impacted by the pandemic?
The first grant cycle was focused on the urgent and basic need for food. All recipients were providing meals in one form or another to our community. It has been eye opening to again realize life starts with the basics, and I am glad we were able to help so many area nonprofits provide meals for our community.
2. Last act of kindness and generosity that took your breath away and made you appreciate the Barrington area community?
When the Rotary Club had a special lunch to honor my dad, who I consider as one of the many pillars of the Barrington community. He was involved in the Barrington Rotary as a past president, and he never liked to miss a lunch meeting. When his illness was getting the better of him and he was no longer able to attend the lunch meeting, the noon Rotary brought the lunch meeting to him at The Solana of Deer Park, his new residence. Several Rotary members shared funny stories or remembrances of my dad. He and my whole family were very touched. My dad passed away 10 days later knowing he had a long full life and was loved and respected. You can’t ask for any more than that.
3. Last Barrington Area United Way event that reinforced for you the important work BAUW does?
In March, the BAUW held our annual Power of The Purse event just before the world came to a halt. We were fortunate to get the event in and it was our most successful POP event. Our very worthy grant recipient was the SMART girls program from the Boys & Girls Club. Kim Singletary gave an inspiring speech and it was a wonderful evening for all.
4. Last family trip that you remembered as you waited out the days of “stay-at-home?”
Our last family trip was a cruise to Norway when our youngest was headed off to college four years ago. We had a crazy storm one night and it felt like we were on the Titanic. People had their life vests on and my family was hanging over the balconies with excitement as the boat splash was coming up 11 stories.
5. Last new habit you started during the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed your perspective on life and family?
The pandemic has certainly changed the way we communicate with each other. ZOOM meeting are the norm but I really enjoy ZOOM happy hours with friends and family. I’m very close with my brothers and uncle; my mom is 86 and has never been tech savvy, so instead, I talk to her daily on a landline. In the past, we would just individually call each other and catch up and spread gossip about the other ones, etc. In a ZOOM call, you can actually see what they look like and their lack of grooming and really make fun of them. We have lots of laughs and now more than ever we need to find time to laugh.