Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network will hold its 28th Raker Memorial Award ceremony on Thursday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, 729 St. John Street, Allentown.
Local dignitaries, philanthropists and members of the community will be on hand to help Good Shepherd honor members of the community who, through philanthropy and volunteerism, honor the legacy of Good Shepherd’s founders, The Rev. John H. and D. Estella Raker and their son, The Rev. Dr. Conrad W. Raker.
This year, Raker Memorial Awards will be presented to several individuals: Bob and Sue Gadomski of Bethlehem, John McKiernan of Emmaus, vice chairman of Lutron Electronics, and Susan Hakkarainen, Ph.D., of Coopersburg, vice president of architectural marketing and sales at Lutron. The Lutron Foundation also will receive an award.
Susan Golden of Coopersburg, director of Neurorehabilitation, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, will receive the Raker Spirit Award, which pays tribute to a Good Shepherd employee who exemplifies the values and spirit of the Raker family.
The Gadomskis have been long-time supporters of Good Shepherd as well as numerous other organizations in the community. Bob Gadomski, retired executive vice president, Air Products, is a key philanthropic leader on Good Shepherd’s Board of Trustees and has served on the Development Advisory Board as well as chair of the Governance Committee. Together, the Gadomskis were founding co-chairs of The Raker Vision in 2011, a special donor initiative to fund innovative and priority projects at Good Shepherd that steward the Raker legacy into the future. To date, more than $160,000 has been raised through this initiative.
The Lutron Foundation has generously supported the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, Good Shepherd Pediatrics and the Assistive Technology Program, including the Environmental Control Experience Center, which helps provide remote control activation equipment to people with disabilities so they can live independently.
Two Lutron executives, John McKiernan and Dr. Susan Hakkarainen, have been instrumental in leading the company’s philanthropic efforts on behalf of Good Shepherd. McKiernan, who joined Lutron in 1973 and currently directs the organization’s overseas companies, has been a member of the Gala in the Garden planning committee, a fundraiser for Good Shepherd’s Pediatric Program. He has also served as chairman of the Electrification Council, member of the Governor of Pennsylvania’s International Task Force Committee and chairman of the American Lighting Association.
Hakkarainen, the daughter of Joel and Ruth Spira, founders of Lutron, is this year’s Gala in the Garden committee chairperson. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Cornell University and her doctorate in applied plasma physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hakkarainen began her career as a researcher, working on the Hubble Space Telescope and on fusion energy projects with the Naval Research Laboratory. She is also founder of Ivalo Lighting, Inc.
Susan Golden, a 12-year Good Shepherd employee, exemplifies the spirit of the Raker family through her dedication to her patients, staff members and the community. Golden has been a key figure in the development of many new programs at Good Shepherd, including the vision, headache and balance/vestibular programs. She has also been at the forefront in introducing innovative rehabilitation technologies to Good Shepherd, include the Ekso exoskeleton and AlterG Bionic Leg (formerly Tibion Bionic Leg). Outside of the office, Golden volunteers in the community, including supporting youth basketball programs by ensuring participants have needed equipment, guidance and encouragement.