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Published on September 29, 2010

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Announces First-Ever SkyRise Chicago Summit Sponsor — Chicagoan J. Douglas Gray

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Announces First-Ever SkyRise Chicago Summit Sponsor — Chicagoan J. Douglas Gray

Philanthropist's Donation Demonstrates Commitment to Bold Vision and New Facility

CHICAGO - The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the global leader in comprehensive rehabilitation care and home to the largest center for research in rehabilitation medicine, today announced a generous  leadership contribution by J. Douglas Gray to SkyRise Chicago, the world's tallest indoor stair climb at Chicago's Willis Tower. This pivotal contribution makes Gray the Summit Sponsor for this annual fundraising event benefiting RIC.

President and CEO of Everett Smith Group, Ltd. and a resident of the Chicago suburb of Lake Forest and Milwaukee, Gray's contribution to SkyRise Chicago demonstrates not only decades of commitment to RIC, as former chairman of the board and other leadership positions, but also his commitment to the organization's mission and vision for the future and the perpetuation of RIC's preeminent position.

"The secret to RIC's success of maintaining its position as the only institution of its kind in the world is its uncanny ability to blend unique disciplines. This translates into transformative leadership that innovates the most cutting-edge advances and patient treatments in the world," said Gray.  "RIC is at an exciting stage in its history and I view my contribution as an investment in the organization's long-term vision, which I believe will revolutionize the field of rehabilitation medicine globally as it has many times in the past."

Funds raised by the event fund RIC's vision — to advance patient ability through science and research. RIC acquired a large parcel of land in December 2009 located at 630 N. McClurg Court in downtown Chicago. It currently is in the conceptual planning phase to develop a facility built around a new patient care model in which clinical care and research will be embedded together and surrounding the patient.  Through this new model, RIC will continue to lead the world in discovering and innovating treatments in physical medicine and rehabilitation for generations to come.

"Doug Gray's Leadership with RIC has been very important to the success of this institution and we are deeply grateful for this support at this pivotal time in the organization," said Joanne C. Smith, MD, president and CEO of RIC. "It's fantastic that Doug is paving a novel path of leadership through the Summit Sponsor level for RIC's SkyRise Chicago event."

The registration fee for SkyRise Chicago is $50 and there is a $100 individual fundraising minimum. Participants will ascend, either by foot or by hand on hand-cycles mathematically calibrated to match the distance, the Willis Tower's 103 floors (or 2,109 steps) to reach the breathtaking finish line from the iconic Skydeck Chicago, which offers panoramic views of the city and features the glass-floored balconies of The Ledge.

Participants will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and can register at www.skyrisechicago.org. All participants must be pre-registered by October 20, 2010. Those who are unable to participate, but would like to join Mr. Gray and show their support for SkyRise Chicago and RIC can make a donation at www.skyrisechicago.org.

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About The Rehabilitation Institution's SkyRise Chicago 2010

SkyRise Chicago is a one-of-a-kind urban climb event providing two modes of participation — either climb up the Willis Tower, the tallest building in the Western hemisphere, or hand-cycle the equivalent distance and elevation. The event will take place on Sunday, November 14 from 7 a.m. until noon at Willis Tower. All proceeds from the event will benefit the world-class rehabilitation care and cutting-edge research of RIC. Registration is officially open at www.skyrisechicago.org. All participants must be pre-registered by October 20, 2010. The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is the nation's #1 ranked provider of comprehensive physical medicine and rehabilitation care to patients from around the world and is the leader in research and development of the most cutting-edge treatments and technology in its field. Through aggressive medical protocols, RIC guides the patient care process toward a better patient outcome — involving repair, regeneration and recovery of brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal function.

About Willis Tower

Willis Tower is the premier corporate office building in Chicago, offering more than 4.5 million square feet of office and retail space. Located in Chicago's West Loop at 233 S. Wacker Drive, the skyscraper is easily accessible from the commuter rail stations, highways and all forms of public transportation. Standing 1,450 feet and 110 stories tall, Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and an integral part of Chicago's culture. Originally opened in September 1973, it is home to more than 100 different companies, including prominent financial services firms, law firms and insurance companies. Willis Tower boasts spectacular vistas of Chicago, with views that can reach nearly 50 miles on a clear day. Willis Tower also boasts a tremendous infrastructure system, which includes enormous telecommunications capacity and unsurpassed electrical capacity and reliability. The Skydeck at Willis Tower on the 103rd floor attracts more than 1.3 million visitors per year.