Karma Skin & Massage works with Stedman Graham for his annual charity gala and golf outing
Sandy Kazenko, Licensed Massage Therapist/Aromatherapist and owner of Karma Skin & Massage (102 East Schoolhouse Rd., Yorkville), was thrilled to once again attend the Athletes
Against Drugs Annual Gala and Golf Outing at the Hotel Arista and White Eagle Country Club (Naperville) on June 3 & 4. Athletes Against Drugs was started by Stedman Graham 27 years ago with the goal of having celebrities and athletes work with young people to encourage
and motivate them to excel in academics and sports. This spectacular event raises funds to support those ongoing efforts. This is the fourth year Kazenko has attended as a sponsor, but the first as the owner of her very own massage studio.
Sandy Kazenko, LMT, LE, is licensed by the state of
Illinois as both an Esthetician and Massage Therapist, and is also a Certified Aromatherapist. She started her career in massage therapy working in luxury spas and loved working in the spa industry. Later she went back to school to study the science of skin care in order to become a licensed esthetician and to provide all services in the spa. Teaching is also close to her heart, so in 2010 she became a massage instructor and was certified to teach continuing education to massage therapists. She now runs a training
business for therapists and other professionals in the spa industry called Spa Educators.
For this year’s AAD Gala and Golf Outing, Kazenko was able to bring her best team of volunteer Licensed Massage Therapists thanks to the launch of her new massage
studio, Karma Skin & Massage, in April of 2012. Especially meaningful was the inclusion of her studio’s new LMT, Mary Engelhardt. Mary specializes in Swedish relaxation, deep
tissue, and therapeutic clinical massage.
The festivities kicked off on June 3 with the Celebrity Gala at the Hotel Arista in Naperville. The evening was a way for guests, volunteers, and donors to mingle with the VIP's in attendance from business, entertainment, and sports.
The Gala was emceed by Art Norman of Channel 5 News in Chicago. The evening included dinner, live music from XFactor contestant Elaine Gibbs, a charitable auction
of sports memorabilia, as well as music provided by four time Grammy nominee DJ Steve "Silk" Hurley. Kazenko was excited to visit with some of the professional athletes she has met in previous years, as well as meeting new
ones. Over the years, Kazenko and her team have met (and massaged a few) some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports including Stedman
Graham, Oprah Winfrey, Actor Anthony Anderson, NBA All Stars Kareem Abdul Jabar, Mark Eaton, Penny Hardaway, NFL/NBA star Bo Jackson, and Charles Woodson of the Green Bay Packers among many others.
The golf challenge took place the following day, June 4th, at White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville. Kazenko carefully selected a team of 8 LMT’s to handle the massages for this
event. The massage tables were set up overlooking the course for pre-stretching and massage chairs were set up on the patio of the club to warm up the golfers
as soon as they arrived. Once the golfers were brought out to their starting holes, the team packed up the massage chairs and brought them out onto the greens. There were over 100 golfers in attendance. While the golfers were waiting for their turn to tee off, they could get a short, but much appreciated massage. Some of the athletes involved this year were: New England Patriots Bret Lockett and
Adalius Thomas, WWE Wrestler Mark Henry, Milwaukee Bucks Tobias Harris, Chicago
Bulls All Stars Bob Love and Charles Oakley, Former Dallas Cowboy and Pittsburgh
Steeler Flozell Adams, LA Laker Cedrick Ceballos, and Oakland Raider Napoleon
Kazenko plans to attend the event next year and has the following to say about her experience with this extraordinary organization. “Over the last four years I have witnessed many inspirational athletes taking a stand and being there for the kids through Athletes Against Drugs. It is my pleasure to make the day extra special for
everyone, and to help create great memories for the people who work hard to make this organization successful. I'm proud for Karma Skin & Massage to
sponsor such a great organization.”