Larry Bergnach was giving a presentation about Riverview Park, the old Chicago amusement destination that closed in the 1960s, when an elderly man in the audience chimed in with his own memories of Riverview.
The talk was at an elder care facility, and Bergnach later learned the man was in an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s disease and had not spoken at that length “on any topic for four years,” Bergnach said.
Those kinds of experiences were why Bergnach, of Oak Lawn, worked the pro bono speakers circuit.
“After I would do a speech, the people were so appreciative,” he said.
Bergnach of Oak Lawn, read in 2004 about the need for pro bono speakers. Fourteen years and 250 speaking engagements later, Bergnach is retiring from those unpaid gigs with FreeSpeakers.org, a pro bono speaker’s bureau serving the Chicagoland area.
“The good lord has been good to me and as corny as it may sound I enjoy giving back,” Bergnach said.
By Barbara Dargis, Daily Southtown
October 14, 2018