Helene Marks, 56, executive director of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, died May 22. The former Helene Polish, she was a resident of Blue Bell.
Marks is credited with having moved the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation during her tenure into the national spotlight, with the expansion to all 50 states of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation National Child Care Teacher Awards sponsored by the Makers of Tylenol®.
Kay Lokoff, the founder and chair of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, said that "Helene Marks was the heart and soul of the organization. She believed with great passion in our mission of working for quality early care and education for every single child.
"Not only was she a tireless worker and advocate for child care, she was a dear friend and the most honest and caring person I have ever known."
Marks established relationships for the foundation with national corporations, including, among others, IKEA, SC Johnson, McNeil Pharmaceuticals and Specialty Company, Teleflex, Merck, 6abc, Bulgari Parfums, Bernie Robbins Fine Jewelry and Cartier.
In 1988 she became a volunteer for the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation. In 1990 she was elected to two consecutive terms as president of the foundation. Then, in 1994 she was named as the director of the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation.
Before her involvement with the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, she worked at the School District of Philadelphia with the department of Pupil Personnel & Counseling. She also worked with the Juvenile Court in Philadelphia and the Truancy Officers.
Marks was a board member of the Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children, a member of the Advisory Board of Philadelphia Coalition for Kids, a board member of Child Care Resource Developers and Health & Safety Committee of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and served on the Advisory Board of Community College of Philadelphia Early Childhood Education.
She also became active at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School when her daughter was enrolled as a student there. Marks created the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation-Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Community Service Award – an annual honor for seniors who served as interns at the foundation.
While Marks was executive director, the foundation received a number of honors, including one from the Please Touch Museum and Montgomery County MARC.
In addition, it was commended by U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).
Marks and her family were members of Tiferet Beth Israel Synagogue in Blue Bell.
She is survived by her husband, Richard Marks; daughter Jaime Marks; a brother, Marc Polish; an aunt and uncle, Syl-via and Fred Dubin; nieces and nephews; and many friends.
Memorial donations can be made to: the Helene Marks Fund at the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, 320 S. Henderson Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406.