College fund established for young Benson girls

A lot of good friends have rallied together to help assure the future of two little girls whose mother, Gail Kennedy Benson, died Sept. 28 of pancreatic cancer.

Mrs. Benson, 52, a senior art director at Rhea & Kaiser in Naperville, was the wife of Bob Benson, longtime Cerny/American Creative audio engineer.

The website was launched by actors and producers to honor her loss and direct donations to a college fund for the Bensons’ adopted daughters from China, Anna Rose, 5, and Samantha, 3.

Mrs. Benson had complained to her husband that she didn’t “feel right” over a period of several months. After a particularly uncomfortable night, Benson rushed her to Northwestern Memorial’s emergency room.

Five days later Mrs. Benson was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The following day, she began chemotherapy and died of system failure.

Benson’s employer, JoBe Cerny, sparked the idea of a college fund for the girls. Word quickly got around and actor and friend Tim Dadabo arranged for the donation of the website’s design and hosting services.

“Those of us who knew Gail understood her boundless love for her daughters,” said producer and longtime friend Mary Ann Sochacki. “We feel there is no better way to honor her memory than through helping Bob support and nurture them in the future.”

Contributions can be made through PayPal on, or sent to the Benson Memorial Fund, First National Bank of LaGrange, 620 W. Burlington Ave., LaGrange, IL 60525. Make checks payable to Benson Memorial Fund.