25,000th Vaccine Administered to Retired District 86 Elementary Teacher
When Clara Raine heard from her brother’s neighbor that Silver Cross Hospital was distributing the COVID-19 Vaccine, she was so happy to sign up. Little did she know that her second dose, or booster, would make her a permanent part of Silver Cross History as she received the 25,000th dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on April 6th!
“I’m a retired teacher from District 86 in Joliet, and I worked in Joliet from 1966, and I taught in Joliet for about 36 years. Before that, I taught in Drew, Mississippi for 3 years, so I have a total of 38 or 39 years teaching,” Clara explains.
Establishing in Joliet
Hailing from Mississippi originally, Clara’s husband was recruited to play semi-professional football in Joliet. Once he arrived, he called Clara, then 26 years old, and asked her to come up to Illinois because they really needed teachers, especially black teachers. She came up, expecting only to stay until Monday, but she went down to the school’s administration building and put in an application. That weekend turned into a permanent move for Clara as they hired her immediately.
With the great news of a new job, Clara called her two sisters, also teachers back in Mississippi, to tell them that the school district was hiring. Both of her sisters relocated to Joliet and also became District 86 educators.
Not only does Clara play a part in Joliet’s local history as a long-time teacher at Woodland Elementary, Silver Cross Hospital is part of her family’s history also, as Clara, her sister and sister-in-law all delivered their babies at the old Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, and more recently, her grandchildren were born at the current Silver Cross Hospital!
Deciding to Take the Vaccine
Clara was initially unsure about taking the vaccine, but when her siblings and their spouses received the vaccine and were fine afterwards, she started leaning towards getting it. Also, a dear friend of hers in Arizona caught the virus from a co-worker and wound up gravely ill.
“She said ‘Miss Clara, Pray for me!‘ She lived about two weeks after that and then she passed,” explains Clara.
That phone conversation with her friend solidified Clara’s decision to take the vaccine.
Looking Forward to Post-Pandemic Future
Now, after receiving her second dose, Clara is eager to get back to the things she loves the most: socializing, bowling on her two leagues and going out to eat!
“Being able to run out to different places, go shopping, and go out to eat for breakfast. It would just be nice to be able to do some running!” Clara says. “And then going home, we call it ‘Homecoming’, where we go back to our roots back home, but we look forward to the second Sunday in August of going home to Mississippi, where I was born. We didn’t get a chance to go last year, so I just look forward to that, and I’m hoping I am able to go this August for our homecoming. It would be so nice!”
Pictured: Clara Raine and her brother, Jerry, who also received his 2nd Pfizer Vaccine.