Highland Park Neighbors Magazine Articles


A Foundation for the Community

The Highland Park Community Foundation (HCPF) recently awarded 63 grants, totaling $784,825, to organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life for Highland Park and Highwood residents. These grants will be used to address the educational, human service, creative, and cultural arts needs of young children, teens, families, single adults, individuals with disabilities, and seniors in our community and expand opportunities for all residents. The awards topped all previous annual grant award distributions and were announced on October 25th at an event the HPCF held for its grant recipients.

“We’re honored to have the opportunity to address unmet needs in Highland Park and Highwood. Our grant process is a rigorous and intensive team effort involving every single board member,” says Eric Ephraim, Grants Committee Chair, speaking to the importance of the grants to strengthening the community. He continues, “we are grateful for the very generous financial support from individuals, families, foundations, and businesses – as well as the City of Highland Park – who entrust us to find the most effective organizations to serve our neighbors. This helps ensure opportunities for success and lives of dignity for as many in our community as possible. That’s how our community foundation can be a foundation for the community.”

The HPCF 2023 annual grant recipients include: the 112 Education Foundation, A Safe Place, Anixter Center, Art Impact Project, Arts of Life, Bella Ru Catering, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts, Blessings in a Backpack Highland Park, Cancer Wellness Center, Center for Enriched Living, Collaborative Community Housing Initiative, College Bound Opportunities, Community – The Anti-Drug Coalition, Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Curt’s Café, Direct Giving Lab, East on Central Association, Family Focus HP, Family Service of Glencoe, Focus on the Arts, Glenkirk, GPF Foundation, Gratitude Generation, Heart of the City, Highland Park Community Early Learning Center, Highland Park Historical Society, Highland Park Public Library, Highland Park Strings, Highwood Public Library & Community Center, HP After Prom, HPHS – Estudiante to Student Mentor Program, HPHS – Homework Club, HPHS – National Hispanic Institute, Infinity Foundation, JCFS Chicago Response for Teens, JCYS – Lutz Family Center, Josselyn, Keeping Families Covered, Keshet, Kids Rank, Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, Mothers Trust Foundation, Music Institute of Chicago, North Shore School District 112 – Service Learning, North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Operation Warm, Parks Foundation of Highland Park, Pilgrim Chamber Players, Roberti Community House, SaLT – Service and Learning Together, Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation, Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers, The Art Center Highland Park, Time to Dance, Tri-Con Child Care Center, United Way of Lake County, Uptown Music Theater of Highland Park, Willow House, Working Together, Youth Services, and Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center.

Grant recipients readily shared the significance of the grants to their organizations as well as what they plan to accomplish with their funding. “Keeping Families Covered has been blessed to receive a grant from the Highland Park Community Foundation for the past few years. The funding supports our important work to provide individuals and families with the basics they need to thrive. Like many local nonprofit and social service organizations, we continue to see an increase in requests for help with essentials like diapers, formula, and period products. Demand for our programs has doubled since 2020, and the cost to keep our shelves stocked is higher. We are grateful for the Foundation’s belief in our mission and continued investment in programs that provide much needed assistance to the most vulnerable residents in the community,” said Ann Marie Mathis, Founder & CEO of Keeping Families Covered.

Reflecting upon the impact of The Art Center Highland Park’s grant, James Lynch, Executive Director, said, “The HPCF is the hub of the wheel for our and other not-for-profit organizations in Highland Park and Highwood. Their support empowers us to add more community-building programs to our schedule and to keep striving for new ways to be current, active, and relevant. We consider them one of our most urgent partners.” Nancy Bulzoni, Executive Director of Cancer Wellness Center, stated, “We are proud partners of the Highland Park Community Foundation addressing the unmet needs of all Highland Park and Highwood residents as we expand cancer support services to reach more people. The Cancer Wellness Center helps people affected by cancer find a way forward. Support from the Foundation helps provide counseling and support group services to those facing cancer – patients, survivors, and their loved ones. As a nonprofit that relies on donations, we are grateful for every dollar we receive, and support from the community we serve is even more special.”

The annual grants the HPCF provides not only fortify individuals, they strengthen our community as a whole. The HPCF thanks its generous donors as well as the City of Highland Park for supporting its mission and furthering its vision of an inclusive, well-rounded, and vibrant community where residents’ lives are enriched through its philanthropic efforts.

HPCF Grant Recipient Center for Enriched Living, Gathering of Members on World Cerebral Palsy Day
HPCF Grant Recipient Bitter Jester Music Festival, 2023 Preliminary Concert Photo by Alex Glassman
HPCF Grant Recipient 112 Education Foundation, Robotics Tournament
HPCF Grant Recipient Highwood Library, Book Buffet
HPCF Grant Recipient Josselyn, Counseling Session
HPCF Grant Recipient Roberti Community House, Food Distribution
HPCF Grant Recipient Southeast Lake County Faith in Action, Senior Care
HPCF Grant Recipient Tri Con Child Care Center, Learning through Play