Highland Park Neighbors Magazine Articles


Investing in Our Community

Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) recently awarded 63 annual grants to organizations, several of which were highlighted in last month’s Highland Park Neighbors, dedicated to addressing unmet community needs. The impact of these grants can be seen as the quality of life for Highland Park and Highwood residents improves through the nonprofits’ work to support our senior residents and residents with disabilities; make education accessible for all; tackle the issue of substance abuse; address mental health and other human service needs; and ensure the arts and culture flourish.

Creative & Cultural Arts

HPCF supports organizations that improve lives through the creative and cultural arts, which provide a healthy expressive outlet, encourage creativity, and brighten the community as a whole. Reflecting upon the difference HPCF’s grant will make for Art Impact Project, Executive Director Liz Fales stated, “The Foundation’s generous gift will greatly help Art Impact Project continue to accomplish our mission of enhancing emotional wellness through creative expression. It is a process that is making a connection and a difference with the teens and adults we are honored to serve in the Highland Park and Highwood community.”

L to R: Betsy Brint, HPCF Chair, with Bobbie Hinden, Family Focus HP; Pam Feinberg, Tri-Con Child Care Center; Susan Bell, College Bound Opportunities; Robbie Boudreau, Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers


Education is a cornerstone of any strong community. HPCF is thus proud to award grants to a number of education-focused organizations. From their early childhood education programs to helping students pursue higher levels of education, these organizations change lives. When reflecting on the importance of their grant, Paula Johnson, Assistant Director of Highland Park Community Early Learning Center said, “Your generous donation will allow us to provide scholarships, enrichment courses, art programs, and more. Your support is vital to our continued success and service to the community and is very much appreciated.” Pam Feinberg, Executive Director of Tri-Con Child Care Center, stated, “The Foundation’s funding ensures that the most vulnerable children of Highland Park and Highwood can participate in Tri-Con’s program, which not only engages them in learning activities in preparation for school, but also provides them a safe and nurturing, routine oriented home away from home. Your tireless efforts in assisting the local service organizations on so many levels are admirable and should be applauded by all of Highland Park and Highwood, as the impact you have on so many is immeasurable.”

Human Services

Human services, HPCF’s largest grant funding area, help people find stability so they can thrive. Dave Scheffler, Executive Director of Willow House, stated, “It is with sincere gratitude that we extend our appreciation to the HPCF for the generous grant awarded to Willow House for assistance with our grief supportive services for children, families, schools, and communities coping with grief and the tragic death of a loved one. Willow House services are provided at no charge, and, with your generous assistance, Willow House is able to serve those children, families, schools, and communities in need.” Hester Bury, Director of Development for the Northern Illinois Food Bank added, “We are so grateful to the Foundation for funding that helps the Food Bank provide consistent access to nutritious food for our Highwood and Highland Park neighbors through our Mobile Markets.”

L to R: Jonathan Plotkin, HPCF Board Member; El Cook, Kids Rank

Services for Individuals with Disabilities

HPCF is honored to support Highland Park and Highwood residents with disabilities. The impact of our grants is far reaching, benefiting people of all ages who have a broad range of capabilities. Harriet Levy, CEO of the Center for Enriched Living said, “I am so pleased for the collaboration and partnership with the HPCF in support of the Center for Enriched Living in helping us provide needed programming for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Because of you, CEL members connect to friendship and fun through daily programs. Because of you, CEL members are finding jobs in the community and pursuing their dreams. And because of you, CEL members can receive mental and behavioral health support. We are truly touched by your commitment to making life better for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.” When considering the importance of Keshet’s grant, Jamie Lake, Chief Communications Officer stated, “We are so grateful for HPCF’s continued support of Keshet. This grant will make a difference in the lives of our 19 residents (and counting!).”

L to R: Amy Small, HPCF Board Member; Diana Guerrero, Highwood Public Library & Community Center; Laura Ramirez, Highwood Public Library & Community Center; Jon Levey, HPCF Board Member

Senior Services

HPCF remains steadfast in its commitment to addressing needs that exist for senior members of our community. “Nearly 30% of Highland Park residents are 65 years and older and that percentage will continue to grow over the next several decades. Faith in Action Volunteers would not be able to respond to the diverse needs of these seniors of different backgrounds and abilities without the HPCF, which takes a lifespan approach to its grants process. The Foundation recognizes that a resident of 85 years deserves the same good health, well-being, and quality of life as any other resident. Our agency would not be able to respond to the increasing demand for transportation, behavioral health, and social services of this community’s growing older adult population without HPCF’s financial support,” said Robbie Boudreau, Executive Director. Lynne Belsky, Co-Founder of Time to Dance, added, “Dancing is healthy for older people. It has been shown to decrease falls, improve cognitive function, and increase overall sense of wellbeing. We at Time to Dance in Highland Park are thrilled that HPCF has chosen us for an annual grant. We will use the funds to create a free Day of Dance for community members aged 50 and up. This will allow the community to experience first-hand the health and well-being benefits of dance for older members of our community.”

Generous donors as well as the City of Highland Park make these grants – and the impact their have on our community – possible. We are both thankful and proud to see residents give where they live and to have the support of numerous businesses and private foundations.