Highland Park Neighbors Magazine Articles


Together Highland Park Unidos Distributes $5.8 Million in Donations to Victims and Organizations

Together Highland Park Unidos, the Committee established by the Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) to manage the distribution process for donations made to the July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund, announced that the Fund raised a total of $5.8 million. The Committee distributed 100% of the funds to victims of the mass shooting and nonprofit organizations providing mental health and other services for victims and community members impacted by the shooting.

“We are grateful and honored to distribute these gifts of compassion,” said Betsy Brint, HPCF Chair and Chair of the Fund Committee. “We thank the generous individuals, private foundations, businesses, and other organizations that contributed to the Fund to help victims in the aftermath of the senseless shooting.”

The funds were distributed according to the Committee’s Final Protocol, $5,225,102 to individual claimants and $580,025 to nonprofit organizations.

Eligible individual claims were grouped into three categories:

A. Death Claims and Permanent Catastrophic Physical Injury Claims

B. Physical Injury Claims for Victims Requiring Overnight Hospitalization

C. Physical Injury Claims for Victims Treated at Hospitals, Medical Facilities, or by a Medical Professional Solely on an Out-Patient Basis

9 individuals
10 individuals (29 total nights)
47 individuals

Out of respect for the families and their privacy, the individual names and amounts of gifts from the Fund will not be published.

The individual claims process was managed by the Fund’s Volunteer Administrators Bruce Boyd and Eric Kessler. In reflecting upon their work, they stated, “While we would never be able to fully compensate victims for their suffering, it is our hope that the gifts might help them deal with the impact of this tragic event. It was an honor and privilege to serve in this capacity.”

The HPCF managed the organizational claims process. Seventeen organizations received grants, based on the increase in and type of client services they provided to victims and the community as a result of the shooting.

Family Focus Highland Park
Families Helping Families Chicagoland
Family Service of Glencoe
Family Service of Lake County
Fenix Family Health Center
Gratitude Generation
Highland Park Public Library
Highwood Public Library & Community Center
JCC Chicago
JCFS Chicago
Laurie S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss
North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic
Rainbows for All Children
Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers
The Balance Project
Youth Services

Together Highland Park Unidos will issue a full report explaining the distribution and grantmaking process, which will be shared with the public and posted on the Together Highland Park Unidos website, July4Fund.org. Additionally, an independent Fund audit will be conducted by RubinBrown, a public accounting firm donating their services. A list of donors to the Fund will also be released.

The advice of nationally recognized experts in Fund administration as well as the assistance of local community and nonprofit leaders, the City of Highland Park, pro bono legal counsel from Latham & Watkins, and pro bono website design from Elevate Creative Group enabled the Committee to fulfill its commitment that none of the donations received would be used for administrative or similar expenses. The HPCF covered all incidental expenses including online donation transaction fees. This ensured that 100% of all donations was distributed to victims and organizations helping them and impacted community members.

A second fund, the July 4th Recovery Fund, has been opened by the Highland Park Community Foundation to accept donations that will be used to address continuing mental health needs and other services resulting from the shooting.

“We recognize that no amount of money can compensate for loss of life or injury from such a horrific event,” said Betsy Brint. “These payments are gifts of compassion, and our hope is that they will serve as a comforting reminder of how much people care.”

About Highland Park Community Foundation: The Highland Park Community Foundation was established in 1992 at the request of the City of Highland Park to build and maintain a permanent endowment fund. As the philanthropic heart of the community, the HPCF improves and enriches people’s lives with annual grants to nonprofits that provide educational, social service, and cultural programs for Highland Park and Highwood residents. The Foundation’s avowed purposes are to expand opportunities and address the unmet needs of the community – needs that are not met by governmental or other sources.