HPCF Fall 2018 Newsletter

Опубликовано: October 29, 2018 в 9:32 pm



Your Impact

Your Donations Matter

We are pleased to announce that on the night of October 17th the Foundation awarded a record $200,000 in grants to fund 40 programs and services that benefit the residents of Highland Park and Highwood residents.

  • A Safe Place
  • Anixter Center
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts
  • Blessings in a Backpack Highland Park
  • Catholic Charities, Lake County Senior Services
  • Center for Enriched Living
  • Center for Independent Futures
  • College Bound Opportunities
  • Community – The Anti-Drug Coalition
  • East on Central Association
  • Family Focus Highland Park
  • Family Service of Lake County, Community Counseling
  • Family Service of Lake County, Latino Educational Continuum
  • Focus on the Arts, Inc.
  • Glenkirk
  • Highland Park Aquatics Club
  • HPCF’s Golden Apple Award
  • Highland Park Community Nursery School & Day Care Center
  • Highland Park High School, Homework Club
  • Highland Park High School, National Hispanic Institute Summer Program
  • Highland Park High School, Working Together
  • Highland Park-Highwood Legal Aid Clinic
  • Highland Park Library
  • Highland Park Strings
  • Jewish Child & Family Service (Response)
  • Jewish Council for Youth Services (Lutz Family Center)
  • Jordan Michael Filler Foundation
  • Kids Rank
  • Midwest Young Artists Conservatory
  • Mother’s Trust Foundation
  • Music Institute of Chicago
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank
  • Pilgrim Chamber Players
  • Random Acts of Flowers Chicago
  • Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers
  • Stuart I Raskas Friendship Circle of Illinois
  • The Art Center Highland Park
  • Tri-Con Child Care Center
  • Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center

HPCF 2018 Grant Awards Reception

The Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) held its 2018 Grant Awards Reception on Wednesday, October 17th at the Highland Park Community House in downtown Highland Park. This year, the Foundation awarded a record-breaking $200,000 in grants to nonprofit agencies and programs, an increase of 11% over 2017’s gift total.

Since 1992, HPCF has provided support to expand the services of social, cultural, and educational agencies in Highland Park and Highwood.

“The Foundation is honored to provide grants to these worthy organizations in Highland Park and Highwood who tirelessly serve those in need and provide necessary programs to assist the citizens of our community,” said Nancy Mills, Chairman of the Highland Park Community Foundation.

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HPCF Jack Blane Community Service Award

Betsy Brint (left) with Highland Park Councilwoman Alyssa Knobel (center), the recipient of the Jack Blane Community Service Award and Nancy Mills (right), chairman of the Highland Park Community Foundation.

The Jack Blane Community Service Award was created in 2014 to honor past HPCF founder, chairman, and board member Jack Blane for his outstanding service to our community, and to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to community service in Highland Park and Highwood. This year’s recipient for this award is City Councilman Alyssa Knobel. “Alyssa’s selfless desire to do good in the world inspires us all,” noted HPCF Chairman Nancy Mills. “She is extremely generous, passionate and capable.”

New Board Members

The Foundation is excited to announce its most recent new Board Members.

Craig Leva
Arway Confections & Long Grove Confectionery

Craig is the president and owner of Arway Confections (Chicago, IL) and Long Grove Confectionery (Buffalo Grove & Long Grove, IL), and is a twenty-year resident of Highland Park. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin (1990) and has been married to Monette since 1993. Together, they have four kids (Ellee, Alex, Rachel, & Eli). The Highland Park Community Foundation’s message “Give Where You Live” resonated with Craig. He joined as a board member in 2018 in an effort to make an additional impact for those in need within our own community. Craig is also a current board member for The Peanut Tree Nut Processors Association (PTNPA) and The Chicago Candy Production Club. Craig serves as a mentor for Buffalo Grove High School’s Entrepreneurship Program, and is active with a number of local and national charities. Craig also manages his own family foundation.

Robyn Schuster
Chief Operations Officer,
National Immigrant Justice Center

Robyn Schuster grew up in the northern Chicago suburbs, and, after living on both coasts, found a true home for her family in Highland Park. Robyn currently serves as the Chief Operations Officer for the National Immigrant Justice Center, a division of Heartland Alliance. Prior to that, she served as the senior director of operations at Medill, the storied journalism and integrated marketing school at Northwestern University. Previously, she provided communications strategy and outreach for Educational Enrichment Systems, a successful early education nonprofit serving low-income families in the San Diego area. At Indiana University-Bloomington, she served as Assistant Dean for Communications and Marketing at the IU Maurer School of Law, and Assistant Director of the IU Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP).

Prior to working in the education sector, Robyn enjoyed a successful litigation career as an associate at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. While at the firm, she served as a loaned associate to the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, representing low-income clients in landlord-tenant actions. She also had an active pro bono practice representing clients in habeas corpus actions and in successful challenges to federal statutes.


Jon A. Levey
Highland Park Bank & Trust

Jon Levey is a Financial Business Executive with expertise in the integration of entrepreneurial vision with financial and human capital management to achieve winning results. A resident of Highland Park, Levey is the President of Highland Park Bank & Trust (HPBT), a member of the Wintrust community banking system, where his responsibilities include guiding the growth of the bank and representing the bank within the Highland Park community.

Levey is a sought-after thought leader within the business community and has spoken on the topics of green/sustainable business, social enterprise, green building/valuation, entrepreneurship, and small business finance at the Social Enterprise Alliance’s annual summit, Green America’s Green Festival, the Good Food Family Farmed Financing & Innovation Conference, GreenTown Oak Park, Chicago Association of Realtors, the Appraisal Institute, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s Energy Efficiency Finance Forum, to various colleges, universities and high schools including often at Highland Park High School within the business and entrepreneurship classes.


Jamie Strait
Executive Director
Schools & Programs for Alumni Relations and Development, Northwestern University

Jamie is the Executive Director of Schools and Programs for Alumni Relations and Development at Northwestern University. In this role, she leads the teams that fundraise for Northwestern’s non-degree conferring units, including Student Affairs, University Libraries, Financial Aid, and the Block Museum of Art, as well as the Parent Giving program.

An alumna of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, Jamie spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist before joining Northwestern’s development team in 2009. She serves as the liaison to the board of Northwestern Hillel and is a member of the executive board of the Indian Trail Elementary School PTO. She lives in Highland Park with her husband, Mark Muller, and their three children.

First Bank of Highland Park
Ruth Fell Wander Wall

Since 1992, the Highland Park Community Foundation has addressed the unmet needs of thousands of our neighbors by filling in the financial gaps for many organizations that provide programs and services for Highland Park and Highwood residents. Until October 31st, stop by First Bank of Highland Park to learn how the Foundation is uniquely positioned to maximize the community’s resources to provide extraordinary social services, youth support, and cultural programs. The Foundation is committed to helping nurture our children, strengthen families, develop leadership skills and academic confidence in teens, and assist older adults in retaining their independence — all needed for a better quality of life for our residents and a more vital community.

To help the Foundation earn $250 immediately, please “like” the First Bank of Highland Park Facebook page!

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2019 HPCF Golden Apple Award

The Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) is now accepting nominations for its 2019 Golden Apple Award. Now in its ninth year of honoring excellence within the teaching profession in North Shore School District 112, the Golden Apple Award recognizes and celebrates outstanding teachers whose efforts demonstrate the impact that inspiring teaching has on children in the Highland Park/Highwood communities. “The Golden Apple Award is Highland Park Community Foundation’s platform to honor and reward one of the community’s deserving educators for his or her dedication to enriching the lives of students and guiding them towards academic success,” said Sara Sher, HPCF Golden Apple selection committee chairperson.HPCF’s Golden Apple Award nominations will be accepted for full-time teachers currently working within North Shore School District 112 in grades K-5. Nominations are welcome from all community members including students, parents, colleagues, and administrators (nominations by family members and self-nominations are not accepted). To nominate a teacher, please visit this nomination form.The recipient of this prestigious annual award will receive a $2000 honorarium, a $500 gift card to the Apple store, and the celebrated HPCF Golden Apple Award. The teacher who earns the 2019 Golden Apple Award will also be recognized by both the school and the district as well as honored by the Highland Park Community Foundation.Nominations for the 2019 HPCF Golden Apple Award close on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 5:00 P.M. Application materials will be mailed to each nominated teacher. Teachers must have completed four full years of teaching and have spent the majority of his/her time in the classroom teaching grades K-5 and commit to teaching for a minimum of two additional years in the Highland Park and Highwood community after receiving the award.

For more information or questions regarding the HPFC Golden Apple Award, please contact Sara Sher at sarasher@comcast.net. For more information about the Highland Park Community Foundation, please visit: https://hpcfil.org.

Photos from our Gather for Good Event

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HPCF Board of Directors and Officers


Nancy Mills, Chairman, David Reich, Vice-Chair, Betsy Brint, Secretary, Julie Kraff, Treasurer


Sofia Alvarez, Deborah Bleich Cogan, Peter Flanzer, Cookie Kohn, Tom Koulentes, Craig Leva, Jon A. Levey, Laurie A. Levin, Jean Meadows, Walter Nathan, Joe Reinstein, Karen Reisin, Robin Schuster, Donald Stewart, Jamie Strait

City Council Liaison

Alyssa Knobel

District 112 Liaison

Monica Schroeder

HPHS Liaisons

Lisa Berghoff, Debby Finn

Lifetime Directors

Lawrence Block, David Hoffman, Lucy Minor, Jane Shapira

Advisory Board

David Blumberg, Richard Cortesi, Elly Lieberman, Andrew Livingston, Patty Pell, Steve Putzel, Virginia Schulte, Bruce Sperling, Sallyan Windt

Honorary Directors

Nancy R. Rotering, Michael Belsky, Ray Geraci, Daniel Pierce

Executive Director

Terri Olian

Administrative Assistant

Deborah Brill

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Thank you Orangetheory and The Humble Pub Successful Charity Event!

Опубликовано: September 5, 2018 в 4:37 pm



On August 17th, the Humble Pub in Highwood and Orangetheory Fitness Highland Park paired up and hosted a Charity Event to benefit the Highland Park Community Foundation.

Thank you Orangetheory and The Humble Pub!

People in photo L to R: David Reich, HPCF Vice-Chairman and Nancy Mills, HPCF Chairman, together with Tray, Nellie, and Desi from Orangetheory Fitness Highland Park.

‘Future Leaders’ Honored at Chamber Dinner

Опубликовано: May 16, 2018 в 4:51 pm



Highland Park Community Foundation Awards HPHS Student Jason Estrada Personal Achievement Award at HP Chamber of Commerce 53rd Annual Student Honor Dinner

The Highland Park Chamber of Commerce hosts an annual dinner to recognize exceptional young people who have been selected by the high school based on various criteria. Sponsors, like the HPCF, provide scholarships to seniors from HPHS to help enable these outstanding students to continue their studies after high school.

Jason Estrada, nominated by Megan Counts and Leslie Levin on behalf of the Social Studies Department at HPHS, was the winner of the HPCF’s Personal Achievement Award at this year’s dinner. HPCF Chairman Nancy Mills and Member of the Board Karen Reisin attended the May 3rd ceremony to present the award. “It was an honor and an inspiration to be surrounded by such inspiring students like Jason. I especially enjoyed getting to know his family. They have good reason to be proud.” Said Mills.

Nomination Written by Megan Counts and Leslie Levin:
Jason Estrada exemplifies the best that any educator hopes for. Highland Park values community engagement, connections, and relationships and these are Jason’s natural strengths. As a school community over the last four years, we have watched Jason emerge as a loving, responsible, determined leader. Jason leads with his heart and exudes a brotherly kindness and authenticity in all his daily interactions. Jason has repeatedly demonstrated maturity and seriousness of character as he worked to pursue his path to success and graduation. Jason takes responsibility for his own outcomes. Yet while focused on his own life, he has always steadfastly provided guidance and support for his peers as well; he is equally as aware of the happiness and wellness of others as he is with his own concerns. Jason is the type of young man who understands that character is best revealed by the choices we make and the actions we do when nobody is watching. Jason has the strength of character and the morality to do what is right without ever expecting praise or reward; Jason is guided by an internal strength and goodness that impacts his classmates, teachers, and anyone else who is lucky enough to be in his sphere of influence. When Jason graduates, he will be missed very much by our school community and he will be carried in the hearts of those whose lives he touched.

People in photo L to R: Nancy Mills (Highland Park Community Foundation, Chair), Jason Estrada, Karen Reisin (Highland Park Community Foundation, Board Member)

Read the Highland Park Landmark Article:

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Highland Park Community Foundation Presents: Gather for Good

Опубликовано: May 16, 2018 в 5:28 pm



Highland Park Community Foundation Presents

Gather for Good

Friday, September 14, 2018

Save the Date

Please Join Us for a Festive Fundraiser to Benefit the Communities of Highland Park and Highwood

Binny’s Beverage Depot, Highland Park
Friday, September 14, 2018
6:30 – 9:00 pm
Demos, Delicious Bites and Sips Featuring Amazing Local Chefs!

Register Here


Опубликовано: April 10, 2018 в 5:38 pm



Jack Blane was a founding member of the Highland Park Community Foundation. Since its inception in 1992, Jack was an active and contributing member of the Board. He was our de facto Foundation historian and our moral compass. We drew a collective sigh of sadness upon hearing of his death on February 19th. As everyone knew him would agree, Jack was a kind, caring, and dedicated man. It was an honor to know him.

Jack, 94, passed away at home on February 19, 2018. Jack was the loving father of Barbara (Rand) Toney, the late Nancy (Tony) Guerra, and John Blane, and the proud grandfather of Sarah (Patrick Pauley) Toney, David Toney, and Nathan Blane. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Joan, nee Fleischman. Jack leaves a legacy of immeasurable dedication and commitment to Rotary International (in particular, his focus for the last 30 years on PolioPlus, the global eradication of polio), the Highland Park Community Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, and the City of Highland Park, and numerous other beneficiaries of his tireless energies.

Please click here if you would like to remember Jack with a donation to the Highland Park Community Foundation.

Thank you.

Highland Park Community Foundation Honors Scott Shallenbarger with the 2017 Highland Park Golden Apple Award

Опубликовано: May 21, 2017 в 7:02 pm



The Highland Park Community Foundation is proud to announce the Highland Park Golden Apple Award recipient for 2017. This year’s deserving honoree is Scott Shallenbarger, Director of Theater Arts at Highland Park High School.

Mr. Shallenbarger, a 27 year veteran at Highland Park High School, is a beloved teacher who is revered by his current and former students, teachers, parents, and administrators. He embodies the true meaning of an educator as well as human being. As Director of Theater Arts, Scott fosters creativity, radiates positivity, nurtures and inspires courage within his students, builds bonds, and teaches lessons that go far beyond his drama classroom. He is the epitome what it means to be aHighland Park Golden Apple teacher.

“The Highland Park and Highwood community is lucky to have outstanding teachers in our schools. By celebrating and recognizing teachers, we can demonstrate the strength and impact that their excellent teaching has on our children. This year’s Highland Park Community Foundation’s Highland Park Golden Apple recipient, Scott Shallenbarger, not only teaches the craft of theater, he also teaches the craft of being a human being,” said Sara Sher, HPCF Golden Apple Selection committee.

As Scott said in his application, “I believe in the alchemy of theatre which can transform lives. This too is sacred to me. And since sacred is defined as ‘dedicated to a (belief) and so deserving veneration,’ I passionately approach my students and the community with the respect they deserve. Doing so, we all benefit from an upward spiral of acceptance, humanitarianism, and recognition f life’s beauty.”

The HPCFHighland Park Golden Apple Selection Committee met this May to determine the 2017 recipient. Mr. Shallenbarger was honored with a $2000 honorarium, a $500 gift card to Apple store, and a “Golden Apple Award.”

In 2010, the Highland Park Community Foundation and a local family foundation initiated an annualHighland Park Golden Apple Award to recognize outstanding teachers in the Highland Park School systems. Nominations are made in a rotating cycle: K-5, 6-8, and 9-12. A selection committee comprised of exemplary current and retired educators and administrators and former Golden Apple award recipients, evaluate the extensive application and complete a full day of observation. The final recipient of the award is chosen based on instruction, content knowledge, student and staff interaction, and contribution to school and community.

This year, nominations were accepted for full-time teachers at Highland Park High School who have completed at least four full years of teaching. The committee received many excellent nominations, and after a rigorous and intensive review process, nominations were narrowed to three semi-finalists:

  • Bridget Fahrner (Spanish)
  • Elizabeth Perlman (English)
  • Scott Shallenbarger (drama)

All three of the semi-finalists will be honored publicly at the May 22 District 113 Board meeting. By honoring exceptional educators, the Foundation hopes to demonstrate the strength and importance of excellent teaching in helping young people reach their potential.

Give Where You Live

Опубликовано: May 1, 2017 в 7:17 pm



The Highland Park Community Foundation welcomes gifts of any size. Through the generous support of our community, the Foundation is able to fund programs for a wide variety of local service and cultural groups.

Help those very nearby by supporting programs related to Social Services, Child Care, Educational Services, Senior Services, Arts Programs and Environmental & Civic Programs.


All 2016 Grant Recipients

Опубликовано: October 20, 2016 в 8:12 pm



The Highland Park Community Foundation is pleased to announce the following organizations have received grants for 2016.

Cindy Rossman: 2016 Highland Park Golden Apple Award Winner

Опубликовано: May 17, 2016 в 8:25 pm



The Highland Park Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2016 recipient of the Golden Apple Award is Cindy Rossman.

Mrs. Cindy Rossman (K-1 Braeside) is this year’s final recipient of the Highland Park Community Foundation’s prestigious Golden Apple Award. Mrs. Rossman was surprised with a special all school assembly when she was presented with balloons, golden delicious apples, a golden apple statue, a $2000 check, and a $500 gift card to the Apple store. Children, colleagues , administrators, parents, and retired educators attended the exciting assembly.

As Cindy’s observers noted, “Cindy Rossman is truly worthy of this Golden Apple award because she does not need an award to validate what she is doing every day with every child. She is a loving parent to each of her students and is a caring teacher to each child as she lights up when they enter her room every day. In turn, each child lights up inside as their self-esteem grows; each child develops a love of learning and thinking in her classroom. There is a magical feeling in Cindy Rossman’s room.”

Please also read more on this:

article from the Chicago Tribune