HIGHLAND PARK – Every spring, the Rotary Club reveals the recipients of their Scholarship Program while the Charities Committee will unveil those local non-profits receiving grants. All told nearly $40,000 will be given out this year.
On May 22, the Club will focus on their youth programs. Part of the day’s meeting will honor the TABU (Toward A Better Understanding) students who recently traveled to Northern Ireland as part of an international exchange studying conflict resolution in a different culture.
For another portion of the day’s agenda, they will also award scholarships to Highland Park High School students and pairing them with the recognition of Club Members who passed away last year. A few of the scholarships will be given in their name, as the Club reflects back while looking forward.
On June 12th, the Charities Committee will be presenting local non-profits with grants to help them continue their work. This year’s focuses have been those providing direct services to children, the elderly, individuals and families facing substance abuse, physical, mental or financial challenges.
For over twenty years, their two major fundraisers, the Annual Gala and the Golf Outing held in August, have raised funds for scholarships for Highland Park High School students and grants for local charities. In addition to those endeavors, the Club also focuses on the Financial Literacy Program it started at the high school in 2012, RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Awards) and the popular Interact Club (50-60 students).
Rotarian Jim Berardi, who along with teacher Melissa Zientara, was instrumental in starting the Interact Club at the Highland Park school commented that, “By sponsoring Interact, we are investing in the future of today’s youth by giving teens the critical tools they need as they learn how to affect change in the world.”
“We selected agencies where our funding would truly make a difference in the community, and where the Rotary’s money would enable delivery of services that would otherwise be unavailable,”said Paul Munk, Chairman of the Club’s Charities Committee. “This year, we attached specific significance to the need of addressing food insecurity in our community.”
The Rotary Club’s motto is “Service Above Self.” They are neighbors and friends who share ideas, put their skills to work at solving problems and take action to create lasting change. The Rotary Club of Highland Park/Highwood meets every Monday at 11:30 a.m. at the Highland Park Country Club. Visitors are welcome! For more information, please visit their website, www.highlandparkrotary.org or Facebook page, www.facebook.com/hprotary. To contact them, call 847-432-1500.
Submitted by the Highland Park Rotary Club