HIGHLAND PARK / HIGHWOOD – The Rotary Club of Highland Park/Highwood gave $22,000 in grants to 10 local non-profits.
Charities Program Chair Paul Munk explained that the committee received 30 applications, the largest number in at least five years. This kept the committee focused on their daunting task: fulfilling Rotary’s causes. That entails: peace & conflict resolution; maternal and child health; disease prevention and treatment; basic education and literacy; and economic and community development. Since nearly all these applicants met criteria, the discernment to whittle the numbers down to ten finalists was a challenge for Munk and his committee members Martha Gray, Frank Lomoro, Ellsworth Mills III, Mike Stroz and Bill Siskel.
Here are the finalists. The Rotary Club recognizes the impact these organizations make to the community by their tireless contributions:
- Blessing in a Backpack, represented by Melissa Septon, is a program that feeds needy preschoolers and elementary students on the weekends
- Family Network, a Family Focus Center, Nara Baraquin representing, provides educational and enrichment programs for families in need
- Family Service of Lake County, Carries Callas, Executive Director, serves 60 kids with summer and after school programs
- Highland Park/Highwood Home Childcare Association, Coordinator Jane Talesnick and Carol Brusslan, Co-Chair Communications representing, with 21 years of providing care and education of the youngest in our community
- Highland Park/Highwood Legal Aid Clinic, Board Chair Kathryn Vanden Berk representing, supports legal issues of the underprivileged
- Moraine Township Food Pantry, represented by Supervisor Anne Bassi, Trustees Amy Zisook, and Cindy Wolfson, provide food for the needy. The money presented to them will be used for a walk-in freezer
- Mother’s Trust Foundation, Paula Turelli representing, provides gap funding for the needy
- Northern Illinois Food Bank, represented by Morgan Abate, the mobile food pantry
- St. James Catholic Church Food Pantry, represented by John Cullen, this Highwood food pantry provides food for families in need
- Tri-Con Child Care, director Pam Feinberg representing, a scholarship program for needy families