Hyde Park Day School (HPDS) will host its annual gala, “There’s No Place Like HPDS,” on April 8 at Rockwell on the River in Chicago to raise funds for scholarships for students.
The school, with campuses in Northfield, in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, and Lemont, serves bright kids with learning disabilities.
“We give our students remediation and self-advocacy skills and prepare them for the transition back to traditional classrooms,” says Dr. Casey Crnich, Executive Director of HPDS. “Our model is we have kids who struggle in some aspect of schooling, usually reading, writing, or math. They come to us, and we work on their strengths as well as areas that they are challenged.”
Crnich joined HPDS a year after it was started in an old, converted chapel more than 20 years ago with just four students. It grew quickly and in 2004 the campus in Northfield opened its doors. Today, it serves more than 170 students across its three campuses.
The gala on April 8 will raise funds for the Bright Futures Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for needy students. The school maintains a five-to-one student-teacher ratio, making the cost of tuition out of reach for many parents.
“Our staffing costs are really expensive which makes tuition very expensive,” Crnich says. “So, the whole purpose of this event is to support scholarships for families who would not otherwise be able to afford the tuition.”
Crnich says the school provided $474,000 worth of scholarships this year and the gala is a critical source of funding, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
“This is our flagship fundraiser. We’ll do other, smaller fundraisers throughout the year and an annual appeal, but this really is an opportunity for the community to come together,” he says. “It’s also very focused on raising funds for kids.”
The gala on April 8 will feature a live and silent auction of items such as trip getaways, show tickets, and one-of-a-kind art pieces. Cocktail hour begins at 6:30 p.m. with dinner and presentations at 8 p.m.. This year, the school will be honoring outgoing principals Evan Hammontree of Chicago and Jay Smith of Lemont.
Crnich says that while the primary purpose of the gala is to raise critical funds for kids to be able to attend school, it’s also a good time.
“We’re there to raise money for scholarships, but it’s a really fun night with good music, good food, and good drinks and an opportunity for families who have been impacted by learning disabilities to come together and celebrate the kids. we work with.”
For more information about the Hyde Park Day School annual gala, There’s No Place Like HPDS, visit 2022hpdsgala.givesmart.com.