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Crown campaign hits $11 million mark

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Friends of the Robert Crown Center announced today that the campaign hit the $11 million mark a month earlier than projected and is on track to reach its stretch goal of $15 million.

“There is a tremendous momentum behind this project. Donors large and small see the potential to educate minds, build not just muscle but the confidence of our children, and bring all kinds of families together in Evanston’s New Crown Jewel” said Daniel Stein, president of the Friends group, a 501(c)3 organization partnering with the City of Evanston and Evanston Public Library to build the facility.

A big year-end small donor push and two new Lead Gifts propelled the campaign to $11,123,998 in cash and commitments as of Thursday.

A $250,000 lead gift came from the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation, an Evanston-based foundation focused on improving youth services and education at all levels. The foundation was a major catalyst for the McGaw YMCA’s Sebring-Lewis gym and MetaMedia center, as well as the new Y.O.U. facility and dozens of other Chicago and Evanston causes.

“The Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation is the gold standard of philanthropic organizations and we are proud that the New Robert Crown project has won their support,” Stein said.

The other new lead gift came from a currently anonymous donor.

Stein also said while donors appreciate the creation of two brand new full sheets of ice, a new gym double the size of the current one, and Evanston’s first-ever publicly available turf fields, expanding educational and creative opportunities is what’s fueling much of the support at this point in the campaign.

The $46 million+ project includes a new branch library where neighborhood kids can receive tutoring and mentoring while expanding Internet access to families who don’t have it at home.

In addition, the new Robert Crown Library, Turf Park and Community Center will upgrade the existing pre-school at tje center, which serves over 100 Evanston families and will allow dozens more children to get quality, affordable child care close to home.

The campaign has successfully solicited 513 gifts from 452 families, businesses, foundations and organizations, including selling 190 personalized bricks at $500 each.

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