ECF benefit to feature ‘Wonderful Life’ parody


A bevy of local dignitaries will be cast in a stage parody of the popular movie classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, at the annual benefit of the Evanston Community Foundation later this month.

The $150-a-plate dinner and entertainment will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the Levy Center, 300 Dodge Ave.

This year’s benefit is built around the theme of Evanston’s 150th birthday and will feature a competition among local bakeries to design a cake that is fit for the occasion.

Cameo roles in the movie parody, renamed “It’s a Wonderful (Life) Evanston,” will be performed by Congressman Jan Schakowsky, Evanston Township High School Superintendent Eric Witherspoon, and former Evanston mayor, Jay Lytle.

“This special anniversary edition of Celebrate!Evanston aims to bring many community members together for a fitting and fun celebration of Evanston’s first 150 years,” said Benefit Co-chair Julie Captain.

“Most importantly,” added Benefit Co-chair Lisa Altenbernd, “the celebration raises funds for Evanston Community Foundation's grantmaking and programs to help take the community where it wants to go in the future.”

The foundation was started 26 years ago by the United Way of Evanston and currently has assets of $17.5 million. It builds endowments for current and future opportunities, fosters private philanthropy, focuses the impact of collective giving, finds solutions to community challenges, allocates grants, and provides leadership training. 

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio stations and business-oriented magazines.

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