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Evanston philanthropists, through the auspices of the Evanston Community Foundation, handed out grants Thursday evening totaling $258,330 to 28 local nonprofit groups serving primarily the arts, youth, seniors, and low-income residents.

ECF President and CEO Sara Schastok told upwards of 200 persons assembled in the third-floor auditorium of Rotary International that the 28 grantees were selected from a pool of 73 proposals requesting $805,709.

“If we had the resources,” she said, “we would have awarded at least an additional 24 grants and more than twice the dollars.”

Even so, the dollars dispensed at the ceremony represented only about a third of the $790,050 that the foundation expects to distribute throughout 2014 through its competitive and strategic grants programs.

A major contributor was Northwestern University’s student-run philanthropic program, Dance Marathon, which annually assigns 10 percent of its net income to the Foundation. This year, that amounted to $103,477, and a delegation of next year’s board announced they will be doing it again in 2015.

Board members of Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon, a major contributor to ECF, gather for a photo op with ECF’s Schastok.

The grants included a $15,000 special initiative grant to the Midwest Child-Parent Centers Expansion to enhance achievement for pre-kindergarten to third graders. This grant is the third installment of five ECF grants to this federally funded project at the D65 Family Center, Childcare Center of Evanston, and the four Title I elementary schools of District 65.

Other recipients of the grants handed out by ECF vice chair Michael Brody were the following:

Caring Outreach by Parents in Evanston, $5,000; Center for Economic Progress, $12,500; Center for Independent Futures, $5,850; Ciencia para Todos, a science outreach program presented largely in Spanish to Latino families, $10,000; CJE Senior Life, $4,500; Community Partners for Affordable Housing, $10,000;

Connections for the Homeless, Inc., $15,000; Edible Evanston, $5,000; Erie Family Health Center, $10,000; Erika’s Lighthouse, $4,730; Evanston Art Center, $3,500; Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse, $15,000;

Evanston Scholars, $13,000; Evanston Swims!, $5,000; Evanston  Symphony Orchestra Association, $5,000; Family Focus, $10,000; Frances Willard Historical Association, $5,000; The Harbour, Inc., $10,000; James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, $10,000;

Literature for All of Us, $10,000; McGaw YMCA, $15,000; Mudlark Theater Company, $6,300; Next Theatre Company, $5,000; Northlight Theatre, $3,750; Warren W. Cherry Preschool, $7,500; Youth Organizations Umbrella, $11,000; Youth Job Center of Evanston, Inc., $15,000; and YWCA Evanston/North Shore, $10,700.

Top: ECF President Schastok

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...

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