The Evanston Community Foundation announced $217,000 in grants to 30 organizations and programs at a reception this evening at the North Shore Retirement Hotel.
The recipients were chosen from among 63 proposals submitted, and represent a broad range of activities in community development, early childhood education, access to arts, family support and counseling, housing, seniors, workforce development, and at-risk youth.
The 2012/2013 responsive grant awards set records for the greatest number of grants and the largest amount awarded by ECF in a single grant cycle. It is the 26th such annual cycle, dating from 1987, when grants totaled $30,000.
Sara Schastok, president and CEO of the foundation, said increased contributions from Northwestern University's Dance Marathon and other grantmaking partners "let us say 'yes!' to a greater number of worthy requests."
She said the projects were selected for their sustainability and their potential for long-lasting impact."
Recipients are: Barr-Harris Children's Grief Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, Center for Independent Futures, Changing Worlds, Warren W. Cherry Preschool, Childcare Network of Evanston, Children's Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County, Connections for the Homeless, Curt's Cafe, Edible Evanston, Evanston Art Center, ECF's Every child ready for kindergarten, Every youth ready for work initiative, Evanston History Center, Evanston Mentors, Evanston School Children's Clothing Association, Evanston Skokie School District 65 (two separate projects), Family Focus, Family Promise Chicago North Shore, Grandmother Park Initiative, The Harbour, Inc., Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, McGaw YMCA, James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University, Rebuilding Together – North Suburban Chicago, Shorefront, Y.O.U. (Youth Organizations Umbrella),Youth Job Center of Evanston, and YWCA Evanston/North Shore.
The reception also honored one of the foundation's founders, Natasha Deutsch.
"Tasha's clear vision of the Evanston Community Foundation as an endowment fund without restrictions of purpose, a fund that would always be available for Evanston's future needs, however they might evolve, continues to guide us today," Schastok said.
"When Tasha passed away in January, her own bequest and some 75 memorial gifts quickly built the Natasha S. Deutsch Fund. Created within the Fund for Evanston, our unrestricted endowment, it honors her commitment to build resources for the community she loved and did so much to shape," Schastok added.
By year-end, the Evanston Community Foundation expects to have made distributions of upwards of $750,000 through its several competitive and strategic grant cycles and in grants from donor-advised, donor-designated, and agency funds.