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Supporters of the Evanston Community Foundation held a surprise party yesterday for Sara Schastok, its first president and CEO, at the new Central Street location of the Evanston Art Center.

Approximately 250 guests attended the Salute to Sara celebration to honor Schastok’s legacy and to thank her for her 15 years of service and accomplishments on behalf of the community of Evanston.

The event was emceed by former board chair Kendal Gladish, who now lives in Austin, Tex. A video tribute compiled by Schastok’s close associates and friends saluted her achievements and wished her well in her new ventures.

A highlight of the evening was the announcement of the newly established Sara Schastok Fund, an endowed fund created to build permanent assets to address Evanston’s ever-changing needs.

Board vice chair Diana Cohen said ECF supporters have pledged more than $1 million to date in cash gifts and valuation of will provisions for legacy gifts to the fund in Schastok’s honor.

The ECF board’s search for Schastok’s replacement is under way. Schastok advised of her intent to retire by the end of 2015, and intends to work with the board and staff to provide for a smooth transition. Upon her retirement, Schastok will serve ECF in the new role of Senior Philanthropic Advisor.

Event co-chairs were Judy Kemp, Judy Aiello-Fantus and Eleanor Revelle.

Kemp, a former board chair of the foundation, said “it’s impossible to do justice to someone who has given so much to ECF and the community, but we hope by bringing together people who have worked closely with Sara over the years, she might glimpse the depth and breadth of her legacy.” 

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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