Highland Park Community Foundation Presents Record-Breaking $613,200 in Grant Awards to Local Nonprofits and Agencies

The Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) hosted a socially distanced gathering to distribute its annual grant awards to local agencies and nonprofits on Wednesday, October 6th outside the Highland Park Community House.

This event was held in lieu of the HPCF's annual Grant Awards Reception, which the Board canceled this year for health and safety reasons.

For 2021, the Foundation distributed an unprecedented 58 annual grants, totaling $613,200, an impressive $100,000 more than last year. These totals mark the largest number of annual grants and dollars awarded in the history of the HPCF.

The distribution includes $300,000 in grant funding the HPCF received from the City of Highland Park pursuant to an agreement through which the HPCF serves as a fiduciary for City funds set aside for distribution to nonprofits.

"Our Board is thrilled to be able to support our community at this level," said David Reich, Chairman, Highland Park Community Foundation. "With the support of our donors, we are making a real difference for residents by addressing their needs and enriching our community."

"The COVID-19 pandemic created an immediate and ever-shifting impact on our community, especially for our most vulnerable neighbors. Without hesitation, the Highland Park Community Foundation partnered with the City of Highland Park compassionately and strategically," stated Mayor Nancy Rotering. "We are grateful that without missing a beat, the HPCF is providing much-needed grant funding to the not-for-profit agencies our community depends on for an impactful safety net of vital services."

"We are very grateful to the City of Highland Park for its generous grant allocation. Because of it, we will be able to distribute additional COVID Recovery grants this year. Since March of 2020, we have distributed nearly $200,000 to address COVID-related needs. Nearly all of the annual grant applications we received mentioned continuing needs related to the pandemic. We were not sure we would be able to issue another round of grants this year. We now know we will be able to," said Betsy Brint, Vice-Chairman.

David Reich and HPCF Board members presented the annual grant awards to 58 agencies and organizations who are steadfast in their commitment to improving the quality of life for all Highland Park and Highwood residents.

The 2021 annual grant recipients include: 112 Education Foundation, A Safe Place, Anixter Center, Big Brothers Big Sister, Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts, Blessings in a Backpack Highland Park, Cancer Wellness Center, Catholic Charities - Lake County Senior Services, Center for Enriched Living, Collaborative Community Housing Initiative, College Bound Opportunities, Community - The Anti-Drug Coalition, Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Cradles to Crayons, Curt's Café, Direct Giving Lab, East on Central Association, Family Focus HP, Family Service of Lake County, Focus on the Arts, Glenkirk, GPF Foundation, Gratitude Generation, Highland Park After Prom, Highland Park Community Early Learning Center, Highland Park Historical Society, Highland Park Public Library, Highland Park Strings, Highwood Public Library, HPHS - Estudiante to Student Mentor Program, HPHS - Homework Club, Infinity Foundation, JCFS Chicago Response for Teens, Jewish Council for Youth Services - Lutz Family Center, Keeping Families Covered, Keshet, Kids Rank, Midwest Young Artists Conservatory, Mothers Trust Foundation, Music Institute of Chicago, North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Operation Warm, Parks Foundation of Highland Park, Project Shop N' Drop, Rainbows For all Children, Roberti Community House, Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation, Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers, The Art Center Highland Park, The Balance Project, The Josselyn Center, The Stuart I Raskas Friendship Circle of Illinois, Tri-Con Child Care Center, Uptown Music Theater of Highland Park, Working Together, Youth Services, and Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center

"Residents continue to be heavily impacted by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, and the need for the services we provide has never been greater. Together we can provide assistance for basic needs, stable housing, medical needs, and education expenses for those children who need it most." -Ellen Marwede, Director of Development, Mothers Trust Foundation (2021 Grant Recipient)

"The support of the Highland Park Community Foundation has been instrumental in providing needed services to the residents we serve in Highland Park. We are so pleased that our partnership will continue for this year as we continue to face challenges related to the pandemic." -Kori Larson, Director of Community Relations, Glenkirk (2021 Grant Recipient)

With everyone's health and safety top of mind, the 58 grant recipients arrived at pre-determined times for a meet and greet with Board members and a commemorative photo. Sunset Foods generously provided a celebratory gift bag of sweets for each recipient.

There is an ongoing need for COVID-relief and recovery funding. For more information, please contact Terri Olian, Executive Director, at or 847-433-4100. To donate online, please visit

To learn more about the Highland Park Community Foundation and its work, please visit:

About Highland Park Community Foundation: The Highland Park Community Foundation was established in 1992 at the request of the City of Highland Park to build and maintain a permanent endowment fund. As the philanthropic heart of the community, the HPCF improves and enriches people's lives with annual grants to nonprofits that provide educational, social service, and cultural programs for Highland Park and Highwood residents. The Foundation's avowed purposes are to expand opportunities and address the unmet needs of the community - needs that are not met by governmental or other sources.

The Highland Park Community Foundation maintains GuideStar's 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency - GuideStar's highest level of recognition in the nonprofit - and has received a 100 out of 100 rating from Charity Navigator through their Encompass Rating System.

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