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RPBG Gives Back - A Sustained Commitment to Improving Our Community

 

May 2018 Meeting Donation

RPBG and individual members giving Gale Academy Principal Augustine Emuwa $5000 to support their campaign for an on site health clinic - a project that should boost attendance and productivity of its students.

 

The Rogers Park Builders Group has given back to the Rogers Park community since its inception. But, in recent years, this giving has increased significantly. While we continue to support a broad range of organizations and events, we have created a dedicated funding stream for educational initiatives that focuses on giving to local Chicago Public Schools. This initiative sets aside approximately $7,500 per year for a three-year period, beginning in 2017. To the extent our budget will allow us to continue to make these funds available beyond this three-year period, we will make every effort to do so.

RPBG support for the local Rogers Park schools started off, as many things do, through Mike Glasser’s wide network of community relationships. Mike became acquainted with the impressive changes that Principal Chad Adams had begun to implement at Sullivan High School. Mr. Adams connected with Mike to enlist his help in transforming this formerly troubled school into a true community asset.

In 2015, Mike approached his fellow directors at RPBG to consider a request to construct a Life Skills classroom at Sullivan, benefitting students attending the school’s Low Incidence Program. Students in the Low Incidence Program include kids and young adults with autism, down syndrome, and a range of other disabilities. The Builders Group rallied behind the cause, raising $30,000 in funds and in-kind services and materials. This campaign was a success as illustrated in this video.

Since this initial involvement with Sullivan, RPBG has now expanded this initiative to other, local elementary schools and, most recently, the Chicago Math and Science Academy. Some of the past projects RPBG has supported at local area schools include:

  • The purchase of much needed shoulder pads and other football gear for the Sullivan football team ($3,000 from RPBG – part of $10,000 raised from donors across the community), which was a pretty good return on investment considering the team went on to an undefeated 9-0 season the following year, and 10-2 the year after that!
  • The restoration of abandoned musical instruments that Sullivan Music Director and teacher Andrew McGuire found in the school’s basement ($5,000). This allowed Mr. McGuire to reestablish a school marching band.
  • The funding of two years of private music lessons ($6,000) for twelve Sullivan students. These donations were made by RPBG and individual members in conjunction with Loyola University Chicago and local music store Flatts & Sharpe.
  • Re-launching a multicultural theater program at Sullivan ($5,000). Twelve of the 19 students in this program were immigrants and refugees. The culmination of the program was a performance at Sullivan in June 2017 in conjunction with Lifeline Theater.
  • The funding of a botanical and gardening project for Kindergarteners at Gale Community Academy ($250).

Below is a video offering an overview of RPBG support for Sullivan through October, 2017.

Rogers Park Builders Group Gives Back

Here is the video released at Tuesday's meeting... If you or anyone you know would like more information on becoming a part of the Rogers Park Builders Group, please visit www.RPBG.org #RPBG #RogersPark

Posted by Rogers Park Builders Group on Thursday, October 26, 2017

 

In addition to our educational initiative, RPBG continues to be an active supporter of other community-based organizations and events. Some of this support dates back to the earliest years of RPBG.

We have started 2018 with a bang. Thus far, the RPBG has given money to the following causes:

Under our Educational Initiative:

  • Gale Community Academy – $5,000 ($2,000 from RPBG and another $3,000 from individual members, including $1,000 from Sal Becovic alone) towards a fundraising campaign supporting a sustainable health clinic matching grant from CVS Pharmacy. The Steans Family Foundation has made a generous pledge in support of this worthwhile program.
  • Chicago Math and Science Academy Charter Middle and High School – $1,000 toward the purchase of chrome books as part of their One to One Technology Campaign, designed to provide a chrome book and needed support for all of their students.
  • Kilmer Elementary School – $500 for an opera program that gets kids to create their own opera.

Under our Regular Charitable Giving:

  • Loyola Park Advisory Council – $250 for the Artists on the Wall program. This is an artistic project to which RPBG has contributed over many years. In its entirety, RPBG has likely donated over $3,000 to this program.
  • Rogers Park Business Alliance – $500 for the RPBA 25th Anniversary Fundraiser event. RPBG and RPBA enjoy a long-standing relationship. Sandi Price, Executive Director of RPBA, is also a Director of RPBG.
  • Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest – RPBG has contributed to and supported this wonderful festival, the brain child of RPBG founding member (and long-time Director) Alan Goldberg. This year’s contribution of $500 will support an amazing Rogers Park event that celebrates the best of the Rogers Park community.
  • Eugene Field Elementary School – $800 ($500 from RPBG and another $300 from individual members) for T-shirts promoting successful testing.

Outreach Chair Carla Price and RPBG Vice President Sarah Lisy are at the front lines when it comes to considering funding requests from our operating funds (Carla) and our set aside for educational endeavors (Sarah). Both take their responsibilities seriously, scrutinizing each funding request and considering the long-term benefits and sustainability of the gifts before submitting the funding request to the RPBG Finance Committee. Operating fund requests that exceed $500 go to the entire Board for approval; similarly, educational endeavor requests that exceed $2,000 also go to the full Board.

There is more to be done and it is fair to say that RPBG and its members are up to the challenge. We are proud to be part of the solution and happy to see our dollars benefit the next generation of Rogers Parkers and, by extension, the wider Rogers Park community.

 
 

 

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