Highland Park, Community

News Briefs: Highland Park emergency fund raises, distributes $5.8 million; Affordable-housing campaign; property tax bills posted

In the aftermath of the mass shooting July 4 in Highland Park, nearly $6 million was donated to the Highland Park Shooting Response Fund, a project of the Highland Park Community Foundation.

In early November, recipients of the donations were announced by the Together Highland Park Unido Committee, a group tasked with managing the response fund.

The committee said in a press release that “100% of those funds (went) to victims of the mass shooting and nonprofit organizations providing mental health and other services to the community.” 

The response fund was open for about three months, closing on Oct. 7.

“We are grateful and honored to distribute these gifts of compassion,” said Betsy Brint, chairperson of the Together Highland Park Unidos Committee, in the release. “We thank the generous individuals, private foundations, businesses, and other organizations that have contributed to the fund to help victims in the aftermath of the senseless shooting.”

Individual claims made up a bulk of the distributed funds ($5.22 million) and were accepted in three categories: death and permanent/catastrophic physical injuries ($365,000 per claim; 9 claims); physical injuries requiring overnight hospitalization (36,000 per night; 10 claims reporting 29 nights); and physical injuries that required out-patient hospital or medical treatment ($19,066 per claim; 47 claims).

The fund also distributed $580,025 between 17 local organizations that served the wellbeing of the community at-large in the wake of the tragedy. The organizations are: Family Focus Highland Park, Families Helping Families Chicagoland, Family Service of Glencoe, Family Service of Lake County, Fenix Family Health Center, Gratitude Generation, Highland Park Public Library, Highwood Public Library and Community Center, JCC Chicago, JCFS Chicago, Josselyn , Laurie S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss, North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, Rainbows for All Children, Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers, The Balance Project and Youth Services.

“Donations were made from across the country and close to home,” Brint said. “… In addition to financial gifts, we have been supported by so many donations of time and energy to make this possible. We look forward to publicly sharing a complete accounting of our cash and in-kind donations.”

A second fund, the July 4th Recovery Fund, has been opened by the Highland Park Community Foundation to accept donations that will be used to address continuing mental health needs and other services resulting from the shooting.

At an open house in October are Morgante Wilson Foundation board members (left to right) Craig Caffarelli, Elissa Morgante, Fred Wilson and John Leonard, as well as MWF Director Hannah Wilson. | Photo Submitted

A familiar name in local affordable housing has announced a year-end fundraising push to support permanent affordable housing in Wilmette.

The Morgante Wilson Foundation, a two-year-old nonprofit from Morgante Wilson Architects, kicked off the campaign with an open house on Oct. 16, showcasing the latest affordable home in Wilmette resulting from the efforts of the foundation and Community Partners for Affordable Housing.

The foundation’s fundraising campaign will support additional permanently affordable Community Land Trust homes in Wilmette in the coming years.

“When we established the Morgante Wilson Foundation in 2020, we set an initial goal of supporting the creation of 14 permanently affordable homes in Wilmette over a four-year period,” said Fred Wilson — co-founding partner of Morgante Wilson Architects with his wife, Elissa Morgante — in a release. “I’m incredibly proud to say we’ve surpassed our two-year fundraising goal through our 2020 and 2021 efforts and have already helped fund eight of those 14 homes — including three single-family homes and five units that will become permanent rental housing.

“We can’t thank our supporters enough and are eager to do even more with their help.”

Wilson and Morgante are longtime Wilmette residents, and a year ago, helped bring online Wilmette’s first permanently affordable home.

Funds raised as part of the 2022 year-end campaign will go toward continuing to grow the foundation and supporting more affordable homes in Wilmette and surrounding communities. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.morgantewilsonfoundation.org.

For more information about the Morgante Wilson Foundation or to make a donation, visit www.morgantewilsonfoundation.org.

The long-awaited second 2022 installment of county property tax bills was posted online this week, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas announced in a press release on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

A paper bill, she says in the release, will arrive “around the first of December.”

Payments are due Dec. 30 and can be made online at cookcountytreasurer.com.

Residents with questions and concerns regarding their bills can contact the New Trier Township Assessor’s Office at (847) 446-8200 or jchurchwell@newtriertownship.com and lshifflett@newtriertownship.com

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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