Wilmette, Community

News Briefs: Local women leaders sit on panel; Gala benefits New Trier students; Jeff Fox Field breaks ground in Highland Park

To celebrate National Women’s History Month, the Wilmette Woman’s Club hosted a panel discussion on March 14 at the WCW Clubhouse.

The free event featured five local female government leaders from a variety of backgrounds. The panel discussed their experiences in local government, sharing insights on leadership and more.

The panel was moderated by local realtor and author Ali Wenzke, and featured Wilmette Village Trustee Kate Gjaja, Park Board President Kara Kosloskus, New Trier School Board member Sally Pofcher, New Trier Township Supervisor Gail Eisenberg, Wilmette Library Board Vice President Mary Anne O’Keefe and Wilmette District 39 School Board Vice President Anne Hart.

“It was inspiring and informative to hear from these female leaders,” said Melinda Wold, chair of the Woman’s Club Activities Committee. “We appreciate their time and accessibility to hear from the community. These are the types of events that perfectly align with our WCW mission and we look forward to many more of them.”

New Trier Superintendent Dr. Paul Sally (far left) with the school’s 2024 Hall of Honor inductees.

Gala benefits New Trier students

The New Trier High School community was brought together on March 8 at the Renaissance Chicago North Shore Hotel for the educational foundation’s Gala 2024, celebrating the Class of 2024 and the year’s Hall of Honor inductees.

Gala 2024 raised more than $53,000, not including sponsorships and ticket sales, according to a release from the foundation.

The funding supports the foundation’s goals to support educational opportunities and special projects — such as the Marran Grant program — that are not fully funded by the District 203 budget.

“This means we will be able to fund more innovative and impactful programs that our teachers and staff can use to help our students reach their full potential,” said Sara Elasser, event chair for the foundation.

The evening began with a cocktail reception, for which the New Trier jazz ensemble provided the music. New Trier arts students crafted one-of-a-kind vases for the banquet tables, and applied arts students built wooden games to entertain guests.

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Alumni Achievement Award to eight accomplished NTHS grads. The recipients were: Tara P. Abrahams (Class of 1994), a global advocate for girls and women; Sam Barsh (1999), a GRAMMY-winning international producer, songwriter, and keyboardist; Robert Bryant (1980) NASA chemist and National Inventors Hall of Famer; Jerry Fiddler (1969), chairman and co-founder of Wind River software critical to operating systems in multiple industries; Donald Katz, (1970), founder of Audible, leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling; Liesel Pritzker Simmons (2002), advocate for informed, conscientious investing addressing social and environmental challenges; Richard Sherman (1973), board-certified orthopedic surgeon dedicated to serving New Trier athletics programs; and Ellen Spertus (1986), doctor of computer science with the goal of increasing the diversity of students exposed to computer science.

The Giants Athletic Boosters at the Jeff Fox Field Groundbreaking on March 12.

Jeff Fox Field breaks ground in Highland Park

Park district officials and friends broke ground of Jeff Fox Field at Larry Fink Memorial Park on March 12 in Highland Park.

The $1.02 million project is part of a larger plan to renovate athletic fields at Larry Fink, Danny Cunniff and Sunset Woods Parks. The field is being named Jeff Fox Field, in honor of a longtime Highland Park resident, and it will more than triple the number of hours the field can be played on each year, according to the Park District of Highland Park.

The current field frequently floods, and as a result the park loses hundreds of hours of play each year.

The field is expected to be completed later this summer. The Giants Athletic Boosters, an officiant of the Parks Foundatin of Highland Park, are responsible for much of the funding for the project. Other funding was donated by the Fox family while the park district also contributed from its coffers.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.


This article was developed using publicly available information, such as press releases, municipal records and social media posts.

Related Stories