Sixth Annual Positive Impacts Event
By Patrick Butler
The Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, a retired banker/community activist, the Martha Washington Senior Apartment and several local students were honored at the Gene and Rosemary Schulter Foundation’s annual fundraiser at Mrs. Murphy’s Irish Bistro, 3905 N. Lincoln Ave.
According to ABC 7 reporter Janet Davies, who served as the event’s master of ceremonies, the Gene and Rosemary Schulter Foundation has awarded $18,000 in student scholarships.
This year’s honorees included Senior Citizen of the Year Vince Savarino, a long-time neighborhood banker. Savarino worked for the Bank of Ravenswood, the Ravenswood Community Bank, and finally at Wintrust Bank, Davies said.
According to Davies, Savarino’s efforts included bringing new businesses into the community, both as a neighborhood banker and also as president of two local organizations, the Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and the Ravenswood Industrial Council.
One of this year’s Community Builder Awards was awarded to Cathy Romo, the “Go-To Person” at the Martha Washington Apartments, 2324 W. Irving Park Road. Romo was honored for her work with the building’s seniors and her partnering with the Schulter Foundation to help protect local seniors from rip-off artists and to promote senior activities, including outings to Wrigley Field.
Also honored with a Community Builder Award was the late Steve Barry for his work with the scholarship programs at Lane Tech High School, 2501 W. Addison St., and his service to the Schulter Foundation. The award was presented posthumously to Barry’s widow, Ellen, who also serves on the foundation’s board.
This year’s Community Service Award went to the Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club, which has been an integral part of the community since its formation in 1931.
The club’s primary facility is in the Chicago Park District’s Paul Revere Park at 2501 W. Irving Park Road, and has three school-based sites, including one at Coonley School, 4046 N. Leavitt Ave. More than 200 Coonley students are enrolled in NBGC club-sponsored after-school programs.
One hundred teenagers are currently involved in the NBGC’s Youth Leader program, the NBCG’s “flagship” program. Participants in the program learn “vital life skills’ while earning scholarship money for college.
Last year, the NBGC awarded $57,000 in scholarship money, Davies said.
This year’s Schulter Foundation’s $1,000 scholarship winner was Luis Mazon.
The scholarships and other forms of student aid are great investments in the long run, said Bonnie Werstein, NBGC operations director.
Over the past few years, contributions have enabled the foundation program to sponsor five concerts and a movie at Welles Park, 2333 W. Sunnyside Ave., Davies said.
Support for the foundation’s senior programs this year came from the Widdes Family/Albany Auto, Harry Kempf, Hans Boden, Terry Kennedy, Alan Lambrecht, the Chicago Cubs, and Wintrust Bank.
Support for foundation programs also came from Anthony Guaccio of Swedish Covenant Hospital, 5140 N. California Ave., in honor of the hospital’s Women’s Center, Comcast Cable, Betty Baur Crescenzi and Frank Crescenzi of Lakeview Realty, Gene Schulter noted.
Programs like these are especially important these days “at a time when America is kind of pulling apart. It’s organizations like the Schulter Foundation that help pull us back together,” Davies said.