in collaboration


It’s a Wonderful Region Because of You

December 2020 News

With Gratitude and Hope

It’s a wonderful region because of you — our grantees and community partners.

The Foundation is always inspired by the ways our grantees carry out their missions, but particularly throughout this challenging year, we have witnessed their courage and kindness, and been humbled by their strength, resilience and commitment.

An increased investment in our partners throughout our anniversary year has been a way to highlight the impact of the work being done in our region and invest in the work that is yet to be done. So, as this year comes to a close, we are hopeful and grateful. Over the past 25 years, we have – together – built a healthier, stronger region. We will continue to create this local change over the next 25 years with those we are proud to call partner, changemaker and friend.

Happy Holidays from the board and staff of Community Memorial Foundation

2021 Board and Staff Transitions

Foundation Leadership Represents More than 30 Years of Collective Service to the Region

In the same spirit of gratitude, The Foundation is happy to announce several board and staff transitions slated for 2021.

Board Chair Mike Bruni has handed over the gavel to Sue Christoph, who serves as Incoming Board Chair. Mike has led the organization for the past five years, and he will continue to serve on the board through 2021 as Chair Emeritus. Thank you, Mike, and congratulations, Sue!

We would also like to acknowledge Neil James for his incredible nine-year service to the board, including appointments as Board Secretary and Chair of the Grants Committee. Thank you, Neil!

And finally, we are very happy to congratulate Office Manager Gale Christoff on her impending retirement. Gale has served the Foundation for the past 12 years, and is widely regarded for her warmth and hospitality. Greg DiDomenico, Foundation President & CEO notes, “Gale is a wonderful ambassador for the Foundation’s work. She embodies its spirit of gratitude and kindness, and we wish her all the best in this exciting new chapter.”

Collectively, these leaders represent more than 30 years of service to our region. We thank them for their enthusiasm, expertise and commitment to our communities.

Foundation awards more than $1.3M in its Fall Grant Cycle

Community Memorial Foundation recently awarded more than $1.3 million dollars to agencies who are measurably improving health in the Western Suburbs. These organizations offer programs and services that align with the mission and vision of Community Memorial Foundation and address one or more of its funding priorities, including access to health care and basic needs, promotion of good behavioral health, and increased health equity.

Funding highlights include partnerships with Healthy Communities Foundation on Year 3 of a Community Health Worker program and continued support of Aging Care ConnectionsAging Well Neighborhood and Bridge model of transitional care, in partnership with AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center La Grange.

Profiles of several of our fall grant recipients, including Aging Care Connections, BEDS Plus, and Pillars Community Health can be found in 25th Anniversary Profiles on our website.

Youth Philanthropy Program Expands to Include Two New Schools and Funding Partners

YC2, the Foundation’s youth philanthropy program, has expanded to include students from Hinsdale Central and Riverside Brookfield High Schools. The program is now in its third year, and is also open to juniors and seniors from Lyons Township High School and Nazareth Academy. The expansion is credited in large part to the funding support of The Burjan Family, and the newly added support of Moira & Paul Naffah, and Corlyn and Jeff Simmons.

Program sessions start in January. Curricula encourages students to explore our local community and its social needs; learn about philanthropic theory; and engage in organizational evaluation and grantmaking. At the end of the program, students collectively award up to $30,000 to nonprofit organizations that further the mission and vision of Community Memorial Foundation.

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