City program supports community organizations

By Dan McLeister
 for The Elmhurst Independent

At a recent meeting of the Explore Elmhurst Community Grant Committee, the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra received the highest grant of $25,000 in the City’s community grant program. The money was to assist with costs associated with the first two concerts of the 2017-18 season.

Next on the list was $20,000 for the Elmhurst Art Museum to assist with costs for the new exhibit, “Hebru Brantley: Local Heroes.”

The total for all grants was $140,000.

The purpose of the Community Grant Program is to support community organizations that enhance Elmhurst as an engaging and fulfilling place to live, visit and conduct business, said Chris Healy (5th Ward), chairman of the Public Affairs and Safety Committee.

He said the Grant Program’s funding priorities include organizations that introduce new or exciting events or activities to Elmhurst, have the potential to attract visitors to Elmhurst, and which demonstrate cooperation among Elmhurst organizations. All applicants have consented to implementing Explore Elmhurst branding into their marketing materials for their Community Grant sponsored events.

Funding for the Community Grant Program comes from half of the City’s Hotel/Motel Tax.

Although grants have been awarded to organizations since 1990, the more formal Community Grant Program started in 1998.

Until 2014, the finance director reviewed the grant applications and made recommendations to the Finance, Council Affairs and Administrative Services Committee.

In recent years, an Explore Elmhurst Community Grant Committee was established to review the grant applicants and determine grant recommendations.

The committee members include Tom Trosien, finance director; Brian Bergheger, Elmhurst History Museum director, Carol Pavlik, Elmhurst Public Library communications assistant; Mike Kopp, assistant city manager; Erin Jason, business development coordinator, and Kassandra Schref, communications manager.

Other grants were:

• $18,000 to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee to assist with costs of the parade, specifically in the area of entertainment expenses;

• $15,000 to the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Arts to assist with marketing costs for exhibits;

• $14,000 to the Memorial Day Parade for nearly 100 percent of the parade costs;

• $12,500 for the Elmhurst Cycling Classic to assist with costs of securing and promoting the event;

• $10,000 to Elmhurst City Centre Rock The Block to assist with costs for the 2017 event;

• $5,500 to the Spring Road Business Association to assist with costs of events including Spring Road Day, Easter Egg Hunt, Tree Lighting, Music at the Gazebo, and Sleigh Ride & Ice Sculpture Festival;

• $5,000 to Elmhurst Jaycees to assist with operating costs of the Charity Carnival;

• $5,000 to Special Kids Day to assist with costs of materials and entertainment for the annual December holiday parties for children with special needs and their families;

• $4,000 to the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival to assist with costs associated with the 50th Annual Jazz Festival;

• $2,500 to the Elmhurst Choral Union to assist with costs for the organization’s two yearly concerts;

• $2,500 to the Green Man Theatre to assist with operating costs in the area of show related printing and copying expenses;

• $1,000 to the Elmhurst Garden Club to assist with the execution and promotion of the Children’s Monarch Festival.


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