Excellence in Philanthropy Awards

Three annual awards honor those who demonstrate significant philanthropic impact in Oak Park-River Forest. Each year the Foundation recognizes an outstanding individual philanthropist, an outstanding business or group, and an outstanding young person or youth group. Each of the recipients of these awards has been inspired to be philanthropic and their generosity supports the well-being and sustainability of Oak Park and River Forest, just as the Community Foundation does.

Nominations from the public for each of these awards are accepted throughout the year. For more information, contact Henry Kranz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 708-848-1560.


Past Award Recipients

Outstanding Individual Philanthropist
(includes a $1000 grant to a nonprofit selected by the awardee)
  • 2015: Carollina Song
    (Grant to The Collaboration for Early Childhood)
  • 2014: John A Harris
    (Grant to The Children's Museum)
  • 2013: Nancy Waichler
    (Grant to the Nineteenth Century Scholarship Fund)
  • 2012: Donna Myers
    (Grant to: OPRF Food Pantry)
  • 2011: Chatka Ruggiero
    (Grant to: Animal Care League)
  • 2010: Lisa Lewis
    (Grant to: The Children’s  Clinic)
  • 2009: Mary Jo Schuler
    (Grant to: Community Leadership Program)

Outstanding Business/Group
(includes a $1000 grant to a local nonprofit selected by the awardee)
  • 2015: The Buzz Cafe
    (Grant to Housnig Forward)
  • 2014: The Neighborhood Giving Project
    (Grant to Opportunity Knocks)
  • 2013: Opportunity Knocks Auxiliary Board
    (Grant to: Opportunity Knocks)
  • 2012: OPRF Alumni Association’s Summer Enrichment Program
    (Grant to: The Summer Enrichment Grant Program)
  • 2011: OakParkApartments.com/Greenplan Management
    (Grant to: OPRF Day Nursery)
  • 2010: Community Bank of Oak Park
    (Grant to: West Suburban PADS)
  • 2009: Rotary Club of Oak Park
    (Grant to: Haitian Relief Fund)

Outstanding Young Person/Youth Group
(includes a $1000 grant to a local nonprofit selected by the awardee)
  • 2015: Aidan Bertocchini
    (Grant to The Oak Park-River Forest Food Pantry)
  • 2014: Ella Dixon
    (Grant to Project Heal)
  • 2013: Carl Faust & Maeve Mascarenhas
    (Grant to: West Suburban P.A.D.S.)
  • 2012: Hephzibah Huskies
    (Grant to: Hephzibah Children’s Association)
  • 2011: OPRF High School’s Tau Gamma
    (Grant to: Sarah’s Inn)
  • 2009: Bonnie Brae Lemon Aid Stand
    (Grant to: The Children’s Clinic)
  • 2010: Infant Welfare Society Circle 80
    (Grant to: The Children’s Clinic)

Download a nomination application here

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