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Evanston Community Foundation’s Leadership Evanston program celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012. Its programs train participants in community leadership skills to broaden participants’ understanding of Evanston and the issues it faces and creates opportunities for networking.

Leadership Evanston has had a significant positive impact on the community. Besides serving as elected and volunteer leaders, graduates have been instrumental in creating significant local initiatives and organizations such as Downtown Evanston’s gift card program and the West End Farmers’ Market.

The annual Leadership Evanston alumni event held on Feb. 21 honored seven alumni of the inaugural class of 1992-93, who continue to be engaged in Evanston, exemplifying the values of thoughtful, passionate community involvement that Leadership Evanston seeks to encourage.

 The Leadership Evanston inaugural class honorees were Camille Blachowicz, Betty Sue Ester, Priscilla Florence, Shelley Gates, Paul Gottschalk, Patrick Hughes, Jr. and Denise Martin. They all credit their Leadership Evanston experience for deepening their knowledge of Evanston and giving them what Mr. Gottschalk describes as “a toolkit of ideas and techniques to work well with others to promote positive change.”

 The deadline for applying for the 21st Leadership Evanston class is July 1. Applications are available at  www.evanstonforever.org or at the Evanston Community Foundation, 1007 Church St., Suite 108, Evanston 60201.