From left to right: Ren Freeman, Leslie Cousineau, Evan Finamore, Jane Rodriguez, Regina Wootten (co-chair), Aleca Sullivan, Becky Kremin, Marion Clemens and Katie Bailey (co-chair).  The picture was taken at the original Boosterpalooza five years ago on the rooftop of the Sherman Plaza Parking Garage. It includes the co-chairs as well as all the women who helped make the very first Boosterpalooza possible. Not pictured: Monica Martinson, and Georgia Martin

Evanston Township High School Boosters is hosting its Fifth Annual Boosterpalooza from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Sherman Plaza garage rooftop, 821 Davis St.  The musical event brings people from thoughout the community together to support ETHS.

Most high school booster clubs focus exclusively on raising funds for their school’s sports teams, but ETHS Boosters works to promote all extracurricular activities including fine arts, after-school clubs, and sports. 

“Supporting our Boosters is easy because it supports everyone involved in a high school activity,” said Katie Bailey, one of the women who organized the first Boosterpalooza five years ago along with Becky Kremlin, Monica Martinson, and Regina Wootten.

Prior to the first Boosterpalooza, the Boosters would host several, smaller fundraisers throughout the year.  Ms. Bailey said they wanted to create one big annual event at the start of the school year that would bring together parents, alumni, and friends of ETHS to celebrate the kick-off to a new year.

“A lot of us had kids attending Chicago’s Lollapalooza at the time and we thought how fun it would be to recreate that on a smaller scale,” said Ms. Bailey. 

The women envisioned an outdoor venue with beer, food, and a line-up of local Evanston musical talent.  Securing an outdoor location where alcohol could be served was a challenge, however.  Ms.  Wootten came up with the idea of having it on top of a parking garage. 

“We had a lot of meetings with City Council to make that happen,” said Ms. Bailey. “The success of the first Boosterpalooza was a true example of so many people coming together and the City was a true partner.”

More than 500 people attended the first party, raising nearly $45,000, far exceeding organizers’ expectations. 

Holly Brady, the current Boosterpalooza Chair, said their goal this year is to raise $75,000 or more, but added it is less about the money and more about the people coming together to celebrate the community.

“It’s a great opportunity for friends – old and new – to come together to enjoy a beautiful view of our city, eat local food and drink, listen to great music all while supporting ETHS,” she said.

This year’s music line-up includes Suite Mollie Seven, a local band that plays a variety of music from funk, soul, R&B, rock to jazz.  The ETHS Marching Band and the ETHS Jazz Band will also be performing.

All adults from the Evanston community are invited to attend.

“Our goal was always to make it an inclusive event,” said Ms. Bailey.  “ If you live in Evanston and you have kids, ETHS is the one unifying institution that brings us all together.  We wanted to create something that really celebrates that.”

Anyone wishing to learn more or to purchase tickets should go to ethsboosters.org