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Friends of the Robert Crown Center announced Wednesday that it had met its initial fundraising goal of $10 million and has set a Phase II goal of adding $5 million more in private donations.
“The initial study said that we could raise $3 million to 5 million for a project like this, but with strong community support and the generosity of our very large anonymous matching donor, we have raised more than double that goal – over $10 million,” said Daniel Stein, President of Friends of the Robert Crown Center, the 501c3 not-for-profit organization partnering with the City of Evanston and Evanston Public Library to build the facility.
Mr. Stein said while donors appreciate the creation of two brand new full sheets of ice and Evanston’s first-ever publicly available turf fields, expanding educational and creative opportunities is fueling much of the support at this point in the campaign.
The $40 million project includes a 5,000+ square foot library where Northwestern students and other programs can tutor and mentor neighborhood kids while expanding Internet access to families who don’t have it at home.
“We have a world-class university on one side of town, and kids with no Internet at home on the other. Our new Robert Crown will not only provide a space to get homework and online assignments done, but also create the opportunity for tutoring and mentoring so that all of our children, no matter where they live in Evanston, have an opportunity at reaching their full potential,” said Karen Lyons, Executive Director of the Evanston Public Library.
In addition, the new Robert Crown Library, Turf Park, and Community Center will upgrade and expand the child care center, which serves over 100 Evanston families.
Mr. Stein noted the donations range from Northwestern University’s $1 million programming partnership agreement to a Second Chance Resale Event staged by childcare families that raised $2,607 from the sale of gently used children’s clothing.
The campaign has successfully solicited more than 400 gifts from 325 families, businesses, foundations and organizations, including selling more than 140 personalized bricks at $500 each.
“Through gifts large and small, over 400 Evanston institutions, businesses and families, are saying one thing loud and clear about the new Robert Crown Library, Turf Park, and Community Center – it’s happening!” concluded Mr. Stein.