Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund are, from left, Robert Reece, Patty Cherry Reece, Mayor Stephen Hagerty and event co-chairs Nicki Pearson and Oliver Ruff. Photo by Rich Foreman

The Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund had a lot to celebrate at its 25th anniversary event, held on Sept. 29 at the Evanston Golf Club in Skokie.

Each year since 1993, the Fund has awarded financial scholarships to Evanston Township High School graduates who wish to pursue an associate, bachelor or graduate degree in education or youth work.

In April, the Fund recognized 20 scholars and awarded a record $50,000 in scholarships.

Warren Cherry was the much loved and respected principal of Lincoln School when he died in 1990.

Mr. Cherry was known to inspire his students by asking, “Are you going to be one of my superstars?” because he saw potential in every one of them.

The Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund was created in 1993 to perpetuate his total acceptance of all people, his commitment to the highest standards of educational excellence and his energetic dedication to enriching the children and institutions of Evanston.

Patty Cherry Reece, Mr. Cherry’s sister and Chairman of the Warren “Billy” Scholarship Fund, and her husband Robert Reece, President, say they are incredibly proud of the work the organization does in honor of Warren. In her closing remarks to a sold-out crowd at the anniversary event, called, “Fund a Future,” Ms. Reece thanked supporters for their generosity.

“A lot of our gifts come from small donations,” she said.

Looking toward the future of the Fund and its recipients, the Cherry Scholarship Board hopes to double the impact of its current commitment to award $50,000 in annual scholarships to youth who might not otherwise have the opportunity to achieve their dream of pursuing a career in education and youth services and reach their goal of annually awarding $100,000 to ETHS graduates.

Heidi Randhava is an award winning reporter who has a deep commitment to community engagement and service. She has written for the Evanston RoundTable since 2016.