Photo Courtesy of Rich Foreman Photography

Meeting and exceeding goals is something the Warren “Billy” Cherry Scholarship Fund has been doing since 1993, when the organization started with one $2,500 scholarship. In 2019, in honor of its 25th anniversary, the fund doubled the amount awarded in scholarships last year, awarding a total of $100,000 to 27 Evanston Township High School graduates.

More than 200 people attended the Cherry Scholarship Award Dinner on April 28 at Maggiano’s in Skokie, where they celebrated this year’s scholarship recipients, and honored the legacy of Warren “Billy” Cherry, a much loved and respected Evanston educator whose life was cut short by cancer when he died in 1990.

Keynote speaker and Chute Middle School principal Jim McHolland said, “Warren Cherry was quite simply the kind of man you remember for a lifetime.”

Mr. McHolland said he has known and worked alongside members of the Cherry family for more than 30 years. Cherry scholars share with Warren Cherry “a passion for helping students find their best selves,” he said.

“The common thread among all Cherry Scholarship recipients is that they have committed to working with youth in the world of education. There’s a wide range of scholars in the room, from students who have just finished at the high school, to those who are going on to a second opportunity,” said Mr. McHolland.

The Fund provides financial assistance for graduating seniors, graduates of Evanston Township High School, or students who have attended ETHS and subsequently earned a Graduate Equivalency Diploma (GED), who are pursuing an associate’s, a bachelor’s or a graduate degree in education or youth work.

This year’s Warren Cherry Scholarship Fund scholars are Alexandria Bolling, Jordan Brooks, Mechelle Casey, Jesse Chatz, Jeron Dorsey, Harris B. Harris, Briana Jenkins, Ryan Johnson, Leila Lemieux-Jordan, Jeremy McCray, Jasmine Medina, Rudy Meo, Jose Morales-Martinez, Nathan Norman, Rachel Patino, Jennifer Rodrigues-Gomez, Jaydlyn Rogers, Nikko Ross, Yuli Salgado, Aurora Sanchez, Cialy Santos, Jocelyn Segura, Sarita Smith, Caitlin Strickland, Kathy Wideman, Alanna Williams and Chyna Wright.

Board member Ann Stevens was honored for her extraordinary service to the organization. With no paid staff, the Fund relies solely on dedicated volunteers committed to perpetuating Warren Cherry’s acceptance of all people, his high standards of educational excellence, and his energetic dedication to enriching the children and institutions of Evanton.

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.