When the Ivy Pearl Foundation, Inc. (IPF) celebrates its newest college scholarship award recipients on Friday, June 7, it also will celebrate the role community members play by supporting nearly 20 years This type of support was evident last month when more than 200 elegantly attired patrons crowded the Evanston Arts Center, creating a scene reminiscent of the James Bond film classic, Casino Royale. The event marked the third annual casino night fundraiser hosted by IPF, an Evanston-based 501(c)3 philanthropy that, last year alone, awarded $15,000 in new and continuing college scholarships to local students. Since its inception, IPF has distributed educational grants totaling more than $200,000.

Event co-chairs, Sydni Craig and Katawna (K) Tyler, both of Evanston, put the “fun” in fundraising with; half-hourly raffles for increasingly larger prizes; a vibrantly versatile DJ who had patrons packing the dance floor; and a filling array of foodstuffs, featuring a deliciously decadent dessert lounge. Guests tried their luck at casino-style games of poker, blackjack and roulette, with winners cashing in their chips for valuable prizes. Partygoers also competed for prizes, medals and bragging rights in a fast-paced, bid whist card tournament.

“One thing that distinguishes our scholarship program from others is that our awards are renewable,” Debra Hill, IPF president, explained. “Once graduating high school seniors receive an initial IPF scholarship, they can qualify for annual grants throughout their undergraduate years by maintaining above-average grades and applying for a renewal.

“We’re able to provide this type of ongoing encouragement to our scholars thanks to the community’s generous support of our Ivy Pearl Foundation fundraisers,” she noted. “So, whether our casino guests win, lose or draw, there’s one sure bet: our Evanston and North Shore scholarship recipients will come out on top.”

The Ivy Pearl Foundation welcomes the community to join scholarship recipients and their families at a 5:30 p.m. reception on Friday at the Dr. Joseph E. Hill Administration Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave.


of IPF fundraisers.