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On behalf of the members of the Woman’s Club of Evanston, past and present, I am writing to thank Director of Parks, Recreation, & Community Services, Mr. Lawrence C. Hemingway, The Honorable Mayor Hagerty, and City Council for the thoughtful decision to continue to honor our founder, Mrs. Elizabeth Boynton Harbert when renaming Harbert Park.

Since 1889, The Woman’s Club of Evanston, founded by Harbert, continues a legacy of responding to issues of the day and positively impacting the community. Even during these challenging times of COVID, we remain committed to community outreach projects and supporting the community through grants. We remain an active organization with over 300 members from Evanston and surrounding communities.

In addition, the Woman’s Club of Evanston provides grants to community nonprofit organizations each year. You may find this year’s giving focus and information on applying for a grant on our webpage at www.wcofe.org.

With the park’s new name, we are pleased that Elizabeth Boynton Harbert’s legacy will be shared alongside Betty J. Payne—a partnership of two phenomenal women who used their time and gifts to create an immeasurable impact on their community. It is no secret that Evanston has a long history of creating strong and determined women who have made a difference throughout history and changed the trajectory of the rights and opportunities for others with each passing generation. Now more than ever, we are pleased to honor the women who paved the way for many and advocated for those whose voices went unheard.             

Thank you again to the City of Evanston for the thoughtful decision to honor both legendary women with the rededication of a new and beautifully rehabbed park for the community.

Marci Rubin, President of the Woman’s Club of Evanston, 2020-2021