The Justin Wynn Fund, which has been making a difference in the lives of Evanston and Skokie kids for 23 years through its youth leadership program, was awarded a grant of more than $40,000 from the Woman’s Club of Evanston recently.
Named after Justin Wynn, who drowned at the age of 9 when he was a student at Lincoln School in Evanston, the Justin Wynn Fund and its awards program are intended to nurture students who demonstrate outstanding leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship qualities – similar to Justin’s.
Students range in age from elementary school all the way through high school.
The awards consist of camp scholarships and enrollment in the Justin Wynn Leadership Academy. 24 fourth graders from Evanston/Skokie District 65 schools are chosen annually by their teachers to continue Justin’s legacy with the Justin Wynn Award.
Funds for the Woman’s Club of Evanston grant were raised at the club’s 2010 Spring Benefit, and will benefit the JWLA’s community service for Wynners in grades 5-12.
During the 2009-2010 school year, Wynners’ community service included the following: James Park clean-up; collection of 1,000 toiletries donated to Connections for the Homeless; cooking and service at Beth Emet Synagogue and Hilda’s Place soup kitchens; collection of 200 bags of food for Hemenway Methodist Food Pantry; monthly activities with residents of the King Retirement Home; 3-on-3 basketball tournament fundraiser with donations to the Evanston Animal Shelter and Lighthouse for the Blind; workday at Infant Welfare Society of Evanston and Family Focus; volunteers for the Special Olympics.
The “Wynners,” as the award recipients are called, reflect Evanston’s racial and economic diversity and bring a mix of students who live in all corners of the city. They work as a team to make thoughtful and practical decisions, studying what needs to be achieved and how they do it.
Older students mentor younger while they work together planning meaningful community service projects each year.
More information about the Fund is available at www.wynners.org