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Greetings Big Shoulders Fund Supporters,

The deep freeze over the past few days has delivered our, typical for this time of year, frozen tundra!  While the bone-chilling cold is always, ahem, invigorating and gives us our wonderful Chicago disposition, it seems to have also offered a momentary respite to talk about one of our favorite pastimes, the weather!  

But, amid the “joys” of winter, I am watching with much admiration and astonishment as our schools – their teams and students – are working as hard as ever to meet the needs of the children we all seek to serve. All the while, they are continuing to navigate the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. The weather might be a momentary distraction, but the challenges of COVID persist. A common theme in these updates, however, is that our Big Shoulders Fund teachers are continuing to approach these challenges with grace and a commitment to their profession and the children they serve. Without a doubt, this is what contributed to our enrollment growth this year. Like all of you, families across Chicago bore witness to these great, heroic efforts for children. The Big Shoulders Fund team, and so many of you, share with me the gratitude we all feel for teachers, principals, and school staffs who show up day in and day out...para los niños! 

Through yet another act of generosity by John and Rita Canning, we have been able to put some of this gratitude into action on behalf of all of us at Big Shoulders Fund. Over the past couple of weeks, we have been delivering five-star, gourmet family dinners to each and every teacher and school staff member in our schools across Chicago and Northwest Indiana. The messages we have received back from teachers speak to the incredible impact of being acknowledged and valued for the many gifts they give to the children who need them the most! 

I wish each of you a happy and healthy 2022, with great appreciation for your support of our mission and schools!

All my very best,

Josh Hale
President & CEO
In the News

Holiday Food Distribution

Last month we held a Holiday Food Distribution where we distributed more than 5,000 meals to our school families and school staffs across various Big Shoulders Fund schools, including Epiphany Catholic School who was featured in this Univision news segment. Since then, we have distributed an additional 15,000 meals for our school communitities.
Thank you to our Co-Chair John Canning and Rita Canning and the Valenti Charitable Foundation for their generosity and to all of the school staffs and volunteers who helped to make this happen. We were thrilled to be able to provide this support to our school communities.
Velasquez Family Endowed Scholarship
Thanks to Big Shoulders Fund Executive Committee Member Art Velasquez and Joanne Velasquez for their continuing support of the Velasquez Family Endowed Scholarship at DePaul University. Preference for this scholarship is now given to graduates of Big Shoulders Fund schools, and we are grateful for this opportunity for our students.

Read more here.

Enrollment Growth

This year, our network of schools experienced overall enrollment growth, which is a testament to the principals, teachers, and school staffs who go above and beyond to ensure students feel supported academically and emotionally. This Chicago Tribune article shares how Big Shoulders Fund schools like St. Ann School, De La Salle Institute, and St. Matthias School have welcomed new families and provided them with the supports they need.
Making A Difference
Thank you to our friends at PNC for hosting a winter clothing drive for students at St. John de la Salle Catholic Academy. Students in preschool through fifth grade were so excited to pick out their new winter wear! Thank you to Craig Esko, Dani Swade, and Big Shoulders Fund Director Scott Swanson for helping to make this possible and their continued supoort for our network of students.
Radio Flyer recently participated in a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service at St. Catherine/St. Lucy (SCSL) School where they moved the library from the third to the fourth floor. Radio Flyer CEO Robert Pasin led the team and was thrilled to share that he was a sixth grade teacher at SCSL in the 90’s. Twenty Radio Flyer volunteers provided more than 50 hours of work.
Upcoming Events
Achieve your fitness goals and create an immeasurable impact in the lives of our network of students by joining the Big Shoulders Fund Racing Team.

Registration to take on the 2022 Bank of America Chicago Marathon is open! Or, join us for  a half-marathon or the Shamrock Shuffle!
Save the Date for the 22nd Annual Big Shoulders Fund Golf Classic at Olympia Fields on Monday, August 1, 2022. Always memorable and packed with fun, the Golf Classic raises funds for the Friends of Big Shoulders Scholarship Fund. Foresomes will go on sale this spring.

Click here for more information or contact Amy Drozda.
Register Today!
Learn More
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