January 2017 Newsletter
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This year we will return to Galleria Marchetti to host our annual Kickoff Event, which is going to be our biggest and best one yet. Due to the success of our 2016 Kickoff, we’ve extended the cocktail reception to give folks more time to mingle and check out our expanded array of silent auction items. We are also pleased to have NBC5 Weekend Traffic Anchor, Marley Kayden, back as our emcee. 

Want to Help Out? We Need:

  • Volunteers to work that night (setup, registration, etc.)
  • Table Captains – Sell tickets and host a table
  • Silent Auction Items

For details on any of these, contact Events Coordinator Kevin Carroll at kevincarroll@b2si.org. More details, including information of ticket sales, to follow soon but make sure you mark your calendars today!

A special THANK YOU to all those companies that made early commitments as 2017 Back 2 School Program sponsors:

Founder/Presenting Sponsor
Community Currency Exchange Association of Illinois

Diamond Sponsor
Kits for Kidz, MB Financial Bank, Western Union Foundation

Platinum Sponsor
Chicago Financial Services Center, NBC/Comcast/Universal,
Electronic License Service, Republic Bank

Gold Sponsor
Allstate Insurance, Chicago Park District, Green Dot,
Pawlan, Blumenfeld,Miscinski, & Associates

Silver Sponsor
A-All Financial Services, Checkexpress, CheckFreePay, Forest Security,
Highland Solutions, Park Forest Currency Exchange, Talro Insurance

Bronze Sponsor
Arnstein & Lehr, Bob's Discount Furniture, CheckChangers, DBP Chicago, Dunbar Armored, Illinois Lending Corporation, iStream Financial Services

Media Sponsor
Make It Better, Total Traffic & Weather Network

*As of 1/12/17


Total Traffic & Weather Network Broadcasts the B2SI Mission
From Classic Rock to Contemporary Hits Stations


Since we became an official nonprofit back in 2010, Total Traffic & Weather Network (TTWN) has donated Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) to B2SI. These PSA’s run on dozens of radio stations throughout the Chicagoland area each summer. TTWN has once again stepped up and generously donated these time slots to us for another year and we want to send our media sponsor a big “THANK YOU” for this exposure!

B2SI’s Matthew Kurtzman Sits Down for an Exclusive Interview with 93.9 WLIT’s Robin Rock 
CEO Discusses B2SI’s Vision and What to Look Forward To


Robin Rock of 93.9 WLIT-FM had our CEO Matthew Kurtzman up to the iHeartRadio studios this week to discuss our organization’s programs and the need for nonprofits such as ours to fill in the cracks in our system the prevent children from getting a proper education.

Tune in this weekend to hear the exclusive interview. Air times are Sunday at 6 am on 93.9 WLIT-FM, Saturday at 6 am on 103.5 Kiss FM, and Sunday at 10 pm on
Big 95.5 FM.


Holiday Distribution with Operation Homefront
Great Lakes Naval Station Receives 200 Kits

B2SI rounded out a successful year with holiday distributions with our dedicated partner, Operation Homefront. Military families at the Great Lakes Naval Station received our signature kits as well as some household supplies and holiday treats provided by several area companies.   We welcomed Mommy Blogger, Kelly Anderson, as a special volunteer for the event. Kelly is a journalist and contributing writer for several publications in the Chicagoland area.


We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Kelly, and we cannot wait to continue our partnership with Operation Homefront in 2017.

College Scholarship Update
Harvard Freshman Tells Us About Her Experience Thus Far

Every year at our Kickoff Event we give out five college scholarships ($2,500 each) to graduating high school seniors, courtesy of Community Currency Exchange Association of Illinois (CCEA) and the Tufano family. Among our recipients in 2016 was Lucy Wang, graduating senior from Naperville Central in Naperville, IL.

This past fall Lucy began her undergraduate career at Harvard University. After her first semester, the difference in lifestyle is the most significant change that Lucy has noticed. As a result of less time spent in classes, Lucy has been able to try a number of new things as well as finding the time to be an editor for the undergraduate newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, join the robotics clubs, and work at the Harvard Art Museum. Despite her love for the arts, Lucy’s favorite course thus far is linear algebra, which she says stretched her mind in a way that no other class has done before.

Unfortunately, Lucy was unable to attend our Kickoff Event last May, but she is still extremely honored for the recognition. She has this advice for high school seniors who are still in the college/scholarship search: “Don't be hesitant to recognize that you may not be 100% sure of what you want to do because I know that I didn't. Set your goals high because you never know if you don't try, and keep your mind open.”

Check back in February for details on how to apply for our 2017 College Scholarships.

B2SI Has Record Year in Kit Distributions
29,714 Kits Distributed in 2016
In 2016 our organization experienced a few changes, but one thing stayed the same: our continual growth. Since our inception we have been fortunate enough to experience an increase in our kit distributions each year. In 2016 we were able to distribute 891,000 school supplies in 29,714 kits. Not willing to rest on our laurels, we’ve set another goal for 2017 to help even more children than at any time in our history.

We are so happy to have worked with a number of community partners and government agencies to have changed the lives of schoolchildren in some small way. It is very rewarding to have the opportunity to receive acknowledgement from their work which makes these “Thank You” cards that much more sweet.

We are very proud of the work we have done in 2016 and hope to continue to broaden our reach in 2017. 

Copyright © 2016 Back 2 School Illinois, All rights reserved. 
We like to keep those interested and involved in ICECF informed on what we are doing. 

Our mailing address is: 
Back 2 School Illinois
3959 N. Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60613
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Back 2 School Illinois · 3959 N. Lincoln Ave · Chicago, IL 60613 · USA

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