Boosterpalooza goes from rooftop to laptop this year.
"Evanston Rules" podcasters, ETHS Students Organized Against Racism, Evanston Township High School (ETHS) alum's SIYAHAMBA choir, will be among Boosterpalooza online activities and entertainment next Saturday. ETHS Boosters, the only Booster club in the Central Suburban League that goes beyond sports to also support music, fine arts, and after-school clubs, will hold the "Covid-19 edition" of their annual fundraiser online next Saturday, September 12, with an emphasis on wellness, connection, and engagement.
In looking toward this eighth annual event, Booster presidents Chaniece Brown and Holly Brady, along with event co-chairs Kara Mann and Kimberly Dietz, quickly recognized that the pandemic has made this year a challenging time for many people to donate, so they've created an event that focuses especially on community and celebration.
They encourage everyone to join the festivities, which will include an online auction during the day and live and "live-to-tape" performances from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Organizers ask anyone who is financially able to participate in the auction and to donate what they can so the Boosters can continue to support ETHS extra-curricular activities.
"We work closely with ETHS directors to ensure every club, team or group that requests support gets it,” says Kara Mann. “So all support is greatly appreciated."
The broad range of clubs and events the ETHS Boosters supported this past school year include:
Button maker for Dreamers Club
Sandwich supplies for Anti-Hunger Club
Robotics Competition Field for NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers
Lion Dance costume for Chinese Club
Studio time and engineering costs for Hip Hop/Poetry Club
Dance workshop for Israeli Club
Basketballs for Special Olympics
Support for SOAR activities; and
Regional competition shirts, supplies and leadership conference (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPEjr. Chapter)
In addition, Booster funds provided girls basketball practice jerseys, a portable piano and xylophones for the Marching Band, replaced the flooring for the ETHS Dance Co., and more.
Musical entertainment next Saturday include performances by the ETHS Marching Band, the SIYAHAMBA (Zulu for "we are marching") virtual choir made up of ETHS alumni, along with local favorites Chickenbone, Alongside Harold, and more.
ETHS alums Laurice Bell, Mike DeVaul, and Ron Whitmore, whose new podcast "Evanston Rules" explores the history and stories of people who have made a difference in Evanston, will webcast interviews with members of Students Organized Against Racism (SOAR), one of the many groups that has benefited from Booster funding.
"We're all so proud of the place that helped grow and shape us," says Laurice. "Just as ETHS grew us, it continues to grow and learn and work to close achievement gaps. Education is a great equalizer. Offering opportunities to all is something we support and applaud."
To register: Boosterpalooza.GiveSmart.com, or text “boosterpalooza” to 76278.
For more info about the Boosters: ethsboosters.org.