Cheesy aid for District 219 students in need
Bob (from left), Deb and Max Mauer of Highland Park. | Lee Litas~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:27AM
The Event: More than 825 aficionados of chewy-gooey cheesy goodness made it out on a blustery Jan. 17 to Niles West High School in Skokie for the third annual District 219 Education Foundation for Excellence “Pizza Wars” eager to try out a dozen different pies from local purveyors all vying for the coveted title of Pizza Maker of the Year.
The event is a fundraiser for the Foundation, which has awarded in excess of $100,000 dollars in scholarships over the past seven years to students in their district who are on a free or reduced hot lunch program.
Cause célèbre: “I think people would be very surprised to know that 33 percent of the students who go high school at Niles North and Niles West can’t afford food,” said D219 Board President Bob Silverman. “Those same kids would have the same trouble affording some of the basic necessities to get a good education, like calculators and laptops.”
Alyse Cohen Burman is one of seven charter members of the Education Foundation and alum of Niles North. “When we had gone to school here there was no situation where the state was broke. Money was plentiful and unfortunately today that is not the case.”
Foundation members consist of alumni, parents and teachers. Qualified recipients are chosen blindly without identifying their race, sex or creed. “We don’t want to know. We (only) know they are all in that 33 percent,” said Burman.
Superintendent Dr. Nanciann Gatta added, “District 219 Foundation insures that every child has equal access to the learning tools they need to succeed…to make every child and their family’s dream a reality.”
Bottom line: Local vendor Village Inn Pizzeria snagged the title of Pizza Maker of the Year and the event raised well over $8,300 for students of District 219.