caption freeform

2021 Award Recipients

2021 City of Highland Park Award Recipients Announced
Award recipients will be honored at a virtual award ceremony on April 22

April 21, 2021 – The City of Highland Park is pleased to announce the 2021 Highland Park Awards recipients. Presented annually, the awards recognize those who have made positive, sustained, and impactful contributions to the community in their respective category. The Arts Award, Community Hero Award, Humanitarian Award, and the Character Counts Pillar Awards will be presented by the City, North Shore School District 112, Highland Park High School, and the Park District of Highland Park at a virtual ceremony on Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 7:00 PM. The Zoom access information for the virtual award ceremony is as follows:

Join the webinar:

Join by phone: +1.312.626.6799.  Webinar ID: 824 5922 5867

The ceremony will remain archived at for viewing at individuals' convenience.

Humanitarian Award Recipient: Dolores Kohl
Dolores Kohl is recognized for her outstanding service to the Highland Park community and her generous philanthropic endeavors. From the very start of her teaching career at Oak Terrace School to the recent work of her foundation, Kohl has demonstrated a sustained commitment to the arts and education, with a particular focus on enhancing equity of access to experience-based learning for children in underserved areas, both in the United States and abroad. Through her charitable endeavors, Kohl has facilitated innovative ways to provide children with a strong educational foundation and love for the arts.

Community Hero Awards: Serving Others During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Community Hero Awards recognize those who have gone above and beyond in their service to our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 recipients are:

BellaRu Catering, for donating food to local families by joining forces with Fight2Feed, whose goal is to reduce food waste and serve those facing food insecurity;
Charles Murphy, for designing, creating, and distributing over 3,500 CDC-compliant masks to nursing homes, medical staff, day care centers, and others; andAbel Rosenberg, for his dedicated volunteer work with Roberti Community House, overseeing food distribution to families in need.

In addition, the City recognizes the following as Honorable Mentions:

28 Mile Distillery, for adapting their business to produce and donate hand sanitizer to organizations throughout the area, including Moraine Township, Shop ‘n Drop, Green Bay School, Highland Park Early Learning Center, the City of Highland Park and others;
SaLT, for its volunteer-driven Shop ‘n Drop program, which regularly provides groceries to approximately 130 families in Highland Park and surrounding communities; andJeff Cohen, for the Backyard Portraits fundraiser, which donated all proceeds from family photo sessions to first responders, healthcare workers, families in need and causes supporting Black Lives Matter.

Arts Award Recipient: Ravinia Festival, honoring Welz Kauffman, Nick Pullia, and Jim Schmitz
Ravinia Festival is honored for its decades-long commitment to our community, sustained investment in its programmatic offerings and facilities, and highly creative endeavors to remain connected to audiences during its “silent summer” in 2020. In particular, the City recognizes Ravinia for the launch of Ravinia TV, a weekly variety show which provided fans with the opportunity to hear exclusive performances, panel discussions, and more; its numerous environmentally-conscious, experiential and aesthetic infrastructure upgrades, and its ongoing community education programs, especially Reach*Teach*Play, providing valuable music instruction to over 85,000 students throughout the Chicago area. Kauffman, Pullia, and Schmitz are given special honor for their significant contributions to Ravinia’s success.

Character Counts Pillar Award Recipients:
The Character Counts Pillar Awards recognize community members who have demonstrated the Six Pillars of Character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Nominations will be reviewed by the Character Counts Steering Committee, a joint endeavor of the City, the Park District of Highland Park, North Shore School District 112, and Highland Park High School.

The Character Counts Pillar Awards recognize community members who exemplify the six pillars of character in their daily lives: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship:

Braeside Elementary School  
Isabelle Davis Responsibility
Zev Kessel Caring
Indian Trail Elementary School
Cristian Sanche Caring
Theodore Soifer Caring
Oak Terrace Elementary School
Julissa Barraza Caring
Byron Diaz-Simon Citizenship
Ravinia Elementary School  
Valentino Lillig Caring
Lucia Lytle Respect
Red Oak Elementary School  
Emily Calub Caring
Sofia Wisner Responsibility
Sherwood Elementary School
Liza Lewis Caring
Hal Steinberg Trustworthiness
Wayne Thomas Elementary School
Naomi Brand Respect
Gavin Felsenthal Respect
Edgewood Middle School  
Joshua DuBrow Responsibility
Carly Levin Responsibility
Northwood Middle School  
Saul Deyta Responsibility
Emily Hsu Responsibility
Highland Park High School  
Jolyn Cerda Citizenship
Maddy Garneau Citizenship
Alethea Hoyte-Johns Citizenship
Fatimah Jalal Citizenship
Elianna Kimelman Citizenship
Brooke Stancin Citizenship
Temamnesh Summerfield Citizenship
Allie Woldenberg Citizenship
Community Members  
Eugene Calub Caring
Laurie Oster Caring
Tracey Rosett Caring


Questions may be directed to the City Manager’s Office at 847.926.1000.