Announcing the 2016 Fall Awards Recipients
Each year, Bright Promises hosts a complimentary celebration to honor luminary individuals whose transformative work with Illinois children deserves special recognition. Our annual Fall Awards are presented to exemplary leaders whose actions, achievements and service to children stand as a model to others.
This year, we received more than three times as many nominations for our annual awards. Bright Promises' Board of Directors were deeply inspired by the incredible work and significant impact of this years nominees on the lives of our most vulnerable children. Thank you to everyone who submitted a nomination!
We are honored to announce the recipients of Bright Promises Foundation's 2016 Fall Awards...
2016 Champion for Children Award
Gigi Pritzker is an accomplished film and stage producer, businesswoman, and an active philanthropist. Ms. Pritzker holds a position on the Sundance Institute Board of Trustees, is the Founder & Vice Chair of Project&, a member of the Board of the Goodman Theatre of Chicago and serves on the Advisory Board of the Harold Ramis Film School.
Ms. Pritzker was a founder of the Pritzker Early Childhood Foundation, which supports initiatives in the field of early childhood development. Ms. Pritzker has served on the Board of the Chicago Children’s Museum for 15 years, serving as the Board Chair for 6 years. Ms. Pritzker is also President of Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation which serves children through violence prevention, educational opportunities and cultural impact. Ms. Pritzker is a Chicago native and the proud mother of three children.
Ms. Pritzker has been a longtime supporter of Bright Promises and has shown tireless dedication to supporting our mission. Upon awarding a $1.3 million grant to Bright Promises EQUIP program, Ms. Pritzker said, "We have been so impressed by Bright Promises' stewardship of the program. It is our intention that this grant will ensure that, for years to come, many [organizations] will receive resources they need in improve care and education for young children."
2016 Lifetime Achievement Award
Ron Manderschied became President of Northwestern Settlement in 1981. He has overseen the founding of many of the Settlement’s largest programs including Rowe Elementary charter school, the internationally-recognized Adventure Stage Chicago theatre, AmeriCorps Project YES! and a nationally-accredited preschool. Mr. Manderschied serves as the Treasurer of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. He is the past Board Chair of United Neighborhood Centers of America and a board member of the Neighborhood Capital Institute. Mr. Manderschied also serves on the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Actions Counsel.
2016 Ed Marciniack Bright Star Award
Maria Muñoz serves as the Academic Program Coordinator for Erie Neighborhood House where she has assisted five different classes of high school seniors to achieve a 100% graduation rate and 98% college placement. Ms. Muñoz will apply the $5,000 honorarium towards her Masters in Higher Education which she will use to advocate for institutional programs that target Latino students, fostering a path whereby they can succeed and become the future leaders of our city and our nation.