Story Slam: A Benefit for Farther Foundation

Enjoy food, drink and the company of friends while hearing stories of travel, adventure, mishap and discovery told by consummate storytellers.

When: Thursday, October 16, 7:00 – 10:00 pm

Where: FitzGerald’s Nightclub, 6615 Roosevelt Rd, Berwyn, IL

logosOur Master of Ceremonies for the evening is WLS Channel 7 Chicago news correspondent, John Garcia.

Storytellers include:

Pat Byrnes is an author, comedian, New Yorker Magazine cartoonist and one time aeronautical engineer.

Mike Cramer is an award winning independent film maker, visual artist, performer of written and improv comedy…and a lawyer. Harlene Ellin is a long-time journalist, essayist, marketer, social media maven and domestic impresario.

James Finn Garner is a writer and performer. A former columnist with Chicago Magazine, his writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, NPR, and the BBC. His book, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories, is an international best-seller translated into more than 25 languages.

Stephanie Douglass is a farmer, writer, and performer. She has worked in the Middle East, East Africa, and alternative schools on Chicago’s west side. She has been featured at Here’s the Story, This Much Is True, Real Talk Live, Paper Machete, I Sh*t You Not, and all kinds of other story-filled events. She is a Moth GrandSLAM winner, and during the week, she grows delicious, organic veggies and trains people with employment barriers for Growing Home.

Eden Novak started out as a bad-ass, smart-mouth kid who explored rock and roll stardom, clothing wholesaling, and horticultural therapy, which then made its natural progression to lingerie boutique owner. After rocking, rolling, jazzing, popping, country crooning (she hates to admit that!) with various bands, she found herself back on the theatrical stage with Open Door Repertory and guest appearances in theatre, radio and television.

Patty Jenkins serves as a chaplain in the Army Reserve and recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan. A longtime storytelling enthusiast, Patty will share how the same journey can both leave you stranded and welcome you in.

Musical Entertainment

Emerging from Galesburg in the prairies of Illinois, Jim Haptonstahl has worn a variety of musical hats. Starting as a solo artist in 1974, Jim integrated his original material into a mix of folk-rock, from Beatles to Buffalo Springfield to Cat Stevens, while also weaving in complex textures with elaborate poly-rhythms and open tunings.

Register and buy your tickets now Online!

Tickets start at $50 and include food, two drinks and all the entertainment. You may also purchase tickets for a chance to win vacation packages in our raffle.

Farther Foundation is grateful to all of the performers tonight for the generous contribution of their time and talents. Many thanks as well to Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, Kaehler Luggage/World Traveler, Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises and The Wit Hotel

For more information or to purchase tickets offline, phone: 708-497-7240, or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Study Abroad, High School Graduation and College Attendance

We recently attended HighSight's annual dinner in celebration of its graduating class of high school students. HighSight is one of our outstanding partner organizations. It provides deserving students with scholarships to attend private high schools and offers additional support in the way of tutoring, mentoring and college prep activities. Over the years, Farther Foundation has supported several HighSight students with scholarships for enrichment travel programs.

The highlight of the evening occurred when the class of 20 high school graduates approached the microphone individually to offer thanks and announce their college plans for the fall -- and they were all going to college in the fall. At least 15 of those 20 students specifically mentioned their enrichment travel experience as being an essential factor in their success and their choices. Without the help of Farther Foundation, these experiences would not happen.

We had the honor and pleasure to visit with three new graduates who we had supported with scholarships in 2013.

C and LChristine and Lizbeth used their Farther Foundation scholarships to travel to China and Panama respectively.  They have both gone on to win highly competitive scholarships from the State Department's National Security Language Initiative for the summer. With this opportunity, Christine will go back to study language in China while Lizbeth learns Arabic in Morocco. This fall, Christine will begin her college experience at Knox College and Lizbeth will attend Furman University.


Alicia had the experience of a lifetime traveling to Tanzania, Africa with her Farther Foundation scholarship. Her next adventure will be to start college at Furman University. Her parents could not be more proud of her achievements thus far, and after Tanzania feel more comfortable about sending her off to begin college far from home.

Go Farther!


Enrichment programs help college acceptance


In 2012, Farther Foundation helped Eric attend Columbia University for a four week pre-college summer program. Just the other day, we received a note from Eric:

“I just wanted to take the time to thank you once more on giving me the opportunity to attend Columbia University the summer after my sophomore year. As high school is coming to an end, I am going through one of the hardest choices in my life: which college to attend. However, I have been admitted to Colgate University, and they personally wrote on my decision letter that my experience at Columbia seemed remarkable. I know that without the help from the Further Foundation my college essay would not have had the experience at Columbia.”

The programs that Farther Foundation enables students to experience make a real impact in their lives. They grow in confidence, their world view expands, and their aspirations and expectations are heightened. Also, importantly, as Eric’s experience shows, educational enrichment programs can have a big positive impact on a college application.

Eric confirmed with us that he has indeed chosen to attend Colgate University (he will also attend Columbia again as well as part of the 3-2 engineering program he will begin this fall). He told us that he will be the first in his family to attend college, and the opportunity to get a degree from an Ivy League school is “off the chart”.

We wish Eric the best of luck and know he will continue to dedicate himself to his education and take full advantage of all the opportunities he has earned. We are looking forward to hearing from more of our Farther Foundation alumni now that college acceptance deadlines are at hand.

Farther Foundation and the students we serve depend on the tax deductible donations from people like you to make these life changing experiences possible.

Go Farther!


Summer learning narrows the achievement gap

At Farther Foundation we evaluate the success of our program in several ways. In the long-run, we believe the most telling statistics will be the high school graduation, college enrollment and college graduation rates of our program alumni. We are very pleased to report that 100% of our scholarship recipients have graduated high school, 95% have continued directly into college and all but one of those are currently enrolled. We look forward to seeing our first class of alumni graduate in 2014.

Another critical research finding that we recently saw reported by the National Summer Learning Association indicates that nearly two-thirds of the 9th grade achievement gap can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. So not only are the summer educational travel programs enabled by Farther Foundation inspirational to a student’s future goals and aspirations, they are foundational in preparing students to achieve every day in their ongoing education.

Go Farther!



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