HPCF Board of Directors. Standing (L to R): Jean Meadows, Sofia Alvarez, Cynthia Witten, Betsy Brint, Peter Flanzer, Cookie Kohn, David Reich, Alyssa Knobel, Don Stewart. Seated (L to R): Karen Resin, Ginny Schulte, Jack Blane, Tom Koulentes, Nancy Mills. Absent: David Fairman, Deborah Cogan, Julie Kraff, Jon Levey, Laurie Levin, Walter Nathan, Joe Reinstein, Robyn Schuster
The annual Jack Blane Community Service Award, launched in 2014, honors Jack Blane and his exemplary work within the community.
Jack Blane’s commitment to serving others extended to all aspects of his life. After serving his country as a Marine, Mr. Blane settled in Highland Park where he became a successful businessman.
2020 – Cookie Anspach Kohn
2019 – Patty Pell
2018 – Alyssa Knobel
2017 – Richard Cortesi
2016 – Andrew Livingston
2015 – Tom Koulentes
2014 – Bruce Goodman
Maintaining his commitment to community service, Mr. Blane offered humanitarian services as a Rotarian. He also served as a City of Highland Park Councilman, through which he helped residents, businesses, and numerous local organizations and agencies. In 1992, Mr. Blane became a founding member of The Highland Park Community Foundation. He served as Chairman of the Board and continued to serve on the Board of Directors until his death in 2018.
The Foundation proudly recognizes Carol Louise Anspach Kohn (Cookie Kohn) as the 2020 Recipient of the Jack Blane Community Service Award. Past recipients and champions of the community include Advisory Council member Patty Pell; City Council HPCF liaison, Alyssa Knobel; Advisory Council member Richard Cortesi; long-time HPCF Board and Advisory Board member, Andy Livingston; HPCF Board member and former HPHS Principal, Tom Koulentes; and long-time HPCF Board and Advisory Board member, Bruce Goodman.
L to R: Cookie with HPCF Board members Don Stewart, Betsy Brint, Nancy Mills, Patty Pell (Advisory Council member), Cindy Witten (past Board Member), David Reich, Wally Nathan
At its second annual Gather for Good celebration, the Highland Park Community Foundation proudly awarded the Jack Blane Community Service Award to Patty Pell.
Born and raised in Highland Park, Patty spent her adult years giving back to the community with hands-on charitable work, a 22-year track record on the Board of YEA! HP, and 13 years of service with the HPCF.
As HPCF Board Chairman noted in presenting the award, “Patty truly enjoys addressing needs, whether at the personal or community level, and we are thrilled to recognize her for all her contributions.” Board Member Bobbie Hinden, who co-presented the award, added, “I know how kind and loyal she is. She is always there for anyone in need, and very loved.”
Patty Pell, Nancy Mills (HPCF Executive Committee member and Past Chairman)
Nancy Mills, Patty Pell, Bobbie Hinden (HPCF Board member)
On September 14, 2018, Foundation Chairman, Nancy Mills, and Board Secretary, Betsy Brint, presented the award to Alyssa Knobel at the Foundation’s first Gather for Good fundraising event.
As Nancy and Betsy stated in presenting the award: “Past recipients of the Jack Blane Community Service Award are other champions of our community: Bruce Goodman, Tom Koulentes, Andy Livingston and Richard Cortesi. Anyone who knows Alyssa, knows she fits in well with this impressive group. She is extremely generous, passionate and capable.
She is selfless in her desire to do good, and inspires the rest of us to do good and do more. She’s a two-term Highland Park City Councilman, City Council liaison to various business groups as well as the city’s Human Relations Commission and School District 112.
She’s the City Council liaison to the HPCF, and from day one has shared her energy and ideas to make us a better, more impactful Foundation. Alyssa leads by example. She doesn’t want to do a good job, she wants to hit it out of the park every time.”
The Highland Park Community Foundation is proud to honor Richard Cortesi as the winner of the 2017 Jack Blane Community Service Award.
HPCF Executive Committee member, Betsy Brint, presented the award to Mr. Cortesi at the annual Grant Awards Dinner on October 18, 2017.
As Ms. Brint stated, “Mr. Cortesi epitomizes the spirit of community consciousness. A lifelong Highland Park resident, he has devoted himself to serving the Highland Park and North Shore communities with his successful business, Sunset Foods, and has assumed a variety of roles beneficial to the community-at-large.”
She went on to say, “As an innovative businessman, he has served the community and provided employment; as a philanthropist, he has supported organizations to help those in need; and, as a visionary, he has tempered his decisions with guidelines insuring that all decisions are the best for all concerned.”
Peter Flanzer, HPCF Chairman, added, “The Highland Park Community Foundation is delighted to celebrate Richard Cortesi for his dedicated community service and for making such a generous and impactful difference in our community.”
Richard Cortesi and Family
Click here to see the video of Richard Cortesi accepting the 2017 Jack Blane Community Service Award.
The Highland Park Community Foundation is proud to honor Andrew Livingston as the winner of the 2016 Jack Blane Community Service Award.
HPCF Chairman Peter Flanzer presented the third annual Jack Blane Community Service Award to the 2016 honoree, Andrew Livingston. Mr. Livingston is a lifelong resident of Highland Park. He served as Highland Park Community Foundation Chairman from 2010-2013. For the past 15 years, Andy has supported the Highland Park/Highwood community, first as a HPCF Board member and now as an Advisory Board member
“All of us at HPCF are thrilled to honor Andrew Livingston for his outstanding service and dedication. Andy was a tireless advocate for the Foundation and he wore his passion for serving the unmet needs of our Highland Park community on his sleeve,” said Mr. Flanzer.
The Highland Park Community Foundation is proud to honor Tom Koulentes as the winner of the 2015 Jack Blane Community Service Award.
Tom Koulentes, former Principal of Highland Park High School, currently serves on the HPCF Board of Directors.
An outstanding leader, Dr. Koulentes demonstrated his commitment to helping children reach their potential through the many programs he nurtured. His commitment extended beyond children, however, to helping their families and our community at large.
The Highland Park Community Foundation is proud to honor Bruce Goodman as the winner of the 2014 Jack Blane Community Service Award.
Bruce Goodman was honored as the first recipient of the Jack Blane Community Service Award in December of 2014.
A lifelong resident of Highland Park, Mr. Goodman demonstrated through time, effort, and generous donations, his commitment to improving the quality of life in the Highland Park/Highwood community.
Wally Nathan (right), HPCF Board member and Past Chairman, presenting the 2014 Jack Blane Community Service Award to Bruce Goodman