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The South East Chicago Commission (SECC) announced the nine project awards for the 2018 Neighborhood Enhancement Grants. This year, to fund the grants, the SECC received a special dollar-for-dollar matching grant from the Elizabeth Louise “Betty Lou” Smith Fund, and established partnerships with the Hyde Park Kenwood Community Conference (HPKCC), Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), and the Hyde Park Bank, a Wintrust Bank. Since 1999, the program has offered funds to neighborhood schools, religious congregations, community organizations, park advisory councils, and block groups to support the program’s goal of creating high-impact neighborhood beautification projects.

“The SECC and our partners are committed to improving the quality of life in the southeast lakefront   neighborhoods, and we could not be more pleased with the response from the community. We received 18 applications for this year’s Neighborhood Enhancement Grant program, so there is clearly a need and enthusiasm for community beautification projects,” said Diane Burnham, Executive Director of the SECC

For 2018, the SECC announced that the Friends of Ray School, Native Plants and Tree Project, has been selected for the special project award in Memory of Stephen J. Albert, the former Executive Director of the Court Theater, who passed away this past year. For the past three years, the Court Theater has been one of the SECC’s in-kind sponsors of the Neighborhood Enhancement Grant Program.

The grant selection committee, comprised of community members from the five footprint neighborhoods, selected the following community groups for the strength of their proposals and the breadth of potential impact:

Please contact the South East Chicago Commission at 773-324-6926 or via email at to learn more about the 2018 Neighborhood Enhancement Grant awardees and their projects.