I Grow Chicago, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering members of the Englewood neighborhood through community connection, skill building, and healing, sold-out its inaugural gala, Gather, earlier this month, raising over $60K for their 2018 programming initiatives. The I Grow Executive Board and Junior Board hosted the inaugural event to promote I Grow’s commitment to developing safe spaces and advancing its anti-violence campaigns.

“Gather eliminated the isolation that the Englewood community faces by bringing together I Grow community members and people from every neighborhood of Chicago,” says Zelda Mayer, Director of Development for I Grow Chicago. “It was a time for us to celebrate the success of our anti-violence initiatives, honor our community members, and promote our continued commitment to increasing peace through skill building and resource access.”

As the first-annual gala, Gather raised much-needed money to further initiatives for the Englewood community which will fund several 2018 initiatives including: expansion of the after-school program, increased community connection through a new Peace Campus, as well as hiring a new executive director to lead the expansion.

“When I looked across the room that night, I saw hundreds of people from different neighborhoods, socioeconomic statuses, backgrounds and races coming together to unite for the Englewood Community,” says Robbin Carrol, Founder of I Grow Chicago. “Gather was not only a celebration of our success over the past five years, but a chance for us to celebrate the compassion that the citizens of Chicago have for the Englewood community. It showed me that caring is a movement, and can be a way of life.”