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Lake Forest Place Residents Support Employees Through Dollars for Our Scholars Program

senior woman at a table selling trinkets and miscellaneous items

A Unique Way To Give Back

Chicago-area senior living residents at Lake Forest Place are giving back in a meaningful and uniquely personal way. Residents of the senior living community have established an annual event to provide funding for employee scholarships. The Dollars for Our Scholars Sale held each September fuels the dreams of many Lake Forest Place employees who wish to pursue an academic education, enhance their vocational skills, or attain  their U.S. citizenship. 

Residents work hard throughout the year to collect what is needed for the sale, primarily selecting items they once had in their own homes. This can include gorgeous antiques and beautiful treasures. In past years, the sale has generated close to $10,000 in a day. Along with personal donations from residents and their families, estate gifts also contribute to the scholarship fund. The sale in September was a huge success and the community raised $4,575,  bringing the year-to-date total of dollars raised to $25,258.

senior woman at a table selling trinkets and miscellaneous items

Employees highly prize these scholarships, which enable the recipient to pursue any area of study regardless of their current role with Lake Forest Place. After one year of tenure, employees can apply for a scholarship and go through the interview process. Each employee applicant is interviewed by a panel of Lake Forest Place residents, furthering their involvement in the selection process. Scholarships can be as much as $5,250 a year, which can make a significant impact on the cost of tuition. 

Connecting Generations

This mutually beneficial program is changing lives in myriad ways, but particularly through the relationships that are established and nurtured between residents and employees. 

“This is a great way for residents to get to know the teams of employees and be their cheerleaders here at work,” shares Lisa Schiro, senior director of development for the Geneva Foundation, which aids in the management of the scholarship program. “The residents care for the employees almost like grandparents. There’s a real investment in each scholar’s future.”

Schiro, who has worked in development for 32 years, remarks on the unique nature of the relationships that are built through this program. “The scholarship recipients are more invested in their work and are motivated to stay in their position longer, and they really care about who they serve. It’s a special night when they are waiting on the table of the person who interviewed them for the scholarship. It’s a different work environment.” 

About Lake Forest Place    

Lake Forest Place, located at 1100 Pembridge Drive in Lake Forest, Illinois, is owned and operated by Presbyterian Homes, a not-for-profit company with more than 100 years’ experience in senior living. 

The Life Plan Community provides seniors with a unique lifestyle experience and a variety of residential options, including maintenance-free apartment homes and cottages. Assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and respite care are also available as part of the full continuum of care. 

Residents enjoy a full range of services and amenities, such as a fitness center, pool and exercise room, arts and crafts studio, library, bird sanctuary and wetlands area, and several dining areas. More information about Lake Forest Place is available by calling 847-744-9121 or by visiting LakeForestPlace.org.