• Chicago Sets New Fundraising Record

    On Friday, November 10, the Morton 201 Foundation hosted its Chicago Dinner & Theatre Night at Morton West. The sixth in a series of successful fundraisers. The event raised over $8,300 for the Pay It Forward Scholarship Fund, setting a new record!

    A large number of alumni and faculty attended the fundraiser, boosting ticket sales to a new height and selling out the event for the second time in a row. The Great Room of the Freshman Academy was transformed into a black and red Chicago 1920s speakeasy/jazz club and guests were encouraged to dress in period attire. The Jazz Ensemble performed, setting the mood for the evening.

    For the first time, the Foundation sold Chicago Souvenir Mugs filled with milk chocolate and white chocolate covered pretzels handmade by our Culinary Arts students. Orders were placed prior to the event and then picked up at check-in.

    Guests enjoyed a delicious four-course play-inspired menu prepared by Morton West Culinary Arts students, followed by VIP seating for the performance in the Morton West Auditorium. The menu included a specialty mocktail (The Roxie) and five delicious Cell Block Tango inspired appetizers: Shrimp POP-tails, Six-Ingredient Olive Tapenade, Caprese Stabbers, Sweet & Savory Bacon Nooses, and Arsenic Arancini.

    The main course was served family style and consisted of Funny Honey Focaccia, Whacked Wedge Salad, Chicago Style Caprese Chicken, Matron “Mama” Morton Meatballs, And We Both Reached for the Pasta Al Limon, and Billy Flynn Broccolini and Root Vegetables followed by two tables full of delicious trifles and desserts. Guests received a reusable bag with the Foundation’s new Dinner & Theatre Night logo printed on it to take home any leftovers.

    During the cast Meet & Greet, Theatre Director Janine Delmonico received a Pay It Forward Award for supporting the Foundation’s events with her amazing productions of Singin' in the Rain, The Addams Family and Chicago.

    Keepsake photos were provided by Hector Ramirez from Gabriel Studio. His wife, Araceli, provided the lovely Chicago centerpieces which were auctioned off at the end of the night along with signed cast posters.

    Guests also had the opportunity to win one of six fabulous raffle prizes including:

    • Chicago Cupcakes donated by Lulu’s Cakes & Treats
      • Winner: Dr. Thomas Kelly
    • Chicago Treat Box donated by Lulu’s Cakes & Treats
      • Winner: Isaiah Makar
    • Chicago T-shirt donated by One Hour Tees
      • Winner: Joanne Gundersen Wintermute
    • Chicago Sweatshirt donated by One Hour Tees
      • Winner: Cheryl Taylor
    • Vesecky’s Bakery $25 gift certificate
      • Winner: Bridget Topczewski
    • Vesecky’s Bakery $25 gift certificate
      • Winner: Jens Sorensen 

    The Morton 201 Foundation would like to sincerely thank the following for purchasing tables at our event:

    We would also like to thank former Superintendent Dr. Robert Giles and Morton East Alum and former Morton West Principal Cynthia Baranowski and their spouses for joining us as well as all the Morton East & Morton West Alumni, Faculty, and their families who attended our event.

    The Morton 201 Foundation would also like to thank the following for helping to make our Chicago Dinner & Theatre Night such an amazing success:

    Theatre Director Janine Delmonico and the entire cast and crew of Chicago as well as the Orchestra students and alumni who performed.

    Music Instructor Brian Toms and our incredible Jazz Ensemble for the lovely music during appetizers. Students: Andy Arango-Sianez (Bass Guitar), Michael Avalos (Alto Saxophone), Brandon Cojulun (Alto Saxophone, Drums, Vocals), Kaleb Cruz (Baritone Saxophone, Clarinet), Gabriel Damian Delgado (Guitar, Bass Guitar), Rebecca Juarez (Tenor Saxophone, Flute), Angel Lechuga (Piano, Trumpet), Santos Medina (Trumpet), Aliah Robles (Flute), Irina Vazquez (Vocals), Erick Vazquez (Tenor Saxophone). Guest Alumni Musicians: Vanessa Gronke (Trombone), Christina Kuckie (Saxophone, Flute). Morton West Music Teacher Kendall Ruff (Keyboard).

    Hector & Araceli Ramirez from Gabriel Studio for providing the beautiful centerpieces, keepsake photos and lovely souvenir mugs for our event.

    Our raffle donors:

    • Maria Magnus-Toledo from Lulu’s Cakes & Treats for the beautiful Chicago cupcakes and treat box
    • One Hour Tees for the Chicago T-shirt and Sweatshirt
    • Vesecky’s Bakery for the two $25 gift certificates

    In addition, we would like to thank:

    Toledo's Landscaping for donating 185 "Thank You" sugar cookies from Lulu’s Cakes & Treats to all of our culinary, theatre, tech, orchestra and music students involved with the Chicago production.

    Lastly, the Morton 201 Foundation would like to give special thanks to 

    Superintendent's Secretary Connie Chapman

    Digital web Specialist Darrielle McCord

    Assistant Principal Matt Dugan for taking all the Morton alumni on an amazing tour!

    Dave Meneses from Maintenance for stringing the lights and setting up the tables and chairs.

    Ms. Brenneman and Mr. Stoch for 3D printing and laser cutting the amazing lanterns on all the tables.

    Mr. Battistoni for creating our Chicago banner as well as all the printed materials you our event.

    Lastly and most importantly, we would like to thank our Culinary Arts instructors, Chef Courtney Bay, Chef Mariana Valdez, Chef Jenna Peterson, Chef Nicole McDowell as well as all our Culinary Arts students for all their hard work, hospitality and dedication in preparing such a delicious dinner for us.

    The Foundation's next Dinner & Theatre Night will be SpongeBob: The Musical and take place at Morton East on Friday, April 19 in the student cafeteria and the historic Chodl Auditorium.

    For more details, please follow us on Facebook or Instagram @Morton201Foundation.

    To learn about more ways to give back, visit our Ways to Give page.

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