Friday, February 5, 2010

We have Moved! Visit our new blog site.

The Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection Fund Raising Blog has moved to a new site. Visit and stay involved with our work and our support network throughout the coming year.

Thank you again to everyone who has made a contribution to help us mentor inner city youth toward jobs and careers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Students say "thank you" to mentors

View the video. See what our teens have to say about their mentors. Support this work at Cabrini Connections with a personal donation, a grant, or by encouraging others to give.

What makes our non profit unique, is that while we operate a single program, we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 to help every poverty neighborhood in the Chicago region have great volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs. Visit our web site to learn more about how we do this.

Support us with a donation and you will help us with both Cabrini Connections, and the Tutor/Mentor Connection.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cabrini Madness Bracket now public

Cabrini Connections Fundraising Tournament!! See the Bracket Chart.

In anticipation of college basketball tournament season, Cabrini Connections is starting its own tournament. Each team will consist of volunteers, students, staff, etc. and will compete to raise the most money before the championship game on April 5th, 2010. Check out the information below and start forming your team today!

Sixteen teams have are already in formation. If you'd like to be on a team roster, call El Da'Sheon at 312-492-9614. Or make a donation to the team of your choice and once your name appears on the donor roster, email friends and family to help your team win. Read more.

5-10 members per team
Must include at least (1) current or former volunteer, (1) current or former student, (1) current or former staff, volunteer coordinator, club leader, or board member, AND (1) person from outside the program (e.g. best friend, spouse, co-worker)

January 6/7 Announcement at tutoring
January 22 Deadline for entry
January 31 Deadline for GiveForward page
March 21 First Cut (Top 8 advance)
March 28 Second Cut (Top 4 advance)
April 3 Third Cut (Top 2 advance)
April 5 Final Cut (Winner chosen)
April 7/8 Awards at tutoring

Grand Prize: Individual trophies and a group gift certificate from Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants

Runner-up Prize: Pizza Party

Friday, January 15, 2010

Join a Team. Cabrni Madness 2010

You're all familiar with basketball, tennis, and other sports tournaments. So, let me introduce you to the Cabrini Madness Fund Raising Tournament.

Right now teams of inner city 7th to 12th grade students, volunteers, staff, and friends are forming to compete with each other between now and April 1, 2010 to see which team can raise the most money to fund the Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection operations for the coming year.

The teams will compete on our page. You can see three teams already on the site.

There can be 5-10 "official" members per team. Each must include at least (1) current or former volunteer, (1) current or former student, (1) current or former staff, volunteer coordinator, club leader, or board member, AND (1) person from outside the program (e.g. best friend, spouse, co-worker).

The teams will be reaching out to others, using all of the creativity they can muster, to encourage people to make donations of any size, on the Give Forward Page. Thus, if you want to contribute to the "Guaranteed Victory" team, you'd go to and make your donation using a credit card and/or pay pal. As donations are received, the top three teams will show on the home page for CC, T/MC, and each donor's name will be listed.

Thus, while there are 5-10 official members, each donor is really joining a team by making a donation. And, to help your team win, you can reach out to your own friends, family and co-workers.

This is already generating lots of enthusiasm and team-building at Cabrini Connections. As some of our Facebook friends, alumni and former volunteers join teams, it will do even more. If you'd like to help a team form contact El Da'Sheon Nix at 312-492-9614.

There are already three teams on line, so you can join one today with your donation.

I was recruited last night by two 7th grade girls. You can meet Ana and Ayana and their volunteers at

Our team is called "Give Hope" which is what your donations do to help Cabrini Connections. You can support us at

We'll be providing more information next week and in following weeks, and as each team promotes itself, you'll see some of the talent and opportunities that a tutor/mentor program can make available to inner city kids. We hope that others will help these types of programs be available to kids in all parts of Chicago and in other cities.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thank you for your 2009 support. Now on to 2010

2009 Cabrini Connections Holiday Party from Bradley Troast on Vimeo.

Look at the smiles on the faces of the teens and volunteers at the December holiday party. Look at the diversity of adults and kids in the room. How many places in Chicago does this type of connection take place on a weekly basis?

It has happened at Cabrini Connections every year since 1993 because many people and organizations have contributed time and dollars. You can see some of our 2009 donors in these past articles.

This decade was a difficult decade. It started when we lost our original sponsor, and host, the Montgomery Ward Corporation. This was were the tutoring program started in 1965 and where Dan Bassill and many of our leaders learned how to operate a tutor/mentor program. Wards was giving free space, utilities and many services, plus $40,000 or more each year. Since we moved from their in 1999 we've had to pay over $70,000 each year for rent, utilities and building management, just to say close to our teens in Cabrini Green.

The rest of the decade only got worse, financially, that is. The bust of the Dot-com economy, the 9/11 attacks, the earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, and then the meltdown of the last two years have made it extremely difficult to find the dollars needed each year. While we were raising nearly $500,000 in 2000, we've raised an average of about $375,000 each year since, and part of that had to pay for rent and utilities.

Without the help of many volunteers who took on coordinator roles, and many others who've sought out donations, and many who sent financial support, we would not still be here going into 2010.

Yet we are, and we've many smiles and many stories that show how we've helped kids and volunteers connect at Cabrini Connections, while we've also help tutor/mentor programs grow in all parts of t he Chicago region.

We thank everyone who has pitched in to help. We hope that you'll continue to support us as we move into 2010 and the next decade.

Thank you and happy new year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Holidays - Tis the Season

Thank you to everyone who made a year-end donation to support Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 2010. I hope you'll read El Da'Sheon Nix's article about how we're reaching out to friends, family, co-workers to ask for help in finding year end donations. Read the Tutor/Mentor blog articles to see how we're trying to build a support system that would make tutor/mentor programs available to more inner-city youth.

Donations can be made at . You can also just print this form and sending it to us with your donation. You can also use the PayPal Donation form. We even accept donations of securities.

There are many ways to help us help these teens. We hope your spirit is touched by the work we're doing, and you'll do as much as you can to assure that the funds are available to keep doing this in 2010.

This is a list of donations received since December 1. We thank everyone for their generosity during these difficult economic times. Happy Holidays!

Bill Iwami
Kiera Kelly and Ed Madden
James Dohren
Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Mr. & Mrs. Richard Hamilton
Chris Kalabogias
Tom Kittler
Mary Alice Gresham
Karen & Kevin Lobdell
Maryann May
Steve Alley
Henry & Peggy Troast
Gena Schoen
Randy and Sharon McCullough
K. Ryan
Kenneth Goldstein
Marquette Bank
Eric and Jill Schiller
John T. Porter
Thomas E. Keim
Anna Dowdle Harter
Jim and Margaret Morsch
Barbara and Daniel Roos
Mr. & Mrs. Cliff Bregstone
Joyce Dunn
John and Mary-Glynn Boies
Loretta Kaplan
R. Fine, in honor of Ilene and Jay Pomerance
Deanna and Paul Danao
Paul Lukas
Schlomo & Oi Crandus
Melissa Moore
Dick and Carol Wray
Carrie Guenter
Rebecca and Keith Danahey
Richard and Sharon Whyte
Joseph Baird
Barbara V. Goschi
Sean & Lilly Wieber
Melinda Schramm, in memory of Cary Schramm
Larry & Carroll Bross
Ilene Fine & Jay Pomerance
Mayo C. Walcott
Carol Ebel
Jennifer (Pines) Lineen
Grant Brown
Prologis Foundation ($10,000 grant)
Gift in honor of Ilene Fine and Jay Pomerance
Pat Hillmann & Richard Shields
Wayne & Anne Coloney
Jill Allread
Hewlett Packard matching gift
R. Lee Christie
Joan Dowdle
Gerald Deneen
Norma Berke
Artemis Parrish
Tracey McGee
George Vinyard
Chase Peyton
Gift in the name of Mary Esther Schmid and Walter Jones
BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, Inc. ($5000 grant)
Ernest Sammann
Peter Goschi
Christopher and Sarah Franklin
Chris Japhet
Julie and Charles Haapala
Judith and Mark Davis
Ruth Iwami
Russell Vandenbroucke
Robert Huster
Kurt Kittner
Joe Rivera
Mark Hamende
Sue McMillin
Ernest and Dolores Komornicki
Jeff Curto
JellyChicago (Dec. 11 party)
James C. Stephen
The Wintrust Financial Corporation (Grant of $15,000)
The Walsh Foundation (Grant of $5,000)
EcoPhones ($27.50 from phone rebate program)
William M. Criscione
Pauline Narens
William Sullivan
Dr. Scholl Foundation (Grant of $5,000)
The Siragusa Foundation (Grant of $5,000)
Jack and Sari Schoen
Dr. & Mrs. Robert Pines
Michael Heyman
The Royal Order of Experience Design
(see Holiday Card from The Royal Order - play entire version and see support for Cabrini Connections)
Sara Caldwell (founder)
Rep. Constance Howard
Mark Grimes
Christina Jordan
John DeWitt
Claudia Crilly Belucci (first staff at Cabrini Connections)
Andrew Evans
Bill Dunn
Zeke and Elaine Dzugan
Gary & Suzanne Rovner
Inez Marie Welch
Derek Casteel
Gus Constan
Susan Nice
Paul & Ann Witt
Eldon & Frieda Andrews
Michael and June Blood
Mike Ozmeral
Cenan and Patricia Ozmeral
Mike & Vicky Trakan
Mark and Nicole Parrish
Jane L. Cray
Raymon and Jane Hung
Richard and Lucy Gaven
Daniel and Emily Bassill
Pat and Donna Dowdle
John and Jill Levi
John and Suzanne Martens
Charles Ohara
David and Lola Hundley

Thank you to those who are helping in other ways

* JellyChicago for making us the charity to support in your Dec. 11 benefit
* Next Computer World for putting a link to us on your web site.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tech the Halls Event Supports CC - This Friday

This is the season when many people are organizing events and raising money for favorite charities. This Friday, December 11, Jelly Chicago is hostin a party at Noble Tree Coffee & Tea

Donations are encouraged for Cabrini Connections. Read more about this event.

Thank you Jelly Chicago. We hope you have a great party. This shows how others are organizing events to raise money for Cabrini Connections, Tutor/Mentor Connection. We hope many people do this so we have the funds needed to continue tutoring/mentoring in 2010.