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James C. Tyree
Jim was an extraordinary, ordinary man. Though many of his accomplishments were extraordinary, he was always that humble guy from the South Side who loved his family, his job and colleagues, sports and improving the world around him. Jim was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mesirow Financial, in addition to serving on countless local boards and philanthropic organizations. Throughout his life, he touched and changed the lives of many.   Learn more about Jim...

Welcome to the James Tyree Foundation
On March 16, 2011, Chicago lost a true friend, leader and optimist. This Foundation was formed to remember Jim Tyree, to continue his legacy of giving back - to give people hope and to give them better lives.

The mission of the James Tyree Foundation is to advance innovative educational efforts in academics, health care and other disciplines.

The Foundation's mission of support for innovative education reflects Jim's passion and belief that education was the key to unlocking life's door and his understanding that the world was changing at a rapid pace. By taking what you know and thinking about it a little differently, Jim felt you could leave the world better than you found it.

The Foundation supports educational endeavors that foster creativity and innovation to improve the lives of people in the Chicagoland area. Through direct grants, the Foundation will work to help strengthen these organizations in their pursuit of meaningful change in education, health care and other disciplines.

4th Annual Cocktail Reception and Fundraiser
Thursday, February 25, 2016
5:30 - 7:30 pm
Museum of Broadcast Communications
360 N. State Street Chicago, IL 60654

Thank You to Our Sponsors
Event Sponsor
Eve Tyree

Jim's Shining Stars Sponsors ($10,000 and above)
  • Brian Shevitz and Karen O'Sullivan
  • Larry D. Richman, The PrivateBank
  • Lidsey Stewart & Jonathan Peabody
  • Mesirow Financial
  • Richard and Linda Price
  • Tom and Judy Hynes

Jim Tyree Legacy Sponsors ($5,000)
  • Brock and Kristen LaMarca
  • Carol Jones and Tom Hynes
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • Geoffrey and Linda Hirt
  • Howard and Beverly Rossman
  • Kevin Brown, Lettuce Entertain You
  • Kristie Paskvan
  • Marc and Susan Sacks
  • Marge's Still
  • Mary Jane Schultz
  • Michael and Sharyl Mackey
  • Michael Mackey
  • Mr. & Mrs. Gerald J. Levin
  • Mr. & Mrs. Norman Bobins, The Robert Thomas Bobins Foundation
  • Norm and Marci Malter
  • PNC Bank
  • Randy D. Abeles, RSM US, LLP
  • Ron & Ellen Saslow/Hu-Friedy Mfg., Co.
  • Roxanne and Rocco Martino
  • Ruth and Gary Hannenberg
  • Ruth Hannenberg
  • The City Lights Orchestra
  • The Eli's Cheesecake Company
  • University of Chicago Medicine

"A Toast to Jim" Sponsors ($2,500)
  • Adriana Duenas-Flerlage, Joseph Flerlage
  • BMO Harris Bank
  • Bruce and Beverly Young
  • David and Michelle Dermenjian
  • First Bank of Highland Park
  • Joanne Rohn
  • Lolly and John Doerrer
  • Margaret and Peter Nagle
  • Michael and Kelly Zehfuss
  • Rabbi Debra Nesselson and Garry Cohen

Jim Tyree Champion Sponsors ($1,000)
  • Bill and Deb Hornell
  • Brian Greenblatt
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chuck and Therese Naso
  • Cindy and Bruce Lubin
  • Dennis and Joyce Black
  • Dominick Mondi and Donna Hall
  • Gloria Castillo
  • Ira and Beverly Schulman
  • James Turner
  • Jeffrey C. Rubenstein
  • Jim and Melissa Van Pelt
  • Jim and Melissa Van Pelt
  • Joanne and Dan Eckel
  • Joseph Adler
  • KPMG
  • Laurie Mefford
  • Lavin Strategies, Inc.
  • Michael and Holly Barrett
  • Patrick and Renee Sheahan
  • Prescient
  • Renee and Edward Ross Foundation
  • Richard Mesirow
  • Ronald L. Chez
  • Steelcase, Inc.
  • Terry Lee
  • Thomas Gibbons
  • Thomas J. Finn

Friends of Jim Sponsors ($500)
  • Bob and Jenny Frentzel
  • Bruce Slayter
  • Bruce Slayter
  • Daniel Weil
  • Debbie Krieps
  • Donald Gaddis Co., Inc.
  • Emerald Venture Advisors, LLC
  • ERikson Institute
  • Goldberg Kohn, Ltd.
  • Jacqui Norstrom
  • Jennifer Few
  • Joan & Rickey Freeman
  • John C. Passananti
  • John M. Wilhelm
  • John P. Harney
  • Kevin and Jane Doherty
  • Kimberly and William Filan
  • Lindsey Stewart
  • Michael and Monica Carey
  • Michael J. Gurgone
  • Michelle Gurgone
  • Myron and Eileen Berkson
  • Nancy and Bob Barrett
  • Peggy and Bob Aldape
  • Robert and Susan Wislow
  • Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Sheila Kelly
  • Sylvester Construction
  • Tom and Peggy Hasenauer
  • Vicki and Thomas Horwich
  • Vince and Amy Allegra
  • Washington, Pittman & McKeever, LLC
  • William D. Boockford

Living Through Giving Supporters
  • Abe Eshkenazi
  • Alan and Carol Adams
  • Alex Albergo
  • Andy Pataky
  • Arnold Pritsker
  • Brenda J. Wolf
  • Bruce Hague
  • Cathy Juricic Easly
  • Christopher D. Farr
  • Claire Gregoire, Kamden Strategy Group
  • Colin Finn
  • Craig Goesel
  • David L. McIntosh
  • Deni Caplan
  • Elizabeth Cummings
  • Frances Levickas
  • Gary C. Mills
  • Gary Mitchiner
  • Gibson Electric & Technology Solutions
  • Heather Farley
  • Heather Gardner
  • Jai & Joy Luster
  • James M. Reilly
  • James Terman
  • Jennifer Rosenblum
  • Jim Feldman
  • Jim Harper
  • Joe Gregoire
  • Joe Scheurich
  • Joseph and Laura Lewandowski
  • Ken Ulrich
  • Kenneth Walter
  • Kevin A. Hughes
  • Larry N Rosen
  • Laura Jane Hyde, Gilda's Club
  • Marc Bassewitz
  • Mario & April Remegi
  • Mario and Lisa Butler-Del Rio
  • Marist High School
  • Mary Kay and Bob Wik
  • Maureen Flood
  • Mercy Home for Boys and Girls
  • Michael Kelsey
  • Michael O. Hartz
  • Michael Simon
  • Michelle Cronin
  • Michelle Paulsen
  • Michelle Ryan Coe
  • Mike Pryal
  • Monica Giotta
  • Mr. & Mrs. Peter Goldman
  • Mr. & Mrs. Ralph B. Mandell
  • Nancy Ayers
  • Nancy Goldenberg
  • Neal Nealis, DDS
  • Patti Barnett
  • Peter McEnery
  • R. Kevin Barrett
  • Ramy and Christine Bahu
  • Randall Royer
  • Rick Morel
  • Sally Welzenbach
  • Sarah Scheurich
  • Stephen Legatzke, Goldberg Kohn Ltd.
  • Terry Ries
  • Thomas J. Doherty
  • Tim Stouffer and Renee Azer
  • Tom Siegel & Sherry Medwin, Siegel Films, LLC
  • Toni Cornelius
  • Walter & Mary-Elaine Perry

Our 2015 Grantees!
All of us at the James Tyree Foundation are thrilled to announce we have awarded $476,000 in grants to 12 non-profit organizations that are working to improve countless lives in the Chicago-area.

Each of these truly inspiring grant recipients is a shining examples of the foundation's core mission: to advance innovative educational efforts in academics and health care.

This year's grantees include a mix of innovators we have supported in the past, as well as some very exciting programs that we welcome into our James Tyree Foundation family for the first time:

Chicago Lighthouse
The Chicago Lighthouse has 28 programs in education, employment, and rehabilitation with the mission of improving the quality of lives of people who are blind or visually impaired. The organization's preschool program serves children three to five years old, and all are at risk because they are low-income. The children, who are either visually impaired or sighted, learn together, side by side in the same classroom. The goal is to begin including children earlier who are visually impaired in the same classroom, so they will be on equal footing with their sighted friends when they start kindergarten.
High Jump
High Jump is a two-year, tuition-free academic enrichment program that fills the educational opportunity gap for talented middle grade students, ages 12 to 14. Its mission is to equalize education for middle school students who have exhibited academic ambition and potential and who are of limited economic means. The program consists of six weeks of daily intensive programming in the summer and two to three full Saturdays each month during the school year. An impressive 99 percent of High Jump students have attended rigorous college preparatory schools, and 94 percent attend college.
Jumpstart Chicago
Jumpstart Chicago partners college student volunteers (Corps members) with preschool classrooms in high-need communities. Over the course of eight months, Corps members train and work in teams to deliver the "Jumpstart Session," a carefully designed research-based curriculum, twice weekly. Corps members receive training that prepares them to successfully engage two to three partner children in Jumpstart's curriculum. By focusing on reading during the formative ages between three and five, Jumpstart helps build vocabulary, alphabetic and print knowledge and oral language competencies.
Calm Classroom
Pass With Flying Colors Scholars is an eight-year college "to and through" program for students who will be first in their families to attend college. Beginning in 9th grade, scholars participate in PWFC's College Ready program. Scholars receive individualized support during the school day; cohorts meet as a group during mandatory after-school sessions and weekends. In the College Success Program, PWFC senior scholars receive personalized support through the college application process. Upon transitioning to college, intense mentoring and support continues for PWFC scholars until college completion.
Breakthrough Urban Ministries
Breakthrough Urban Ministries, Inc.'s Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program (NBSAP) meets the needs of students in East Garfield Park through supplemental academic enrichment opportunities during out-of-school time. The goal of the NBSAP is to create an academic pipeline enabling students, kindergarten - 8th grades, to meet academic benchmarks necessary for entrance to high school and on-time graduation. This ensures that youth in the community are breaking the cycle of poverty through educational achievements.
City Year
City Year Chicago is an education-focused nonprofit through which young adult AmeriCorps members provide a year of full-time service to help keep students in school and on track to graduate. City Year Chicago focuses on the ABC's of Attendance, Behavior, and Course performance, and provides students with access to academic tutors, as well as mentors and role models. City Year corps members support students on two levels: through whole class support to the entire 4th-9th grade student population, and through targeted support in the ABCs for students who are performing below benchmarks.
Civic Leadership Foundation
Civic Leadership Foundation prepares underserved teenagers for school, work and life through an empowering, project-based curriculum that teaches young people critical life-long leadership skills such as collaboration, resourcefulness and accountability. The group's new program, "Reintegrating Individuals through Supportive Engagement," provides intensive mentoring and a civic engagement curriculum for youth 15 to 17 years old who have been arrested for moderate to high level offenses and are deemed to be at significant risk for future violence involvement.
Calm Classroom
Calm Classroom is a research-based school-wide program that empowers preschool through 12th grade CPS students by cultivating techniques that develop self-awareness, mental focus, alertness and emotional control. Calm Classroom incorporates cutting edge educational approaches that are based on extensive brain-based and "relaxation response" research, ultimately creating a school-wide culture of calmness and focus. All students at the school receive the service. Calm Classroom plans to expand to 50 new schools and 30,000 new students in the coming school year.
Wolcott School
Wolcott School offers an exemplary high school program for students with learning differences, tailored to the strengths and aspirations of each student. Employing best practices, the school's expert faculty is dedicated to helping students gain self-awareness, confidence and resilience as well as the academic, social and communication skills to flourish in college and beyond. The school's James Tyree Center develops outreach programming and leading research on adolescent educational development and learning differences offering programs in the areas of professional development, parent workshops and student seminars.
The University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center
The University of Chicago Kovler Diabetes Center offers a patient-centered, science-based approach for managing insulin-dependent type-1 and complex type-2 diabetes. The center's multidisciplinary team works with patients and referring physicians to address all the challenges of diabetes, from hypertension and vascular problems, to foot conditions and kidney disease. The center's Jim Tyree Diabetes Education Library is designed to provide patients with any additional resources they need beyond the clinic. The library is open to all University of Chicago Medicine patients, physicians and staff.
SitStayRead brings dogs into Chicago's under-served neighborhoods to help kids learn to read, improve literacy skills and foster a love of learning in at-risk children. SitStayRead brings teams of trained volunteers and certified reading-assistance dogs to CPS and community agencies to help 1st to 4th graders develop critical early literacy skills. This is accomplished in a non-threatening, low-pressure environment that allows students to practice their literacy skills by reading to a dog, which will be patient as they sound out words and build their confidence. Student-to-teacher ratio is reduced with volunteers, so that this regulated reading period can be fully leveraged by the students.
Erikson Institute has worked for nearly 50 years to help young children and families reach their full potential by preparing the best early childhood professionals, developing and sharing the best practices for effective early childhood programs, serving children and families directly through clinical and support programs, and partnering with schools, nonprofits, and community organizations. Erikson is partnering with the James Tyree Foundation grantee Luster Learning Institute to give more young children access to the mindfulness-based approach of its Calm Classroom program, which has previously demonstrated benefits for teachers as well as students, as a classroom of better-regulated children means less time spent on behavior management.