Over 25 years ago, Cindy Pritzker created the Chicago Public Library Foundation to help raise funds for libraries in the city. It is a highly recognized fundraising partner of the Chicago Public Libraries. This foundation supports several different areas of public libraries including technology, programming, innovation and collection development.
The Chicago Public Library Foundation has since provided over five million dollars in annual support for many library programs throughout the city. These programs are engaging and reach more than half a million library patrons each year.
On December 16, 2013, a large crowd gathered at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion to celebrate Cindy Pritzker’s 90th birthday. Over one hundred people showed up for her party, which included her family and many of her high-profile friends. Some of her friends included: Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Pat and Shirley Ryan, Jim O’Connor, Richard M. Daley, and Ed Weed. Many of her friends have worked with Cindy Pritzker on committees and civic boards at some point throughout the years.
A Special Gift
As the crowd gathered for Cindy’s birthday party, there were no gift boxes in hand. All of her friends and family came together and donated $90,000 for her 90th birthday. It was a huge contribution that was greatly appreciated. There’s no better way to honor the remarkable woman who created the Chicago Public Library Foundation.
Cindy Pritzker successfully raised the funds needed to build the famous Harold Washington Library. In 1991, it opened its doors and became the most expensive library in the country, costing $175 million.
Not only has she contributed to libraries around the city, she helped transform fundraising for the Museum of Science and Industry. In 1981, Cindy started the museum’s annual fundraising ball. Over 30 years later, this fundraiser continues today.
In 1983, Cindy Pritzker also co-produced the Broadway hit “Singin’ in the Rain”. It didn’t take well to critics when it started showing, but Cindy’s ad campaign created a higher interest for theater lovers. Singin’ in the Rain remained on Broadway for three years.
The Chicago Public Library Foundation is an incredible program that helps accelerate learning for those who utilize its facilities. They provide early learning initiatives as well as teachers in the library. It empowers the workforce and strengthens communities through its cyber navigator computer tutors and citywide book club.
Cindy Pritzker’s 90th birthday gift of $90,000 to the Chicago Public Library Foundation was sure to put a big smile on her face, as well as the many patrons that use the Chicago Public Libraries. A good deed can go a long way.
Libraries are still a very important part of our society. Although the internet has become increasingly popular throughout the years, not everyone has access to it. Everything cannot be found on the internet like many people think. Although the internet compliments the library very well, it does not replace it. Libraries will always be important to the preservation of our culture.