Celebrate Highwood Press Release Header

Focuses on Community Initiatives with First Program
Raising over $4,000 in Two Days to Feed over 200 Local Families
Watch for upcoming pop up events as the Stay-At-Home order releases 

HIGHWOOD, IL (MAY 6, 2020) – With respect for Governor Prtizker’s “Restore Illinois” plan, Celebrate Highwood sadly announces the cancellation of its 2020 festival and event season.  At the same time, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization is proud to announce it will be focusing on efforts to help the community with programs and initiatives to keep the public engaged, unified and support businesses and community members experiencing hardships during this unprecedented time.

“With the uncertainty and constant changes due to COVID-19, we decided full cancellation of the 2020 season was the right thing to do,” says Ken Robertson, co-president of Celebrate Highwood.  “We are going to take all the time, effort and energy it takes to plan our wonderful events, and put that into helping boost our community morale and keep our local economies going.”

The first new Celebrate Highwood program to feed local families was launched on April 30th, raising over $4,000 in just two days to supply enough grocery bags full of fresh food, produce and staples to feed over 200 local families. Partnering with Nuestro Center, BellaRu Catering and Mis Dos Magos, food was distributed from donations made to Family Services of Lake County for this special initiative to provide Highwoodians and neighbors with food and other necessities.

Gail Hodges, Director of Development at Family Services of Lake County, said of the immediate Celebrate Highwood financial support, “You certainly gave us a reason to celebrate, when an ongoing high tide of donations to support food for our families came flooding into our Emergency Fund! I cannot begin to tell you how much this means to help secure the well being of our families who have been so disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.”

Any size donation can make a huge impact and can be made by clicking HERE:

  • $15 will provide: 3lbs white rice, 3 whole onion, 5lbs tomatoes, 5lbs potatoes, 2lbs chicken
  • $50 will provide: 3lbs white rice, 3lbs pinto beans, 10 packs of corn tortillas, 5lbs fresh masa, 3 bunch cilantro, 3 whole onion, 5lbs tomatoes, 1lbs jalapenos, 5lbs potatoes, 2 whole chicken, 5lbs pork (generally feeds a family of 6 for one week)
  • $9 per meal: for senior or prepared meals such as tamales, puerco con salsa verde, pollo con mole, fajitas, chicken parmesan with pasta, lasagna, roasted chicken with mashed potatoes & veggies.
  • $30 will provide: non-food packages of 20 rolls toilet paper, 4 rolls paper towel, 1 gallon bleach, 1 gallon dish soap, 1 box (100) gloves (either nitrile or vinyl)

“We are so overwhelmed with this outpouring of support from and for our community,” says Kirsten Kuhlmann, newly appointed Executive Director of Celebrate Highwood. “We are going to keep on keeping on with these initiatives and develop ongoing programming to help those in need and support our local businesses.”

Future plans are in the works for creative pop-up events (in-home or in-town) that will align with the themes of the regularly scheduled Celebrate Highwood Series of Family Friendly Festivals including: the weekly Wednesday Evening Market, Music & Social, North Shore Pride Fest, Highwood Days, Taco Fest, Bloody Mary Fest, Pumpkin Fest, Nashwood and the organizations two family fun runs.

“We have such a creative and energetic Celebrate Highwood Board and we are looking forward to announcing some fun activities to continue to support our local causes,” says Michael Goldstein, co-president of Celebrate Highwood. “We’re deeply missing our community connections right now, and are working hard to develop engaging programming. We are looking forward to when we can all come together again in Highwood to do what we do best - have fun with neighbors and friends!”

With the cancellation of events, one of Celebrate Highwood’s concerns is the continued fundraising to meet their mission of bringing community together to raise funds for local and national charities, to give back, build strong community spirit, and establish Highwood as THE prime entertainment destination for dining, festivals and events on the North Shore.

“Our fabulous family friendly festivals and events will not go away,” states Kuhlmann. “We need everyone’s support now more than ever!”

Please consider donating to Celebrate Highwood and its ongoing philanthropic initiatives through their website at www.celebratehighwood.org/donate-support/.

Celebrate Highwood urges the public to stay up to date with programs by following them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/celebratehighwood and visiting their website at www.celebratehighwood.org.



Celebrate Highwood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity established in August 2016. Managed and operated by volunteers, our mission is to bring community together to raise funds for local and national charities. Through producing events that cater to the citizens, businesses and visitors of Highwood, our goal is give back, build strong community spirit, and establish Highwood as THE prime entertainment destination for dining, festivals and events on the North Shore. For more information on all of Highwood’s festivals, please visit www.CelebrateHighwood.org, www.facebook.com/celebratehighwood, or call 847-432-6000.