Unveiling of HP150 Exhibition

January 10, 2019 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Unveiling of HP150 Exhibition

President and COO of FBHP Eric Ephraim, Actor Jeffrey Perry, and Mayor Nancy Rotering at Highland Park’s 150th Anniversary celebration at First Bank of Highland Park on January, 9, 2019.


Acclaimed actor, director and teacher Jeff Perry was welcomed back to his hometown as an honored guest to celebrate Highland Park’s 150th Anniversary at First Bank of Highland Park. The event gathered together many of the city’s influential community members whose contributions make us proud to call Highland Park “home.” 


The evening also served as a kick-off for the month-long HP150 Exhibition, provided by the City of Highland Park, which gives a historical retrospective of Highland Park through photographs, fun facts, trivia and a “Hall of Fame.” The exhibit, which will be on display throughout January on the bank’s Ruth Fell Wander Community Art Wall, highlights activities planned during the year-long celebration including special events, tours and more.


Eric Ephraim, President and COO of FBHP served as Master of Ceremony.  Mayor Nancy Rotering gave the keynote address and Jeff Perry shared fond memories of his upbringing, as well as his parents’ strong ties to Highland Park’s education system. Jeff’s father’s career began as an English teacher at Highland Park High School and then was head of the English department. Later, he became District 113’s Curriculum Director. Jeff’s mother served as the school secretary at Ravinia Elementary School. Jeff spoke about being one of the co-founders of the famous Steppenwolf Theatre, along with Highland Park High School buddy Gary Sinise, and his deep roots in our city which have greatly influenced his long-lasting career that includes starring and guest roles in many popular TV series such as Scandal, Nash Bridges and Grey’s Anatomy.


Stop by the bank throughout the month of January to view the HP150 exhibition. Help preserve Highland Park’s history, by liking FBHP’s Facebook page. For every new “like” received throughout the month, the bank will donate $2 to The Highland Park Historical Society (up to $250).

The Highland Park Police Department promises to be ‘There for You’ in new video

The Highland Park Police Department showed their fun side with a lip synch video set to the theme song of the TV show, “Friends.” The opening scene features various locations of our city, including a local business in downtown Highland Park. The opening scene was filmed at Coffee Speaks, set as “Highland Perk.” The video also went viral on our Facebook page over the weekend, and the community definitely agrees that HPPD rocks!

<<< Read more on the Blog

The Time is Now to Support HP150

December 7, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | The Time is Now to Support HP150

The City of Highland Park will celebrate its sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) in 2019 with highly visible special events, concerts, City tours and more. Plans are underway for a wide variety of festivities which will bring the community together to celebrate the community and its wonderful history. There are a number of ways to get involved with the celebration and make 2019 a year to remember.

Get Involved 

  • Be a Sponsor
  • Buy a Personalized Brick
  • Tell Us Your Story – have an interesting story involving Highland Park? We want to hear it!
  • Submit a Photo – email cityhp@cityhpil.com or mail to City Hall, 1707 St. Johns Ave. Highland Park, IL 60035
  • Participate in an Essay Contest or Art Contest – look for details in the Highland Park Landmark coming soon.

The Sesquicentennial provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the rich history of the City and bring the community together to move towards a future that celebrates our vibrant city and the people who continue to make it an outstanding place to live, work and play.

Sponsor Brochure

Brick Order Form

For more information, visit www.cityhpil.com/HP150.

 HP150 Calendar of Events
*Subject to change

Event Date
MLK Day of Service -150 service projects campaign January
Highland Park History Awards March
Time Capsule – Opening Old Time Capsule March 11
“Map” of Highland Park March
Focus on the Arts April 9 – 12
Mexico’s Day of the Child, el Dia del Niño April 30
Bus/ Bike Tours (Hollywood in HP, Historic Homes, Art in HP) April, May, June
Lawn Signs for Historic Homes August – October
Pieces of History Puzzle Signs – 150 signs for 150 years June
Bitter Jester Music Festival June – July
Commemorative Book July
Fourth of July Parade and Fireworks July 4
Big Bash July 4
Port Clinton Art Festival / Taste of Highland Park August
Stupey Cabin Tours September 14
Open Doors Highland Park September 28
Holiday Lighting November 16
Time Capsule Dedication December 2019
Post- 2019 Display of Service Projects 2019-2020

Local Spotlight: December Exhibition at First Bank of Highland Park

December 5, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Local Spotlight: December Exhibition at First Bank of Highland Park

If only “hope” could be gift-wrapped, it would be the perfect holiday gift. Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago has found a creative way to give the gift of hope through their After Supper Visions photography program which serves hungry and homeless individuals. At their Tuesday Night Supper program, guests are offered disposable cameras and photography lessons which have enabled participants to create, connect, and communicate through art. On display throughout December at First Bank of Highland Park are photographs of “hope” from these artists. Every June, an exhibition is held in which the artists receive compensation from the sales.

Since its inception in 1917, Catholic Charities has helped ease financial and emotional stress for the less fortunate with programs which cover human needs from “cradle to grave,” without regard to religious, ethnic or economic background. As one of the largest private, non-profit social service agencies in the Midwest, they annually assist more than one million people and provide 174 programs at 164 Catholic Charities locations across Cook and Lake Counties.

Join their efforts by dropping off nonperishable food items at the bank for the Catholic Charities Emergency Food Pantry in Waukegan. Collections are also being requested for new socks and undergarments for men and women, as well as diapers for infants and toddlers.

Book Your Holiday Party in Downtown Highland Park

November 7, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Book Your Holiday Party in Downtown Highland Park

Planning a holiday party? You’ll find what you’re looking for right here in downtown Highland Park. Don’t miss your chance to book a private space from one of our several outstanding restaurants. Take a look at the venues below to see which spot best fits your holiday party needs!  

Beelows | 1850 Second St.

Photo credit: Beelow’s NorthShore (Facebook)

Take your celebration to the next level at Beelow’s NorthShore! We feature both indoor and outdoor accommodations, from semi-private and private to food and wine events. Please contact us for availability at 847- 780-3300.

Bella Via | 1899 Second St.

Photo credit: Bella Via (Facebook)

We can accommodate parties of 20 to 200. We have two separate private rooms than can be combined into one large room making our event space ideal for many different functions. We have many years of experience hosting B’nei Mitzvahs, Wedding & Wedding Rehearsals, Showers, Birthday Parties, Reunions, Sports Banquets, Business Meetings, Holiday Parties and more. Please call us at 847-681-8300 and ask for the Event Manager Amir Bloom or fill out our party inquiry form on our website.

La Casa de Isaac | 2014 First St.

Photo credit: @lacasadeisaacmexicanrest (Instagram)

Enjoy a party with us…bring all your friends! Book a private room for your private party! We can accommodate 30-100 people. Call us at 847-433-7400 to book your next event and in-house catering packages.

Michaels | 1879 Second St.

Photo credit: Michael’s Chicago-Style Red Hots (Facebook)

From FUN to FORMAL, our NEWLY RENOVATED, contemporary venue accommodates up to 200 guests and is available for private and semi-private events 7 days a week. Transform our blank canvas into the event space of your dreams! Get the party started with two full bars, state-of-the-art AV, customizable lighting system, 180 in. HD projector, 10 plasma tvs, wireless microphone, a full-service event planner, and more! Call us at 847-432-3338.

Mizuki Grill | 474 Central Ave.

Photo credit: Mizuki Grill & Banquets (Facebook)

Need a space for your event? Come check out our newly remodeled banquet hall! We have a beautiful banquet room that can accommodate over 150+ people! Mizuki Grill welcomes any small parties at the banquet hall, proudly serving Chef Joe’s creative cuisines that go beyond our regular menu. Call 847-864-1936 today!


Phoenicia Mediterranean Cuisine | 1910 First St.

Photo credit: Phoenicia Cuisine (Facebook)

Add a touch of the Mediterranean to your next event. Phoenicia is capable of catering parties up to 350 people! We cater birthdays, showers, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, and almost any event you can think of. We can hold events at the restaurant or we can cater events at other locations. We will also customize menus to fit your party and budget. To book your next event, call 847- 266-9990.

The Art Center’s Cover Design Contest: Winter 2018

To apply:

Submit your image via email to info@theartcenterhp.org as a TIF or JPEG and include the title, medium and artist’s name (if applicable). Our marketing team will choose ten images that we consider to be the most evocative of the spirit of TAC HP Education and Gallery. Those ten images will be featured on our social media and we’ll ask for our community to vote with a ‘like’.

What we’re looking for:

Our last catalogue went to 25,000 area homes. It featured our staff, faculty, board and some students on the steps of TAC HP. We wanted to capture the energy and spirit of our nearly 60 year old facility. This time we want to have our community as part of our design team, choosing an image that also captures the spirit, passion and possibility of TAC HP.

Contest dates: Submissions will be accepted 10/22-11/1 at info@theartcenterhp.org . Voting will close on 11/1/18. Selected contributors will be notified via email. If an entry is submitted it is considered to be permission to use as a marketing image for TAC HP without fee or royalty.

Questions or concerns? E-mail info@theartcenterhp.org


Highland Park Community Foundation’s 2019 Golden Apple Award Now Accepting Nominations

October 5, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Highland Park Community Foundation’s 2019 Golden Apple Award Now Accepting Nominations

The Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) is now accepting nominations for its 2019 Golden Apple Award. Now in its ninth year of honoring excellence within the teaching profession in North Shore School District 112, the Golden Apple Award recognizes and celebrates outstanding teachers whose efforts demonstrate the impact that inspiring teaching has on children in the Highland Park/Highwood communities.

“The Golden Apple Award is Highland Park Community Foundation’s platform to honor and reward one of the community’s deserving educators for his or her dedication to enriching the lives of students and guiding them towards academic success,” said Sara Sher, HPCF Golden Apple selection committee chairperson.

HPCF’s Golden Apple Award nominations will be accepted for full-time teachers currently working within North Shore School District 112 in grades K-5. Nominations are welcome from all community members including students, parents, colleagues, and administrators (nominations by family members and self-nominations are not accepted). To nominate a teacher, please visit this nomination form.

The recipient of this prestigious annual award will receive a $2000 honorarium, a $500 gift card to the Apple store, and the celebrated HPCF Golden Apple Award. The teacher who earns the 2019 Golden Apple Award will also be recognized by both the school and the district as well as honored by the Highland Park Community Foundation.

Nominations for the 2019 HPCF Golden Apple Award close on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 5:00 P.M. Application materials will be mailed to each nominated teacher. Teachers must have completed four full years of teaching and have spent the majority of his/her time in the classroom teaching grades K-5 and commit to teaching for a minimum of two additional years in the Highland Park and Highwood community after receiving the award.

For more information or questions regarding the HPFC Golden Apple Award, please contact Sara Sher at sarasher@comcast.net. For more information about the Highland Park Community Foundation, please visit: hpcfil.org.

Feel Empowered When Dealing With Cancer!

September 26, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Feel Empowered When Dealing With Cancer | By Lynn Nozicka, Wellness & Success Coach, and Cancer Survivor

As a cancer survivor, it became my top priority to be active in my treatment and the decisions that were made. Now, as a Wellness and Success Coach, I can provide the needed support, education, and encouragement to others! I have been in your position, let me help you! Even going back into the workforce, after an illness is challenging! You do not have to do it alone.

What do you do when you get down? Scared? Afraid? Cancer plays us like a puppet on a string. Emotionally we ride the roller coaster without being asked! Sometimes we receive conflicting information, which adds to our confusion. I feel that no one should be paralyzed by a cancer diagnosis. I will share my coping methods with you.

Having cancer is an enormous stress producer in our lives, on top of trying to respond to our family, jobs, and financial concerns. When you are going through your treatment of cancer, it can be traumatic both physically, and emotionally. It can also be a time for growth and healing!

I will create an environment of openness and acceptance, to help you create a vision for your health. I respect that the client is his or her own expert. By engaging the client in discussing their priorities, strengths, obstacles, and motivators, the possibility for doable and a sustainable health vision is increased. I use specific Non-Invasive techniques along with Coaching, such as Guided Imagery, Meditation, Hypnosis and NLP to help you:

• Establish your priorities

• Be confident about your decisions

• Reach your best possible state of wellness

• Reduce the fear of a recurrence of cancer

• Offer emotional support from diagnosis, to treatment, surgeries, and through recovery, and after.

I will encourage and champion you – both as a skilled Wellness Practitioner and cancer survivor I am available by phone, or in person. I provide contact with e-mail or telephone contact between sessions if needed. I can also provide other resources such as nutritionists, social workers, and counselors.

I want to give back because I am also a cancer survivor…I get it! I want to help you feel relaxed during your journey, diagnosis, treatment, and after any reconstruction, fear of reoccurrence, if it’s been some time since you went through any of this. I am offering a Buy One Session, Get One Free. Plus, get a one-hour success coaching or hypnosis session for $100.00 for 2 sessions. This a wonderful way to take care of yourself, as you become healthier or reinforce staying healthy.

Please call for a sample session at 847 254-8393, email info@lynnenozicka.com, or visit lynnenozicka.com.

Nozicka Center for Coaching & Hypnosis is located at 454 Central Ave. (#206) Highland Park, IL.

Pulling Down the Moon welcomes a new yoga instructor

August 10, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Pulling Down the Moon welcomes a new yoga instructor
Pulling Down the Moon is thrilled to welcome Christina Thompson to its team. Christina has been practicing yoga for 15 years, starting when she was a music major in college seeking relief from chronic pain. Yoga has always been a stabilizing practice for her through transitions in life, from injuries to career changes. As a professional voice actor and on-camera presenter, Christina uses breath work and meditation to prepare for auditions and bookings. She enjoys practicing various styles of yoga including Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin yoga, and is inspired by the vitality and balance found through the practice. While completing her 200-hour teacher training at the Chicago School of Yoga in early 2018, Christina developed a passion for holistic women’s health and completed her research project on Yoga for Fertility. She continues to participate in trainings on Trauma Informed Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Prenatal Yoga, and Yoga for Fertility. Christina is committed to making yoga accessible for all in an empowering, stress-relieving environment. She teaches yoga to help people get out of their heads and into their breath, and to create space in the body and mind. Christina is honored to join the yoga team at Pulling Down the Moon and looks forward to fostering community with her students!
Join her for a NEW complimentary Prenatal Yoga Community Class in Highland Park on Saturday, August 25th at 10 a.m. 
Pulling Down the Moon is located at 1770 First Street (Suite 400) in downtown Highland Park. For more information, visit pullingdownthemoon.com or call 312-321-0004.

Want to be featured? Email us at info@downtownhp.com.

Burn Boot Camp strives to empower women through fitness

July 9, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Burn Boot Camp strives to empower women through fitness

If you’re lacking motivation in your current fitness routine, have no fear—Burn Boot Camp will help you stay on track. Feel the ‘burn’ at Burn Boot Camp, a new women’s focused fitness facility set to open this summer at the Renaissance Place in downtown Highland Park. Providing mental, physical and emotional transformations that result in lasting change, Burn Boot Camp welcomes all fitness levels. The Burn Boot Camp workout is designed to maximize your results in just 45 minutes with an average burn of 700 calories per camp. We caught up with Danielle Bulger, Manager of Burn Boot Camp in Highland Park to learn a little bit more about the new fitness facility.


We love the quote on your website: “We vow to educate, influence, and inspire every life we touch with knowledge in our heads, love in our hearts, strength in our bodies and passion in our souls.” Can you tell us a little bit about Burn Boot Camp’s mission? 

The community atmosphere we create at Burn sets us apart from other fitness facilities. Our goal is cultivate a family atmosphere where women are supporting and encouraging each other both inside and outside of the gym. We offer unlimited rapid 45-minute camps with no reservation required, in addition to complimentary child watch and unlimited 1:1 focus meetings with our head trainer.


What is one detail you wish the community knew about your business? 

Burn Boot Camp is the fastest growing women’s fitness facility in the nation! We provide an environment of like minded women who inspire, strengthen and empower each other. We welcome all fitness levels and offer personal training in a group setting.

What is your vision for Burn Boot Camp in Downtown Highland Park?

Burn Boot Camp has had a life changing impact on our lives as owners (also Burn clients) and we wanted to share this amazing community with the women of Highland Park.


Experience a Burn Workout before they open their doors. Burn Boot Camp is offering FREE outdoor pop-up camps this month at the Renaissance Place. All workouts are co-ed, open to the public and no reservations are required. Everyone who attends a pop-up camp receives an entry into a raffle for a FREE 6-month Burn Membership. Workouts take place July 11 at 9:30 a.m., July 18 at 9:30 a.m., July 23 at 8:30 a.m., and July 25 at 6:30 p.m.

For more information and to sign up for a free 30-day trial, visit www.burnbootcamp.com/highland-park-il.

Written by Ariana Pup, Marketing Director of Downtown Highland Park

Want to be featured? Email us at info@downtownhp.com.

Downtown Highland Park Photo Contest

July 3, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Downtown Highland Park Photo Contest
In honor of Independence Day, we want to celebrate the patriotic spirit of Downtown Highland Park! Tag your snapshots with #DowntownHighlandPark on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. We’ll re-share the photos (and videos!) that truly stand out.
We can’t wait to see all that red, white and blue!
Questions? Email info@downtownhp.com.

Volunteers Needed at the Moraine Township Food Pantry

June 24, 2018 | Humans of Highland Park Blog | Volunteers Needed at the Moraine Township Food Pantry


The Moraine Township Food Pantry is moving across the street to a great new space at 800 Central Avenue. Volunteers are needed to help move, sort and shelve the food from Saturday June 23 through Sunday July 1 (or earlier, if they get it done sooner).

Please submit a Volunteer Application and Waiver Form to Anne Flanigan Bassi, Moraine Township Supervisor at super@morainetownship.org and call 847-432-3240. PLEASE DO NOT SHOW UP WITHOUT CALLING.


Regular or occasional volunteer opportunities:




  • Box and carry food up the stairs here at 777 Central and load it into cars / trucks
  • Unload food at 800 Central Avenue
  • Check expiration dates and sort food at 800 Central Avenue
  • Shelve food at 800 Central Avenue



Because of the need to keep the shelves constantly filled, and because we will open the pantry three days a week instead of two, we will need a lot more volunteers! Please fill out the attached volunteer application and stop in to see if our needs match your interest and schedule.

We need folks who will sign up for shifts weekly, bi-weekly, or agree to sub when volunteers are sick or on vacation. REGULAR VOLUNTEERS MUST BE AGE 12 OR OLDER.

We are so fortunate to live in a community of people who care about and help their neighbors who may be struggling.


  • Produce sorters – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday mornings
  • Shelf-stable food sorters – checking expiration dates and sorting by type of food –
  • Shelvers – re-stocking shelves – with the Pantry open three days, we will need lots more shelvers
  • Cleaning up after Pantry day – admittedly the most unglamorous of all the tasks offered for your consideration, but sooooooooo necessary
  • Produce buyers once a week – we’re covered for now but would love a bench
  • Store Donation pick up – we pick up at five stores eight times a week and always need people who will help every week, every other week, or are on call for subbing if a regular is sick or on vacation. The stores will take away our days if we don’t pick up or refuse all the food offered.
  • Unloading NIFB pallets delivered the first Wednesday of each month

See the wish list of necessary items needed to equip the new client-choice Pantry. Scroll down the wish list and select an item to donate or buy in honor of a friend. Your contribution is tax deductible.