Caroline DeGenaars, Jeff Skoll, Media With Meaning And An Invitation

Caroline DeGenaars is one of Kenilworth’s great social entrepreneurs – a true Make It Better woman. She leverages her resources, time and social capital to support or create programs likely to have real impact on those who need the most help.

Caroline with Gwen Solberg

Caroline with her husband, Dirk

One of those programs is the Providence Englewood Charter School (PECS), founded by many Kenilworth families. The message below, sent by Caroline as an invitation to a fundraiser for PECS, does a fantastic job describing the school and why it should be supported:


Meet Evelyn…she’s one of my 1st grade Providence Englewood Charter School (PECS) students who just made “Straight A” Honor Roll! What moved me about this moment we shared was not only her achievement, but her pride. She was so happy to show off her award; so excited to have accomplished such an honor.


Evelyn Deanes with her honor roll plaque

Eight years ago, a group of families from Kenilworth pooled their resources to launch Providence Englewood Charter School (PECS) in the old Ralph Bunche School building, an Englewood neighborhood school that shut down due to poor performance. Today kids in grades K-8 in the PECS neighborhood not only have a school to attend, but they’re thriving, scoring well on standardized tests and moving on to competitive high schools.

Please join us on Friday, February 28th to support and celebrate all that PECS has accomplished in the last 8 years. We promise you a casual, fun evening of Barbeque, Blues and warm camaraderie in the midst of these arduous cold winter nights. Help us to help the kids at PECS so they can continue to “work, plan, build and dream – in that order.”

Jeff Skoll was Employee #2 and President #1 at eBay. He retired with enough financial capital to dedicate the rest of his life to social entrepreneurism, including producing successful movies and promoting “media with meaning.”

Jeff Skoll

Please see Jeff’s Media With Meaning Ted Talk: Ted Talk

Make It Better loves supporting social entrepreneurs. It puts the most meaning in our media too. If you too are a social entrepreneur working on a project about which you are passionate – we want to help. I invite you to connect with me at at your earliest convenience.

Also – please let us know if you would like an invitation to the PECS fundraiser.

100% Renewable & Less Expensive = Better Electricity

Thanks to Cheryl Smith for spreading the word about this opportunity to make life, environment & pocketbook better in Wilmette and Kenilworth by encouraging the town governments to choose PowerPurchasing Program electricity.

As she recommends below, you can add your support to this with a simple click & send.

To Make It Better:

I want to tell your readers about an opportunity for residents and small business owners in Kenilworth and Wilmette to both save on their electricity bills and improve our environment at the same time. We can do this by choosing 100% renewable energy for the joint PowerPurchasing Program for our villages.

The American Lung Association’s 2012 annual State of the Air Report gave Cook County an “F” for Ozone and Particulates. If we choose Renewable Energy suppliers, we can improve the wellbeing of our communities.

All households and small businesses will save money under the proposed Program. We will each save just a little less if we choose renewable energy – between $0.83 and $3.00 per month: to put this in perspective, that is, roughly, one cup of coffee ($2.89) at a local restaurant, per household, per month.

Please join me in asking our Village Boards to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities by negotiating for 100% renewable energy. The time is now.

Send a brief email to:

• Kathleen Gargano, Assistant Village Manager in Wilmette at garganok
• Fred Steingraber, Village President of the Board of Directors in Kenilworth at info

These individuals will see that all letters are collected and given to the Village Trustees prior to their open meetings on the aggregation issue on May 21st (Kenilworth Village Board Room, 7:30 pm) and May 22nd (Wilmette Village Hall Council Room, 7:30 pm).

This is our opportunity to lead by example, please take a minute to send an e-mail.

Thank you,

Cheryl Smith
1121 Chestnut Ave