Iannelli fundraiser earns Park Ridge a Governor’s Hometown Award
The Kalo Foundation's work to save artist Alfonso Iannelli's home and studio in Park Ridge earned the city a 2012 Governor's Hometown Award. | Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 4, 2012 1:24PM
PARK RIDGE — Community fundraising efforts to save artist Alfonso Iannelli’s home and studio from demolition have earned the city of Park Ridge a 2012 Governor’s Hometown Award.
The Kalo Foundation, which organized the effort and raised $320,000 in private funds to purchase the property at 255 N. Northwest Hwy. last year, was recognized during a Nov. 29 event at the Governor’s mansion Springfield as the city was presented with the Governor’s Hometown Award for History and Historic Preservation.
“I think something very positive went on in this town and almost everybody participated in one way or another,” said Betsy Foxwell, president of the Kalo Foundation. “People come to us all the time with little gifts or something they have that they think we can use.”
As a Hometown Award winner, Park Ridge has received a sign that will be posted somewhere in the city, though the location has not yet been decided.
Foxwell said Mayor David Schmidt encouraged members of the foundation to apply for a Governor’s Hometown Award last spring. He also submitted a letter of support with the group’s application.
“I wrote that the volunteers had pulled together and pulled off what appeared at first to be an impossible task: raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase Iannelli Studios and turn it into a cultural arts centerpiece in the city,” Schmidt said. “I thought that was reflective of the strong volunteer spirit we have in Park Ridge.”
Now known as the Iannelli Studios Heritage Center, the building hosts events related to Park Ridge’s art community and art history.