For over 100 years the women of the Allendale Shelter Club have been an incredible source of compassion, friendship and generous financial support to the Allendale Association. From the beginning, this dedicated group of women chose Allendale to be the exclusive recipient of their charitable giving and volunteer efforts. At that time, area professionals within the legal system and social services recognized Chicago’s escalating need to address the care of homeless and destitute boys. On December 6, 1906, 16 women from the Children’s Hospital Society formed the Allendale Shelter Club. It’s heartwarming to know that generations of Shelter Club members have passed the torch, continuing in the generous tradition of the club’s founding members.
Under the leadership of Mrs. Katherine Ellwood Allport, the women of the Shelter Club rented a flat on Harrison Street and founded The Boys’ Shelter Club which housed 50 boys, all of whom were either perched precariously above homelessness, or living on the streets. The Club provided shelter, clean beds, and meal tickets to a nearby restaurant for the young boys in need. The unemployed boys attended public school and the Chicago University Settlement helped to supervise their free time. As the Club expanded, summer vacation proved a difficult time, and in 1909 the suggestion of an affiliation with the Allendale Farm was made. Here, the boys would have the invaluable support of Mr. Edward L. Bradley who had founded the Allendale farm twelve years earlier. In the following years, The Boys’ Shelter Club and the Allendale Farm would merge, girls would be admitted, and the Allendale Association would be formed.
Today, The Shelter Club has 34 active members primarily representing the communities of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, in addition to over 58 non-resident and associate members. Over the years, The Shelter Club has contributed more than $9million to The Allendale Association and remains the school’s largest private donor.
Thanks to the Allendale Shelter Club, our campus is a much more welcoming, safe and productive place of learning and healing. Years of extraordinarily successful fundraising have helped to build ML’s Place for our Career and Technical Education Program. The Shelter Club capital campaign has supported our Shelter Club Commons Cafeteria, renovations to several cottages, the purchase of audio-visual and IT equipment, the renovation of a new Tech Lab for student learning, scholarships for youth after life at Allendale life, support of students and young mothers in our Independent and Transitional Living Programs, and much more.
Allendale Shelter Club
Thanks to the dedicated support and generous contributions of the Allendale Shelter Club, our campus is a much more welcoming, safe and productive place of learning and healing.
Keri Cook Falls
Whitley Bouma Herbert
Mary Therese Williams