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Allendale Women’s Board

For over 100 years the women of the Allendale Women's Board, formerly 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 women 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 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 group 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 Allendale Women's Board and the Allendale Farm would merge, girls would be admitted, and the Allendale Association would be formed.

Today, The Allendale Women's Board 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 Allendale Women's Board has contributed more than $9million to The Allendale Association and remains the school’s largest private donor.

Thanks to the Allendale Women's Board, 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 Allendale Women's Board 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 Women's Board

Thanks to the dedicated support and generous contributions of the Allendale Women's Board, our campus is a much more welcoming, safe and productive place of learning and healing.

Karen Anderson

Vice President:
Ester Viti

Membership Chair:
Gretchen Athas

Cheryl Ashley
Sarah Back
Chris Bjork
Alissa Bolton
Kirstin Carruthers
Kirsten Collister
Julie Crouch
Garrett Dee
Marianne Delhey
Keri Cook Falls
Isabel Fiore
Katie Fitzpatrick
Stephanie Hayes
Whitley Bouma Herbert
Avery Keller
Kate Kelliher
Carolyn Konz
Meg Lynch
Jenny McKinney
Rachel McMahon
Meredith Mitchell
Julie Sommer
Annalisa Soukup
Lisa Tobin
Laura Torosian
Linda Traeger
Julie Valenti
Cassandra Vermilion
Nalisa Ward
Kristen Weisberg
Mary Therese Williams