ShowcaseETHS! raises funds to grow Fitness Center


Zachary Bahar, Asst. News Editor and Asst. Copy Editor

The second annual ShowcaseETHS! will take place on Nov. 4, with all proceeds from the event going into the renovations to the ETHS Wellness and Performance Center.

“[Showcase] gives students an opportunity to rally behind a project that’ll benefit everybody while having a great time doing so,” executive director of the ETHS Foundation Joanne Bertsche said. “It’ll be very interactive and very fun.”

Showcase is an arts and entertainment variety fundraising event run by the ETHS Foundation, which raises money from alums alongside past and current parents. This money, around $1.2 million a year, is then reinvested into Evanston, both through renovations to the school and through scholarships.

“We work on projects all around campus, so we aren’t just helping athletics, or the arts,” associate director Sarah Schmidt said.

Showcase will feature alums who have become successful in the arts and entertainment including such names comedian Andres Holm of Workaholics and The Mindy Project, musician Ida Hawk and punk rock group YBS NRA.

“There’s a lot that would appeal to students, especially the musical talent,” Bertsche said.  

Last year’s event filled the auditorium with over 1,000 people and raised $100,000 while celebrating 60 years of YAMO with students performing pieces alongside alums.

“It was honestly super interesting and some really respected alumnus came back; for example, I got to see Jessie Mueller which was super cool,” sophomore and YAMO cast member Olive Cantor said on last year’s Showcase. “It was a cool experience because I didn’t realize how big of a community we have outside of ETHS.”

The music and comedy of the night, including acts from student groups such as the jazz bands and choirs, serve to highlight the main purpose of the night, fundraising.

“[For the Wellness Center] we want cutting-edge facilities, with the most current equipment, resources,and possibilities for learning,” Bertsche said “Teaching on old equipment and using old methods is irrelevant. We want to have students learning on the best equipment, with the best teachers and the best methods so we can offer the best experiences to our students and faculty.”

The ETHS Foundation reached the choice to renovate the wellness center after hearing complaints about it from staff, coaches and students who use it.

“[The weight room] suits my needs but an upgrade would be ideal,” senior football player Danny White said. “Renovations to the room there will definitely be beneficial for athletes.”

According to Bertsche, the renovation will create a dynamic environment featuring more adaptable machinery, more usable space and a complete revamp of the center’s aesthetics. All proceeds from the event will be channeled into these renovations which will bring it up to par with those found in other schools.

“We fix up the weight room and make it easier to use, we’ll have more people using it and more people getting bigger, stronger and faster which would really help all [of us],” White said.

According to White, the combination of what many consider to be two separate parts of the school, arts and athletics, shows the connections between students throughout ETHS and will result in both departments reaping significant benefits.

Showcase is a great way to encourage alumni to stay involved and to not just absentmindedly give money each month, but to stay in context and see what’s going on in the high school today,” Cantor said. “It keeps ETHS with you when you keep going.”

Tickets for the event are on sale for $10 either on Nov. 4 from 2:30 to 4, or right now in W127.