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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Copernicus Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: The Copernicus Center is a community center sponsored by the Copernicus Foundation and primarily the Polish community for the benefit of Chicago and the northwest side communities. Its mission is to promote Polish cultural events in Chicago and to serve the needs of the multicultural communities in Chicago. The Center houses a historic theater, classrooms, and other venue spaces for events and meetings.

Results: Total underwriting for community and charitable causes exceeds $200,000 annually for the 5th year in a row. WOSP Benefit - First event sponsored 3 years ago raised $15,000 for child health care, second year raised $25,000 and last year's event raised over $80,000 for children's hospitals Community Meetings, Workshops, & Events: Flu Shots, Voting, Tax & Health Seminars, Election Information, Various Information Fairs, Farmer's Markets, OSHA safety seminars, ESL classes, Christmas tree lighting/entertainment. The Copernicus Foundation underwrites or supports a MINIMUM of 12 OTHER nonprofits annually. Our Programs: 1.) English as a second Language classes ( 6 days a week ) 2.) Underwriting support for Paderewski Symphony orchestra 3.) Underwriting for Polonia Ensemble dance group 4.) Underwriting support - Agata Paleczny Children's Theaterworks 5.) Underwriting support - Scena Polonia - theatrical program 6.) Underwriting of WOSP event ( last year raised over $ 60,000 for children's hospitals 7.) Sponsor of neighborhood Sunday Farmer's Markets for Jefferson Park 8.) Sponsor and underwrite community events ( Aldermanic debates, community meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, Police Community outreach meetings, Social Security seminars, OSHA safety seminars, official neighborhood polling location, Flu Shot Clinic, and more...

Target demographics: Community health & information seminars, Community meeting space, underwrite performing art groups & students, Raise funds for children with medical needs, underwrite ESL classes, Support other non-profits via Venue usage

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5000

Geographic areas served: Metro Chicago

Programs: 1.) English as a second Language classes ( 6 days a week ) 2.) Underwriting support for Paderewski Symphony orchestra 3.) Underwriting for Polonia Ensemble dance group 4.) Underwriting support - Agata Paleczny Children's Theaterworks 5.) Underwriting support - Scena Polonia - theatrical program 6.) Underwriting of WOSP event ( last year raised over $ 60,000 for children's hospitals 7.) Sponsor of neighborhood Sunday Farmer's Markets ( held in our Parking lot ) 8.) Sponsor and underwrite community events ( Aldermanic debates, community meetings, Chamber of Commerce meetings, Police Community outreach meetings, Social Security seminars, OSHA safety seminars, official neighborhood polling location

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I currently volunteered at the recent Taste of Polonia festival over labor day weekend. The staff at the Copernicus were very kind and helpful. The events itself was a lot of fun! Great food and great music! I really appreciate what the Copernicus Center does for not only the Polish-American community, but also the surrounding neighborhoods by throwing such a great festival. I will definitely volunteer again next year!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great foundation, great people, great atmosphere, great events. Overall outstanding big improvements.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Copernicus Cultural Center is a very nice place to hang out. The best entertainment during Taste of Polonia for the whole family. Check the concerts schedule and bar menu. Prices are reasonable. Enjoy!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Great organizations. Provides a fantastic venue for many of the charities I support.

Donor

Rating: 5

They don't advertise all of the good that they do enough. Most people don't know all the good the foundation/center does: English as a second language, supporting the community with a meeting space (costing them electricity, personnel, etc) to donating to local hospitals, and more. They are currently sponsoring a benefit for a toddler with cancer. It's a low key HERO in the Chicago community.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Copernicus Center is a community center that is rich in culture. It is a wonderful venue for many different types of occasions and always has awesome live music! The organization also does a great job supporting the community it serves. I wish I lived closer to the center so that I could enjoy it more.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Copernicus Center has something everyone can enjoy with it's 2,000 seat theater and the new Annex area for entertaining, parties, and corporate events. The diverse venues include tribute bands, dance groups, improvs, ultimate fighting, and so much more! The Copernicus team has worked so hard to keep this theater current through their multiple renovations. Even though Taste of Polonia festival on Labor Day weekend is their largest event, there is much more than this going on here on a daily basis! Check it out on their newly updated and easy to navigate website!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a community and program developer, I know the importance of "belonging" and "community." The Copernicus Center, through the support of the Foundation, has enriched more than just the Jefferson Park area. Its programming reaches residents throughout Chicago and enriches many lives.