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Chicago CRE Giving Back For Thanksgiving

Alter Group President Michael Alter, Robert Morris University President Mablene Krueger, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins

Thanksgiving is nigh and this is the time of year where we not only stop to give thanks for our successes, but to give back. Two huge names in Chicago real estate are doing just that.

Alter Group President Michael Alter, who has a long history of philanthropy, donated $1.2M to Robert Morris University. The money will jump-start the New ERA Scholarship Program, part of an initiative between RMU and Chicago Public Schools to provide educational opportunities for graduating seniors. The program offered through RMU will engage 300 students in college and career opportunities over the next six years, and the school will partner with Wells Community High School to offer dual-credit courses and college readiness experiences to students.

Alter said he was attracted to the program because of RMU's success with African-American students. The graduation rate at the school exceeds national averages and Alter found the best thing he could do was get as many low-income minority students as possible the means to continue their education and move on to attaining high-paying jobs.

Related Midwest President Curt Bailey, center, and Senior Vice President of Construction Don Biernacki, left, joined other executives and employees from the company in distributing Thanksgiving turkeys to workers at the firm’s three construction sites, including One Bennett Park in Streeterville.

Related Midwest launched a new Thanksgiving tradition this year. The firm donated over 800 turkeys yesterday to construction workers on its three active Chicago developments: One Bennett Park in Streeterville; Lathrop, along the north branch of the Chicago River on the city’s Northwest Side; and Landmark West Loop, near the Illinois Medical District. Executives and employees from Related Midwest visited each of the three sites to bag and gift turkeys, and to personally thank the on-site construction teams.

Related Midwest Senior Vice President of Construction Don Biernacki said the firm wanted to start this new holiday tradition as a way to show gratitude and appreciation for the contractors who are instrumental in making these projects a reality, and keeping them on schedule and budget.