About Us

The Friends of Budlong (FOB) is an Illinois not for profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Our goal is to raise funds to support the staff and students of Budlong, and 100% of donations to F.O.B. go directly to the school. We welcome involvement from the entire community.

FOB is a group of caring parents, community members and school staff who are committed to a high-quality 21st century education for Budlong students.

WHAT WE DO: FOB, a nonprofit organization, supports programs, resources, and supplies for Budlong Elementary students through fundraising activities and through the coordination of internal and community resources.

WHY WE DO IT: We believe in Budlong Elementary. We believe our children are the future of our community and country. We believe it takes a community to raise our children and that we can create positive change when we support our school, its students, and its teachers.

Our Chairs

Mary Harris

PRESIDENT

I am new to my role as President this year. I have 2 children at Budlong, Evan in 3rd grade and Olivia in Pre-K. When times are COVID – free I am a Store Manager at Starbucks downtown in the Loop. On my down time, which as a mom is hard to come by, I love to read. This school year is going to be challenging for all of us in so many ways, but I am excited for this new journey as FOB President.

Eileen Brodaski

Vice President

I am back again as your Vice President of Friends of Budlong!!! I have two Budlong Bulldogs, one in third grade, and one in Pre-school. I have lived in Lincoln Square for 10 years now, and if you can believe it, this is the longest I have lived anywhere in my life without moving! I have never felt more at home and more rooted than here in this place.

I look forward to getting creative with ways we can raise money to help support our teachers and students and help grow our community. I am so glad you are here!!! The more help we have, the more we can achieve! Together!

Kate Schweitzer

Secretary

I am thrilled to serve as Secretary of Friends of Budlong. I’m the mom to two Budlong kiddos – Viola, who is loving being back in person in first grade, and Mariam, who is kick-starting her Bulldog career in Pre-K. My husband and I have lived in Chicago – and the Lincoln Square neighborhood – for seven years, and we feel so lucky to have stumbled upon this inclusive, growing community right off the bat. When I’m not writing-from-home in my day job as a journalist, I love exploring new places, reading, taking photos, going for walks with my dog Moose, and sneaking candy when my family's not looking.

Sarah LaMotta

Treasurer

This is my second year as Friends of Budlong treasurer. I have two kids attending Budlong, one in 7th and one in 3rd grade. We have lived in the neighborhood for ten years and been a part of the Budlong community since 2013. I have been an archaeologist and a lab tech but am currently a stay at home parent.

Tracie Eberle

Communications

I have one son at Budlong; Lochlan who is currently in Kindergarten. I have lived in Lincoln Square for 3 years now and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon! I’ve run my own small business (Social Birds LLC) since 2010, focusing on social media management, marketing and events for small bars & restaurants around the city. In normal times it’s a whole lot of fun! I’m excited to utilize my skills to help grow our Friends of Budlong community and keep us all connected! I love to travel and listen to live music in non-pandemic life, these days I craft & watch movies way too much.

Janet Kashuba

Community

I'm excited to serve the Friends of Budlong as its Community Chair. I have four children at Budlong and we're proud Budlong Bulldogs! I grew up on the South Side of Chicago where my grade school mascot was the bulldog so this has now come full circle with my family. We are glad to be part of the diverse, creative and caring environment that is Budlong. My background is in fundraising and I have worked in development roles at The Field Museum, DePaul University and UIC. I studied music and cultural management in school and have had at least one daycare stint playing my saxophone. I also enjoy singing but am okay with the fact that there is a reason I'm an instrumentalist and not a vocalist. It's great to see our Friends of Budlong community growing, and I'm honored to be a part of it! As Community Chair, I will be working on projects to further support for Budlong students and helping to create ways for us to lean on each other as part of the Budlong Family.

Jessie Boyzo

Volunteers

I have a little Bulldog in 2nd grade and I also have a high schooler who is currently a Junior at Lane Tech; she graduated from Budlong in 2019. My wife Geraldine and I absolutely love this community and we have been living in Lincoln Square for over 7 years. I work in healthcare and currently I oversee a large group of interpreters. My background is in training and development as well as project management.

I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves as your Volunteer chair, get to know parents and inspire them to get involved in this amazing parent-led organization. Join us in supporting our kids, teachers and staff.

Stacie Keller

Spirit Wear

I am excited to serve as the Spirit Chair! There are some exciting updates coming to our spirit wear and I can't wait to dive in and get started. My daughter, Aurora, is in first grade at Budlong and we have lived in the neighborhood for the past 7 years. We're so happy to be part of this wonderful community!

Interested in joining us? Become a board member!

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You can contact us at contact@friendsofbudlong.org