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Featured Funds

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Caryl Steimel St. Mary’s DeKalb Scholarship Fund

Caryl Steimel

Announcing the Caryl Steimel St. Mary’s DeKalb Scholarship Fund. The Fund provides two scholarships of $1,000 each, awarded to a boy and girl entering the 4th or 5th grade at St. Mary Catholic School in DeKalb. The scholarship was created by Roger Steimel to honor the memory of his late wife.

Caryl was born October 9, 1941 and passed away on August 31, 2018. She was a nurse at St. Mary Hospital in DeKalb before devoting her life to raising her children with Roger on the family farm in rural DeKalb. She had a strong faith in God, was an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church, and a long-time member of the choir.

“St. Mary’s was very important to Caryl,” said Roger. “Our children and grandchildren attended the school, which inspired her to support St. Mary’s in many ways. This scholarship is another way for Caryl’s faith and support to continue.”

Learn more about the Caryl Steimel St. Mary’s DeKalb Scholarship Fund


 Sycamore Grove – A Tribute to Veterans Fund

Sycamore Grove A Tribute to Veterans Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation

Sycamore Mayor Curt Lang and the all new Sycamore Grove.

Announcing the Sycamore Grove – A Tribute to Veterans Fund. This Fund will serve as a way for interested citizens to make donations in support of a memorial grove to honor past, present and future veterans. The memorial will be located along N. Main Street (Rt. 23) and will beautify the entrance to Sycamore, the Sycamore Middle School, and the Sycamore Park District trails. The grove will consist of public green space, trees, and recognition plaques.

The Sycamore Grove – A Tribute to Veterans Fund was created by long-time Sycamore resident and current mayor, Curt Lang. All expense, including signage, will be entirely funded by private donations and paid for out of the new Fund.

“I hope this memorial will be a peaceful location where visitors can reflect on the service, dedication, and ideals of our veterans,” said Mayor Lang.”

Learn more about the Sycamore Grove – A Tribute to Veterans Fund


Doran and Rose Greif IVVC Pay It Forward Award Fund

Rose and Doran Greif. DeKalb County Community Foundation

Rose and Doran Greif

Announcing the Doran and Rose Greif IVVC Pay It Forward Award Fund. This new designated Fund offers scholarship awards to accomplished students studying automotive technology or the culinary arts at Indian Valley Vocational Center in Sandwich. The awards provide students with an opportunity to purchase items needed for classwork and encourages them to set goals for academic and attendance success.

This Fund is named in memory of Doran and Rose Greif who lived their entire married lives in Sandwich. Both left their mark on their community.

“My parents believed it was important to pay it forward and help people accomplish their dreams,” said Denise Curran, daughter of the Greif’s. “It is our hope that this scholarship will do just that, allow high school students to achieve their dreams.”

Learn more about the Doran and Rose Greif IVVC Pay It Forward Award Fund


Donald and Patricia Pritchard Scholarship Fund

Donald and Patricia Pritchard Scholarship Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation, Sycamore, IL

Donald and Patricia Pritchard Scholarship Fund

Announcing the Donald and Patricia Pritchard Scholarship Fund. Awarded annually, the scholarship benefits a high school senior in DeKalb County who plans to attend the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES).

The scholarship is named for Donald and Patricia Pritchard who have strong ties to DeKalb County even though life and work have led them to live in several other states. Both Don and Patricia know the value of a college education, having worked in various capacities in the university system. They know, because of their experiences with many students over the years, how education can contribute to a successful future.

“Our desire is to encourage success in both college and life for these students,” said Don. “We understand the overwhelming costs of higher education and want to help. Someday, we’d love to see these scholarship recipients pay it forward and return the generosity to another U of I student.”

Learn more about the Donald and Patricia Pritchard Scholarship Fund


Jeffrey A. Trail Memorial Fund

Jeffrey A. Trail Memorial Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation, Sycamore, IL

Lt. Jeffrey Allen Trail

Announcing the Jeffrey A. Trail Memorial Fund. The scholarship provides an initial monetary award every year to a recent high school graduate from DeKalb County who is in the first year at one of the five U.S. service academies and who has been chosen from among that year’s applicants. The selected student will receive an additional stipend each year that he or she continues at the academy. Completion of the four-year undergraduate program would result in total assistance amounting to $5,000.

Jeffrey A. Trail was the son of Stanley M. and the late B. Ann Trail. He was born in DeKalb, IL on February 25, 1969. Jeff spent his formative years in DeKalb and graduated from DeKalb High School in 1987. During his senior year of high school, Jeff applied for admission to the United States Naval Academy. For the next eight years he continued in his professional military education and duty. In June 1995, after serving his commitment, he moved on from active duty with the Navy. Jeff was a manager at a propane gas distribution company in Minneapolis, MN when he died suddenly on April 27, 1997. He was 28 years old.

Those close to Jeff have described him as hardworking and family oriented. They say he had a virtue about him; it was a genuineness that could not be bought. He is loved and missed by many.

Learn more about the Jeffrey A. Trail Memorial Fund


Sharon Kay (Kinczewski) Conlin Memorial Fund

Sharon Kay (Kinczewski) Conlin Memorial Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation, Sycamore, IL

Sharon Conlin

Announcing the Sharon Kay (Kinczewski) Conlin Memorial Fund. Created in honor of Sharon Conlin, this Fund provides annual support to programs and organizations that aligned with her charitable interests.

Sharon was born on November 22, 1957 in DeKalb, IL, the daughter of Henry “Hank” and Mary (Daley) Kinczewski. She married Dave Conlin on April 28, 1984 at St. Mary’s Church in DeKalb. Her daughter Stephanie was born on October 16, 1986 and her son Zachary was also born on October 16 in 1989. Her family joked that the identical birthdates of her children were no coincidence. Sharon’s husband, Dave commented, “She was always a planner.”

Sharon was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in DeKalb and she was known for her giving nature. She was concerned for people who were lost, alone or needing help. Sharon was moved to acts of generosity when she saw someone who was struggling and needed assistance. She participated in the Meals on Wheels delivery program and the Feed My Starving Children food pack event. Sharon was quick to volunteer, encourage others, and to give away what she had when she thought someone else needed it.

Learn more about the Sharon Kay (Kinczewski) Conlin Memorial Fund


Charles Krull Music Support Fund

Charles Krull Music Support Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation

Charles “The Chief” Krull

Announcing the Charles Krull Music Support Fund. This Fund provides aid to low income children in DeKalb County who are pursuing music education. It will help students pay for expenses such as musical instrument rental and fees for private music lessons. The exact mechanism to determine eligibility and distribution of grants for this purpose is currently in the planning phase.

Charles Krull was born in Texhoma, Oklahoma on June 19, 1933. He married his wife Maria “Toni” on March 9, 1978. Charles has four children and six beautiful grandchildren. Charles passed away on March 1, 2019 at the age of 85.

Although he was very dedicated to his career, Krull always found time for the arts, particularly music. He started singing as an undergrad in Oklahoma and continued throughout most of his life. Locally, he sang with a local Barbershop Group, the DeKalb Festival Chorus, and the Westminster Presbyterian Church Choir. Krull also enjoyed playing the piano which he did most of his life.

Learn more about the Charles Krull Music Support Fund