DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund
In uncertain times one thing remains constant — we are facing this COVID-19 challenge together. We will do what we can to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our fellow citizens, especially the most vulnerable among us, during this healthcare and economic crisis.
Announcing the DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund. This Fund exists to expedite charitable resources to nonprofit and community organizations responding to COVID-19 related needs throughout DeKalb County. Resources are granted where they are needed most, with an initial focus on the basic needs of those most significantly impacted by this crisis.
Todd and Christine Curtis Family Fund
Announcing the Todd and Christine Curtis Family Fund. This Fund provides Todd and Christine a way to express their gratitude and love for the communities throughout DeKalb County.
In 1988 Dr. Todd Curtis started Curtis Orthodontics, the first orthodontic practice in Sycamore. The practice flourished and many warm and wonderful relationships were established with families throughout DeKalb County. These patient and family relationships made Todd’s orthodontic career a calling instead of just a job. For that, he is forever grateful. His wife Christine, a general dentist, provided support at the office and at home with their four children.
Todd and Christine recognize the hardships that many families face while trying to provide for their children’s basic needs. Their hope is to assist several families over the years, in a humble way.
Keleher Family Scholarship Fund
Announcing the Keleher Family Scholarship Fund. This new Fund benefits a graduating senior from Sycamore High School. Students applying for this scholarship must attend Sycamore High School, have a need for financial assistance, demonstrate a history of community involvement, and plan to attend an accredited college, university, or trade school.
Ken recalls his years of pursuing a higher education challenging and a financial burden. He and his family wish to pass along a lasting legacy of love and support for the community. The Keleher family has more than one Fund established at the Community Foundation. They believe in the Foundation’s mission to enhance the quality of life in DeKalb County.
Joe LoCascio and Mary Penson New Pennies Project Fund
Announcing the Joe LoCascio and Mary Penson New Pennies Project Fund. Established by alumni of DeKalb High School to help restore the annual publication of New Pennies, the school’s award-winning literary and art magazine, this Fund honors two former English teachers and faculty advisors of the magazine, Joe LoCascio and Mary Penson.
First published in 1937, New Pennies has a long history of excellence. The National Council of Teachers of English honored the magazine with numerous superior and highest rankings. In addition, it was the first high school magazine in the nation to be inducted into the National Scholastic Press Association’s Hall of Fame for having earned 10 All-American Pacemaker Awards in 11 consecutive years in 1991.
Two local DHS alumni who had been involved with New Pennies as students established this Fund to help students and staff restore the magazine to its former level of excellence. The founders hope to ensure that current and future DeKalb High School students have the same valuable experiences they had in planning and producing a high quality magazine and in sharing their writing and artwork with the community.
Schelkopf Family Fund
Announcing the Schelkopf Family Fund. This donor advised fund at the Community Foundation allows the Schelkopf family to provide grants to causes that align with their charitable interests in the community.
Russell and Bernie Schelkopf moved to DeKalb County in 1959 when Russell set up his veterinary clinic in Sycamore. Together they raised three sons, Michael, Charles and Steven. As the boys grew older, all three decided to remain in DeKalb County.
After Russell’s passing in 2011, the family held monthly meetings to discuss family business, including philanthropy in the community. Agriculture was a big part of the family’s lives. Giving back to the community that supported agriculture careers was an important ideal for the entire family.
“Our parents have a great admiration and respect for the Community Foundation and the impact it has on our area,”said Charles Schelkopf. “We all agreed that creating a Fund here would be a great tribute to the legacy of our parents.”
Caryl Steimel St. Mary’s DeKalb Scholarship Fund
Announcing the Caryl Steimel St. Mary’s DeKalb Scholarship Fund. This 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.”
Sycamore Grove – A Tribute to Veterans Fund
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.”