Featured Funds

Each year, a variety of new Funds are created at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. These new Funds support the charitable interests of donors and work to enhance the quality of life in DeKalb County. Below is a list of new or existing Funds that we would like to highlight.

Making a donation to the Community Foundation is easy to do. Whether you want to give to an established Fund or create one of your own, we offer a variety of giving options to help donors maximize their impact.

Make a Donation to a Fund at the Community Foundation >

Hinckley Historical Society Endowment Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Agency Fund, Hinckley Historical Society Fund

The Hinckley Historical Society.

Introducing the Hinckley Historical Society Endowment Fund, a new Agency Fund that allows the Hinckley Historical Society to focus on more than the day-to-day operations of collecting and preserving artifacts from Hinckley and the Townships of Squaw Grove and Pierce. The Historical Society’s board of directors created the Fund to support research and writing, expenses for special speakers, professional displays, and much more.

The Hinckley Historical Society was founded in the spring of 2007 by a group of individuals who realized no one was preserving their community’s history for future generations. While local resident Dorothy Phillips in her 1976 paperback book “Hinckley,” captured many facts and stories from the community’s first 142 years, nothing was being done to preserve artifacts, pictures, and documents.

The group began gathering items and, in 2011, opened a museum in a historic building in downtown Hinckley to house its collections. Since then, the Historical Society’s focus has been on restoring the building and expanding the museum to nearly double its current size.

Learn more about the Hinckley Historical Society Endowment Fund >

Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund

Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation

Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls (JAMS)

Announcing the Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund. This new Agency Fund provides Friends of JAMS with financial reserves for emergencies or significant expenses.

“We established the Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund to set aside some financial resources for emergencies or unexpected large expenses that may arise,” said Diana Swanson, Friends of JAMS board president. “As the campus ages, we also need to plan for maintenance of the buildings. JAMS is a long-term commitment, and we must be sustainable for long-term success.”

The Jane Adeny Memorial School for Girls (JAMS) started in 2011 through the time and attention of two Northern Illinois University faculty members, Teresa Wasonga and Andrew Otieno. JAMS is named in honor of Jane Adeny, Teresa’s mother. The Friends of JAMS nonprofit organization was established in 2013 and is headquartered in Sycamore, Illinois, and most of the board members are from DeKalb County.

Learn more about the Friends of JAMS Operating Reserve Fund >

Randy and Christy Hayes Charitable Family Fund

Randy and Christy Hayes Charitable Family Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation

The Randy and Christy Hayes family

Introducing the Randy and Christy Hayes Charitable Family Fund. This new Donor Advised Fund aligns with the charitable interests of Randy and Christy Hayes and provides them an opportunity to participate in philanthropy as a family.

Randy and Christy have lived in DeKalb County for most of their lives. Randy grew up in DeKalb and graduated from DeKalb High School. Christy graduated from Sycamore High School and received an associate’s degree in business at Kishwaukee College. They married in 1981 and settled in DeKalb shortly after. In 1985, they opened Hayes Body Shop Inc. in DeKalb, and in 2000, they moved the body shop to its current location in Sycamore. After 36 years of operation, they sold the business in October 2021 to Gerber Collision and Glass.

“God has blessed us with an amazing opportunity to run a successful business in a wonderful community,” Christy exclaimed. “Ending that chapter of our life was really hard. Our customers were a pleasure to work with, and many became great friends.”

Learn more about the Randy and Christy Hayes Charitable Family Fund >

Joan L. Hoffman St. Mary DeKalb Scholarship Fund

Designated Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation

Joan L. Hoffman

Announcing two new Designated Funds that support education in DeKalb County. The Funds were made possible from the estate of Sycamore resident Joan L. Hoffman. The Joan L. Hoffman St. Mary DeKalb Scholarship Fund provides educational support to St. Mary Catholic School (DeKalb) to offer student scholarships. The John J. and Katherine M. Hoffman Family St. Mary Sycamore Scholarship Fund honors Joan’s parents and provides educational support to St. Mary Catholic School (Sycamore) to offer student scholarships.

“The story of Joan Hoffman’s life is beautiful. When you met her, you couldn’t help being drawn in by her charm, positive outlook on life, and love of teaching. Hundreds of students learned how to read through her approach to literacy. Joan loved, and I mean loved, teaching first grade. It was her gift, and she used it. She was an inspiration to so many!” ~ Roseann Feldmann (friend of Joan)

Learn more about these Funds >

Evans Memorial Scholarship Fund

Evans Memorial Scholarship Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation

Carol and Lowell Evans

Announcing the Evans Memorial Scholarship FundThe scholarship is named in honor of Lowell Evans. It will be awarded annually to a graduating senior from Sycamore High School with an interest in pursuing a degree in business, engineering, or auto mechanics. 

Lowell Orval Evans was born in 1935 in a farmhouse located between Hampshire and Genoa, IL. He graduated from Sycamore High School in 1953. After high school, he attended the University of Illinois, Northern Illinois University, and ultimately graduated from Chicago’s Dale Carnegie Sales School. 

In 1958, Lowell and Carol Brejcha were married and moved to Sycamore, IL, where they raised three daughters and spent their entire married life. For 39 years, Lowell served as a sales manager for the Whiting Door Company.

Learn more about the Evans Memorial Scholarship Fund >

Hicks Family Scholarship Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Hicks Family Scholarship Fund

James Hicks

Introducing the Hicks Family Scholarship Fund. The Fund is a tribute to the late James Hicks and honors the legacy of the Hicks family and their impact on education and community service to the Indian Creek Community. The scholarship is intended for a graduating senior from Indian Creek High School with financial needs pursuing a degree in education.

“As a family, we wanted to give back to the town of Shabbona and the Indian Creek community,” said Egan Hicks. “My father spent over 50 years in education there, and he played a major part in shaping the school district into what it is today. The scholarship honors his legacy and gives hope to those pursuing a degree in education.”

Learn more about the Hicks Family Scholarship Fund >

Michael and Lana Haines Family Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Michael and Lana Haines Family Fund

Michael and Lana Haines and their family.

Announcing the Michael and Lana Haines Family Fund, a new Donor Advised Fund that aligns with the charitable interests of the Haines family and provide a tangible way for them to participate in philanthropy. Their interests include protecting land, air, and water for today and future generations, supporting organic, sustainable gardening and farming, increasing access to food and health care, promoting education and literacy, and creating beauty accessible to the community.

Michael and Lana Haines both attended Northern Illinois University (NIU). It was here that they met, and they married in May 1970. They lived in DeKalb for several years before moving to a 5-acre farmette in Malta. In 1977, they purchased ten wooded acres near the Kishwaukee River in rural Kingston. They built a passive solar home and still reside there. Michael and Lana have two adult children and four granddaughters.

The idea for the Fund was to instill generosity in their children and grandchildren. “We want to continue and encourage philanthropy within our family for years to come. The most exciting part of the Fund is that we’ll do this together.”

Learn more about the Michael and Lana Haines Family Fund >