Featured Funds

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 >

Liam P. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Liam P. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship Fund

Liam P. Sullivan

Announcing the Liam P. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship Fund. This new Scholarship Fund is a tribute to the life of Liam Sullivan and awards an annual scholarship to a graduating student at Sycamore High School (SHS).

Liam P. Sullivan graduated from Sycamore High School in 2015. His passion for sports was evident on the football field, wrestling mat, and the rugby pitch. He embodied the motto, “Once a Spartan, Always a Spartan,” as an SHS athlete and a fan. After high school, Liam attended the College of DuPage before becoming a Marine (2016-2020). While active, he completed certification at the Heavy Construction Academy (New Hampshire). His love for rugby continued as a member of the Men’s Fox Valley Rugby Club (St. Charles, IL). The principles he learned through sports, including determination and commitment, allowed him to apply himself and achieve his goals.

Learn more about the Liam P. Sullivan Memorial Scholarship Fund >

Don and Faith Cook Community Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Community Impact Fund

Don and Faith Cook

Announcing the Don and Faith Cook Community Fund. This new Community Impact Fund adds resources to the Foundation’s Board-directed grant programs, allowing them to respond to needs and opportunities throughout DeKalb County.

“We wanted to give back to the community and help with local needs,” said Don and Faith Cook. “Through the creation of this Fund, we can do just that. The Board of the Community Foundation is aware of ongoing issues and needs. We trust them to be good stewards of our contribution.”

Don and Faith have lived in the DeKalb community most of their lives. They both graduated from DeKalb High School and attended classes at Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University.

Learn more about the Don and Faith Cook Community Fund >

Adam Joseph Nanzer Memorial Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Agency Fund

Announcing the Adam Joseph Nanzer Memorial Fund. The purpose of this Fund is to create a scholarship that will provide financial support to an Indian Valley Vocational Center (IVVC) student from Earlville CUSD #9.

IVVC and Kit William Nanzer created the Adam Joseph Nanzer Memorial Fund in memory of Kit’s nephew, Adam Joseph Nanzer. The scholarship is awarded to a new or returning IVVC student from Earlville with financial needs and can be used to pay for fees, equipment, or supplies. The award may also be given to an Earlville High School senior entering the workforce, trade school, or post-secondary education.

“As a result of the generous endowment by the Nanzer family, Earlville students will benefit in many ways for years to come,” said IVVC Director Joe Barbic.

Learn more about the Adam Joseph Nanzer Memorial Fund >

Kirkland Historical Society Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Agency Fund

Kirkland Historical Society

Announcing the Kirkland Historical Society Fund, a new Agency Fund created as a mechanism to accept donations to the Kirkland Historical Society. Donations support their mission to stimulate interest in the Kirkland area history through education, research, collection, and preservation.

“When visitors come in asking about a family or building, we want them to be pleased with the information available,” said Peggy Stuntz, Kirkland Historical Society Curator. “We have a large and growing collection of Kirkland’s history. To us, this place is a gold mine, and we want to serve the community with it.”

The Kirkland Historical Society is an outgrowth of “Kirkland: Then and Now,” a historical play performed in 2007 commemorating the village’s 125th birthday. The historical performance consisted of 14 scenes starting with Kirkland’s beginnings and continuing to the present. The success of the play led to the organization of the Kirkland Historical Society.

Learn more about the Kirkland Historical Society Fund >

St. James Religious Education Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Designated Fund

William and Emiline Rood, parents of Kathy Spears.

Introducing the St. James Religious Education Fund, a new Designated Fund at the Community Foundation. This Fund was created by donors Ken and Kathleen Spears to provide ongoing financial support to St. James Catholic Church in Lee, Illinois, to cover costs associated with religious education in the parish.

The St. James Religious Education Fund is a tribute to William and Emiline Rood, parents of Kathy Spears. Her parents modeled serving and wanted to instill this in their nine children from an early age. Children’s spiritual growth and development were essential to them, so Emiline made time to teach religious education classes at the church. The Fund pays for religious education fees for all students at St. James and other related costs per the Fund priorities.

“We learn from our parents and integrate that into our own lives,” said Kathy. “My Dad was a farmer and considered himself lucky to be a steward of the land. Mom was a natural mother, not just to the nine of us but to others who crossed her path. Creating this Fund is a fitting way to honor both of them.”

Learn more about the St. James Religious Education Fund >

Templin Family Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Donor Advised Fund

The Templin family

Introducing the Templin Family Fund, a new Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation. This Fund enables the Templin family to support organizations and important issues that align with their charitable interests.

Dan and Kristal Templin married in 2001 and have two children, Erin (born in 2003) and Luke (born in 2005). The Templin’s lived in DeKalb for several years but spent most of their family life living in Sycamore. They are an invested part of DeKalb County and consider themselves blessed with careers and meaningful work they love.

According to Dan, the reasons for creating the Fund are numerous. “We want to model philanthropy to both our children and the greater community we serve,” he said. “When the time comes, and Kristal and I are no longer advisors to the Fund, our children can take over and continue to keep our legacy of generosity alive. Fast forward from there to when our children are no longer advising the Fund, and it will become a Community Impact Fund.”

Learn more about the Templin Family Fund >

Drake Castle Charitable Fund

David Castle, Board of Directors, DeKalb County Community Foundation

David B. Castle

Introducing the Drake Castle Charitable Fund, a new Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation. This new Fund aligns with the charitable interests of the David B. Castle which include child and adult education, English as a second language, adult literacy, and more.

David is a lifelong resident of DeKalb with strong family ties to Sandwich, where he has worked for many years. David is a graduate of DePauw University with an MBA from NIU. He is fluent in Spanish and has lived in Argentina and Colombia. He admires DeKalb County for its wide variety of nonprofit organizations that serve so many people, both young and old, at little or no cost to those who most need these life-changing services.

“I remember and admire the many influential civic leaders who, during my childhood and in recent years, have worked so hard to ensure our communities have the services needed to be healthy and prosperous,” said David. “I hope that my participation furthers their legacy of community engagement and support for the benefit of everyone.”

Learn more about the Drake Castle Charitable Fund >