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.
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.
Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DeKalb County COVID-19 Response 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.
Ben C. Eade Scholarship Fund
Introducing the Ben C. Eade Scholarship Fund, a new Scholarship Fund at the Community Foundation. The Fund will award two scholarships annually to graduating seniors from Sandwich High School in Sandwich, IL.
The scholarship was created in memory of Ben Cooper Eade who taught agriculture and biology in Sandwich until 1962 and was known for his hands-on approach to teaching. He inspired many students to further their education by pursuing secondary degrees after high school.
Ben retired in 1962 to care for his ailing wife. The Eades had two children, Dean and Ruth (Hartman), as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, many of whom have attended Sandwich Schools.
Friends of NIU Art Museum Endowment Fund
Created by long-time NIU supporters and local philanthropists, Jerry and Annette Johns, this new Designated Fund provides annual financial support to the NIU Art Museum to further their mission of serving campus and community by balancing traditional and contemporary art to explore connections through visual culture.
Jerry and Annette’s personal and professional interests are clearly reflected in the Funds that they directly spearheaded at the Foundation. “We feel very strongly about supporting local organizations that enrich all our lives,” they said. “The DeKalb County Community Foundation helps you put your money where your heart is.”
Jack E. Norling and Norma E. (Rex) Norling Fund
Jack and Norma Norling were long-time residents of Sandwich, Illinois, a community they loved and cherished. They met while attending Northern Illinois State Teachers College, today known as Northern Illinois University, and were married on December 26, 1953.
Jack died in April of 1991 and Norma in January of 2019. According to Norma’s sister, Nancy Rex, “The Jack E. Norling and Norma E. (Rex) Norling Fund was created to honor the legacy of Norma and Jack and note the importance of education in their lives. The Fund will provide support for continuing the important work of educating students in the Sandwich School District and Indian Valley Vocational Center.”
Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic Endowment Fund
Started in 2009, this Fund helps children and families access high quality literacy services through the NIU Literacy Clinic. The Fund provides an annual payout to the Literacy Clinic to help cover the cost of services for families with limited financial means.
The endowment was started by former Clinic Directors Dr. Jerry Johns and Dr. Laurie Elish-Piper out of a desire to connect children in the community with literacy enhancement.
Todd and Christine Curtis Family Fund
Announcing the Todd and Christine Curtis Family Fund. This Donor Advised 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.
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.
Sycamore Grove – A Tribute to Veterans Fund
Announcing the Sycamore Grove – A Tribute to Veterans Fund. This Pass Through 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.”