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 >

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 >

Beckam North Fillipp Memorial Scholarship Fund

Agency Fund, DeKalb County Community Foundation

Beckam North Fillipp

Announcing the Beckam North Fillipp Memorial Scholarship Fund, a new Agency Fund created by the Sycamore Education Foundation (SEF). The Fund supports an annual scholarship, available to Sycamore High School students . The Fillipp family established the Beckam North Fillipp Memorial Scholarship to honor the life and legacy of their son who was taken too soon and loved beyond measure.

Beckam North Fillipp was a sweet baby boy who passed away suddenly on February 3, 2020 when he was only five months old. Beckam’s family works hard to live by and spread the motto of “love harder, love stronger, love beyond measure” and through this, are hoping to support a young adult in their post-secondary plans. They believe that every single child deserves not only the opportunity to pursue their dreams, but also deserves having the access to do so. Beckam’s family hopes that the Beckam North Fillipp Memorial Scholarship will help in providing young adults more access to living the lives they’ve imagined for themselves.

“This scholarship is an incredible gift from the Fillipp family that will positively impact generations of Spartans to come,” said Lauren Holtz, SEF Executive Director.

Learn more about the Beckam North Fillipp Memorial Scholarship Fund >

Joel and Helen Maurer Family Fund

DeKalb County Community Foundation, Joel and Helen Maurer Family Fund

Joel and Helen Maurer

Announcing the Joel and Helen Maurer Family Fund. This new Community Impact Fund reflects the Maurer family values of community and service. Plus, it adds resources to the Foundation’s Board-directed grant programs, allowing them to respond to needs and opportunities throughout DeKalb County.

“We love this community and want to give back broadly through this Fund,” said Joel and Helen. “Our two daughters and their spouses all work as social service professionals, so we feel this Fund reflects who we are as a family. A family of service and community.”

Both Joel and Helen are community-focused and intentionally make an effort to understand needs and help wherever they can and are able.

Learn more about the Joel and Helen Maurer Family Fund >

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 >