Luan and Greg Olson Scholarship Fund
Announcing the Luan and Greg Olson Scholarship Fund, a new scholarship at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The scholarship will provide an annual award to a graduate of Sycamore High School in Sycamore, IL. The Olsons were scholarship recipients when they attended college and thus wanted to create a fund that would “pay forward” the generosity they experienced.
Hailing from Bushnell, IL, Luan and Greg are both graduates of universities in Illinois. Luan attended Illinois State University and the University of Illinois, but ultimately graduated with a liberal arts degree from Northern Illinois University. Greg earned his B.S. in agriculture from the University of Illinois and later was awarded an MBA from Northwestern University. Luan spent the bulk of her career as a deputy clerk for the DeKalb County Circuit Clerk. Greg’s entire career was with Monsanto’s DeKalb division. There he served in various sales, marketing, human resources, and administrative positions. The Olsons have three children, all of whom graduated from Sycamore High School and the University of Illinois.
M. Joan Popp Women’s Empowerment Fund for DAWC
Introducing the M. Joan Popp Women’s Empowerment Fund for DAWC, a new agency fund with the DeKalb County Community Foundation. Created through an estate gift from Joan Popp upon her passing in September 2017, this fund provides support to the DeKalb Area Women’s Center (DAWC) and its mission.
Originally from Middleton, Ohio, Joan Popp grew up during the Great Depression. As a young girl, her father taught her how to play tennis and her love for that sport among others continued throughout her life. In 1952, she received a B.S. in Physical Education from Miami University in Ohio. Soon after she began teaching and eventually made her way to Northern Illinois University where she was a professor for the next 36 years. Dr. Popp served on numerous department, college, and university committees and held many offices including President of Northern Illinois University Annuitants Association. During her career, she received many awards and honors. In 1992, she was named Physical Education Teacher of the Year from the Northern District of the Illinois HPERD Association.
Sycamore Lions Charities Jack Shrout Fund
Introducing the Sycamore Lions Charities Jack Shrout Fund, a new agency fund that provides support to the Sycamore Lions Charities to fulfill their mission.
The Sycamore Lions Club is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the handicapped, the poor, the sick and the aged. Its primary focus is blindness prevention and program support for visually impaired individuals. In addition to vision programs, the Sycamore Lions Club supports or sponsors scholarships, hearing programs, diabetes awareness, and a number of humanitarian, civic and charitable projects.
Sheldon and Betty Kesner Scholarship Fund
Announcing the Sheldon and Betty Kesner Scholarship Fund, a new scholarship fund that provides annual awards to graduates of Indian Creek High School in DeKalb County, IL. One award is the Sheldon M. Kesner Agricultural Scholarship and the other is the Betty M. Kesner Music/Education Scholarship.
Ted and Betty had hearts for giving. Ted was a 4-H leader, member of the Masonic Lodge, active in the Farm Bureau, a founding member of the Waterman Heritage Society, and active in the Waterman United Methodist Church. Throughout her life, Betty actively shared her love for music with her family and community. At the Methodist Church, she played the piano and organ, and directed the choir. At the Waterman Schools, she was accompanist for band and choral contests, and assisted music directors. Betty played concerts at her mother’s retirement home and when she later became a resident at the same facility, she continued to play piano for her Bible study group.
Curt and Karen Lang Charitable Fund
Introducing the Curt and Karen Lang Charitable Fund, a new donor advised fund providing assistance to nonprofits serving Sycamore, a first of its kind for a fund at the Community Foundation.
Curt and Karen Lang have called Sycamore home for more than 40 years and during that time, have dedicated themselves to serving others. Curt is a Rotary member and currently serves as the mayor of Sycamore. He is a retired dentist and his many achievements include serving as the Fox River Valley Dental Society President, Sycamore School Board President, and receiving Mastership in General Dentistry awards. Karen is a dental hygienist and in her spare time, she is an illustrator and a master gardener for which she has won several awards. She has served as the president of the Sycamore Middle School PTO and as a Bible Study Fellowship Leader.
The Langs decided to create a fund with the Community Foundation because of their love for the Sycamore community. Their three children were born and raised in Sycamore and they believe the town gave them a solid foundation for their education and future as business owners. Curt and Karen are thankful for what Sycamore has done for their family and they hope this fund will contribute to supporting the town that they love.
Deborah and Colin Booth Fund
Announcing the Deborah and Colin Booth Fund, a new field of interest fund that supports DeKalb County organizations serving two areas of need: food insecurity and victims of domestic violence.
The Booths both retired from Northern Illinois University in 2014. Colin was a professor of geology and Deborah served as the Director of External Programs for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. They have two married children, Paul and Anna, and one grandson Hank, who was born in 2016. Paul lives in the Chicago area and Anna resides near Philadelphia.
Since their retirement, Colin and Deborah have traveled throughout the US, visiting presidential historical sites, gardens, museums, and concert halls. Colin maintains his interests in geology, painting, and drawing, while Deborah enjoys gardening, reading, and politics. She is also active in several community organizations, including Barb Food Mart and Friends of DeKalb Public Library and serves on the DeKalb Enhancement Commission and the Wurlitzer Foundation Board.