Celebrating 25 Years of the DeKalb County Community Foundation

During 2018, the DeKalb County Community Foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a number of exciting activities to celebrate, thank, and give back to the community. Founders Charlie and Mary Roberts’ vision to create the Foundation as a catalyst to grow philanthropy in DeKalb County has surpassed many expectations – distributing over $25 million in grants and managing over $50 million in local charitable assets – all from their lead gift of $3.6 million.

“Our entire Board and staff will be actively engaged in these various activities throughout the year”, said Community Foundation Executive Director Dan Templin. “We are excited to honor the past, celebrate well, and build momentum for an even more exciting next 25 years of community philanthropy!”

The Sycamore Depot Light Show – Working with NIU Time Arts students and Associate Professor Bart Woodstrup, the Sycamore Depot Light Show took place on Saturday, May 19, as one of many celebration events planned. Through artistic interpretation and motion graphics, the Light Show provided viewers a unique overview of the Community Foundation’s 25 year of philanthropy and delivered a few laughs along the way.

Stories of Generosity – Partnering with WNIU/WNIIJ, Stories of Generosity are recorded at various locations and times during 2018. These stories come from community members who wish to speak of generosity. Recordings can be one’s reasoning as to why generosity is important for the community or can be of a time that they experienced, witnessed, or played a part in generosity.

Celebration Grants – As the ‘Give’ part of the celebration activities, Celebration Grants are specific to each community in DeKalb County. Over the next six months, the Community Foundation will be giving away one $2,500 grant per community to benefit an eligible nonprofit or community organization that is located in each community. The Foundation will implement this during a signature event associated with each community – one that draws many local attendees. The Foundation will participate in this signature event by way of a booth or table and take nominations from attendees. At the end of each event, a drawing will be held. The selected organization will receive a $2,500 Celebration Grant from the Community Foundation.

Celebration Grants will be at the following events and locations in 2018:

  • Lee Fire Department Pancake Breakfast – Saturday, March 31 and the N.I.C.E Center 5k – Sunday, May 6
  • Genoa Days – Wednesday, June 6
  • Malta Days – Saturday, June 9
  • Sandwich Freedom Days – Saturday, June 30
  • Hinckley Family Fun Festival and Fireworks –  Saturday, June 30
  • Kirkland 4th of July Celebration – Tuesday, July 3
  • Shabbona Hometown 4th of July Festival – Wednesday, July 4
  • DeKalb Hopkins Park 4th of July – Wednesday, July 4
  • Kingston – Saturday, July 14
  • Waterman Summerfest – Saturday, July 21
  • Cortland Summer Fest – Saturday, August 11
  • Maple Park Fun Fest – Saturday, September 1
  • Sycamore Fireworks & Fun – Saturday, September 8
  • Somonauk Hometown Harvest – Saturday, October 13

25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner – A very special dinner for donors, past board members, and other supporters. Invitation only.

Sycamore Pumpkin Fest – A special display in the Sycamore Pumpkin Fest displayed on the DeKalb County Courthouse lawn and other festivities! Pumpkin display by local artist Lyndon Bute.

Community Foundation Week – A week-long celebration of Community Foundations all across the world. This year, in celebration of the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy’s (YEP) 10th Anniversary, YEP members will take the lead on celebration activities and communication.

To assist with the cost of these activities and events, we are seeking a few one-time 25th Anniversary Annual Sponsors to provide support. Annual 25th Anniversary sponsors to date include First National Bank, Ronald G. Klein, Law Office of Michael P. Coghlan, Micki & Tony Chulick, Bill Nicklas, Douglas C. & Lynn M. Roberts Family Foundation, Dave & Suzanne Juday, First Midwest Bank, and Richard Ryan. We thank each of our sponsors for their support and partnership during this very special year of celebration.

For questions or more information on the Community Foundation’s 25th Anniversary celebration, please contact Dan Templin at 815-748-5383 or [email protected].