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Lincoln Daily News
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Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln Serves and Extends its Reach

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To the editor:

Sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest impacts.

A few years ago, the staff and board of directors for what was then called the Sangamon County Community Foundation saw an opportunity to better serve local residents by expanding our reach beyond Sangamon County. It was a fairly clear goal made difficult because of the organization’s name. So we changed the name.

Today, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln serves the counties of Sangamon, Cass, Christian, Logan, Menard, Morgan, Montgomery, and beyond.

We are actively pursuing opportunities to help our communities thrive and have already started to do so through a variety of grant and scholarship programs.

The Vonderlieth Living Center Employee Scholarship Fund was established by Joan Buckles and her two siblings in honor of their father, Elva Dean “Ed” Oglesby who spent 11 years at the Vonderlieth Living Center outside of Mt. Pulaski in Logan County before passing away in 2005. The scholarship is available for Living Center employees wanting to further their education.

The World War II Illinois Veterans Committee has established the World War II Illinois Descendants Scholarship, available for descendants of World War II veterans throughout Illinois. Two $2,000 scholarships are awarded each year to high school seniors preparing to attend college.

Regionally, the Gerald F. and Luanna R. Kennedy Scholarship Fund awards a scholarship to a graduating senior from Pana High School who will attend a post-secondary institution, and scholarships are given from the Sgt. John R. Dalhaus Memorial Scholarship Fund to a senior graduating from Litchfield High School who wants to attend a vocational school.

In addition to scholarships, donor-advised funds provide a tremendous opportunity to honor loved ones.

[to top of second column in this letter]

When BJ Luxmore was killed in 2012 serving the United States Army in Afghanistan, his family established the Bryant J. Luxmore Memorial Fund. The fund helps to support the football and baseball programs at Sherrard High School, as well as Illinois College’s baseball program, where BJ attended and played. The fund also contributes to organizations that are military-related, such as the United Service Organizations and the National Infantry Museum.

The Leon Tryon Memorial Fund also honors its namesake, with a focus on continuing Leon Tryon’s work with VisionWay Christian School in Taylorville. Tryon helped found the school, which offers classes for pre-K through high school students, and was extremely active in the Taylorville Christian Church, serving as an elder.

Some funds have a larger focus than a single community. The Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition works with communities in 42 counties across the state designated as the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, which contains a variety of attractions related to the former president.

Our organizational name change a few years ago was a small but important step in better serving you – our community. No boundaries can be placed on the impact of connecting you to the causes you care about most.

John Stremsterfer
President and CEO
Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln

Through philanthropic services, strategic grantmaking and community leadership, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln “connects people who care with causes that matter.”

[Posted August 8, 2016]

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