Blessings in a Backpack program supports Unit 40 students on the weekend when school meals are not an option. Currently, 250 students receive a backpack on Fridays with nutritional staples that require little to no preparation. They return with their backpacks on Monday ready to learn. Through the Blessings in a Backpack program, $100 feeds a child for an entire 38-week school year. Better test scores, improved reading skills, positive behavior, improved health, and increased attendance have all been attributed to the success of this program.
Melissa Willenborg, a member of the Effingham County Community Foundation Board of Directors presented a check for $1,800 to this project. Accepting the grant are (L to R) Kendra Schuette, Melissa Willenborg (Effingham County Community Foundation Board Member), Kendra Franklin, and Nancy Marschewski with Blessings in a Backpack for Effingham, IL.
Members of Effingham County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) received a grant to fund training classes for volunteers of the organization. CASA volunteers advocate for abused and neglected children: to make sure they do not get lost in the overburdened legal and social service system to languish in inappropriate groups or foster homes. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer will be the one constant adult presence in their lives.
Brett Kingery, Effingham County Community Foundation, presented a $3,000 grant award from the Bill and Jacquelyn Jordan Anderson Fund for Youth to Libby Moeller, Executive Director of CASA in Effingham County.
For more information regarding CASA in Effingham County, please contact Libby Moeller at 217-342-2266.
The Effingham County Cultural Center and Museum Association (ECCCMA) is nearing its second year of public operations. Located in the former Effingham County Courthouse, the museum provides a venue for education and showcases the history, art, and culture of Effingham County. Currently, only the first floor of the building is open to the public.
A grant from the Dr. Peter & Milla Kollinger Family Fund, held by the Effingham County Community Foundation, will support the renovation of the second floor. This will provide program and exhibit space as well as a meeting room for public rental and receptions.
Pictured Left to Right are Allen Westendorf, treasurer; Delaine Donaldson, President; Janeen Emory-Kolb, representative of the Effingham County Community Foundation; LoElla Baker, secretary; John Keenan, Board Member; and Jerry Katz, Board Member.
Representatives of the Effingham County Artisan Fair committee recently received a grant from the Bill and Jacquelyn Jordan Anderson Fund for Visual Arts for their annual event that encourages art appreciation in the county. The 10th annual Artisan Fair will be held on May 9, 2015. Work from over 40 artists from across the region will be on display for purchase, including oil paintings, pottery, jewelry, and sculptures.
Claude Hudson (middle), Effingham County Community Foundation board member, presented a $2,000 check on behalf of the Bill and Jacquelyn Jordan Anderson Fund for Visual Arts to Cottie Dial (left) and Lisa Elliott (right) representing the Artisan Fair committee.
For more information regarding the Effingham Artisan Fair, contact Lisa Elliot at 217-540-3141.
The Mid-Illinois Big Brother/Big Sister Program recently accepted a grant from the Siemer Milling Company Endowment Fund to assist in supporting operations and expansion. The program pairs at-risk children with volunteers, who will provide emotional support to children with concerning domestic situations.
(L to R) Toq Lawerence and Christy Mesnard of Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters accept a check from Kenneth Stice, Martha Stice, and Henry Siemer, representing the Siemer Family. Also pictured is Valerie Belusko representing Effingham County Community Foundation.
For more information regarding the Mid-Illinois Big Brothers Big Sisters program, contact Christy Mesnard at 217-540-1413.
The Effingham County Community Foundation recently awarded a grant to the Effingham Child Development Center for the “Lights on After School” program for children age 5 to 13. Children participating in this program receive nutritious meals/snacks as well as homework assistance and tutoring.
Jerry McDaniel, Effingham County Community Foundation, presented a $10,000 grant award from the Effingham County Community Foundation unrestricted fund fund to Shelli French, Center Director. Also pictured are students from the Noah’s Ark Preschool Class: (L to R) Back row: Kristine Nguyen, Danielle Lawyer, Landon Hall, Keiara Speagle, and Aden DeNoon. Front Row: Ashley Martinez, Sophie Seibert, Tucker Dye, Briley Redfern, Braxton Loy, Gunnar Moeller, Chase Martin, Davian Bizzell, Gabby Baker and Allie Wendling.
For more information regarding Effingham Child Development Center, please contact Shelli French at 217-342-3062.
Representatives of the Effingham Scholarship Preschool Program received a grant from the ECCF CommunityWorks Fund for pilot program funding. The goal of the Effingham Scholarship Preschool Program is to provide the opportunity for children ages 3-5 to attend a preschool in Effingham so that no child within the Effingham Unit #40 School District enters kindergarten without first having at least one year of preschool experience. This project will serve those children whose families are of low economic status but do not qualify for the Headstart program. The Effingham Preschool for All Advisory Board has also been seeking funding from corporate sponsorships, businesses and/or individuals who are willing and able to sponsor scholarships.
Joedy Hightower (left), Effingham County Community Foundation representative, presented a $15,000 check on behalf of the ECCF CommunityWorks Fund to Debbie Owen, Janette Bledsoe, and Connie Jerden, Effingham Preschool for All representatives.
Members of the C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation received a grant to purchase new heat sealant trays for meals served to homebound senior citizens. Valerie Belusko, Effingham County Community Foundation representative, presented a $1,000 check on behalf of the Teutopolis State Bank Fund which is administered by the Effingham County Community Foundation for Teutopolis Projects. Debbie Weber accepted the check on behalf of the C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation.
For more information regarding the meals program, contact Debbie Weber at 217-342-2193.