Joliet, IL – The Community Foundation of Will County celebrated with donors, Board members and attendees at the Annual Donor Recognition & Celebration of “community” Philanthropy held on July 21, 2015 and hosted by Lewis University.
As part of the Celebration of Philanthropy, The Community Foundation annually honors exceptional donors who use philanthropy in a way that provides an example and a model for others. This year The Community Foundation honored the Education Committee and members of The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry for their collaborative efforts to provide incentive scholarships for college to 4th-8th grade students throughout the Joliet region. Several years ago, Dr. Charles Coleman, Superintendent of Joliet School District 86, had a vision to offer the promise of a scholarship to young kids in the community as an incentive to pursue their education.
Dr. Coleman shared his vision with Russ Slinkard of The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry. At which time, a variety of options were considered. Russ reached out to Michael Trench, Executive Director of The Community Foundation and said, “I’ve got a problem; maybe you can answer some questions and have an answer.” There were a number of ways that they could have implemented the scholarship program in order to provide a “charitable deduction” for donors, achieve some investment growth on those funds, and minimize the cost or additional work on the part of the Chamber staff. “I was familiar with community foundations, and when they suggested partnering with The Community Foundation of Will County, I thought this is a great option,” said Joe Langenderfer, Education Committee member and Executive Director of the Catholic Education Foundation.
Today, thanks to the leadership of the Education Committee and the members of The Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce, the Joliet Region Education Scholarship Fund at The Community Foundation of Will County has almost $60,000. That came from people working together, and represents the collective donations of eleven individuals and twenty-three businesses. Now eighty kids in the Joliet region have hope.
If you would like to support this scholarship program, you can make your check out to The Community Foundation of Will County, noting that it is for The Joliet Region Education Scholarship Fund, and send it to 701 Essington Road, Suite 103, Joliet, IL 60435.