e -   Memorandum
October 2015 - In This Issue:

Our Mission 

"To provide effective and rewarding ways for donors to fulfill their philanthropic objectives."

Our Vision

"To be recognized as a trusted philanthropic leader in the communities we serve through the delivery of the highest quality donor services, customized and unique grant and scholarship programs, and bold initiatives to address community needs."

Our President Retires
Jeff Hartman
By now you may have heard that Sharon Stredde , our president & chief executive officer, is retiring on December 31, 2015 after serving the Community Foundation for thirty years. If you have been in contact with the Community Foundation in any manner over the past 30 years, you know that her resume needs no introduction.  However, I would like to take a moment to highlight just a few of the numerous accomplishments of Sharon's tenure.
Sharon Stredde
During her time as president and CEO, the Foundation grew by more than $70 million, received gifts of $77 million and awarded nearly $51 million in grants and scholarships.
Since 1990, the number of non-profit organizations maintaining endowment funds within the Community Foundation grew to forty-six. This was the result of a challenge grant program that Stredde launched in 1990 and again in 2014. 
In 2015, the Foundation expanded its outreach through the opening of an office in Geneva. This has greatly increased the visibility of the Foundation in the TriCities area. 
Finally, it was Sharon who envisioned the project to produce historic videos on the lives of our endowment fund donors and on the history of community organizations.  Under her direction, twenty-four videos have been produced.  

Mark Truemper, chairman of the board, paid tribute to Stredde after a recent reception held in her honor.  "Sharon's talent and dedication to the Foundation have been unsurpassed. She has taken us in new directions and has overseen our dramatic growth in ways we never  thought possible. She truly will be missed."
It is clear to see that Sharon's impact on this organization has been grand.  After her retirement, she will continue to serve the Community Foundation as president emeritus.  Sharon has agreed to continue to research, write scripts and oversee the production of new videos for the Foundation.
It has been an honor to serve alongside Sharon for nearly three years.  For many of you, that is just a blink of an eye compared to the relationships you have formed with her over the past thirty years.  I encourage you to take a few moments between now and December to reach out to Sharon.  I know she would love to hear from you. 
Many of you have inquired about making a gift to the Community Foundation in honor of Sharon's thirty years of service.  I would encourage anyone who is interested in making a contribution in Sharon's name to direct their gift to the Sharon Stredde Administrative Endowment Fund.  Sharon has long been a champion of increasing the Administrative Endowment Fund to ensure the long-term stability of the Community Foundation; so much so that she created her own administrative endowment fund in 2007.  Online gifts to the Sharon Stredde Administrative Endowment Fund can be made by clicking here
On behalf of the staff, board, donors, volunteers, and many agencies associated with the Community Foundation, "Thank You" for all you have done to make our communities a better place to live and work!

Jeff Hartman
Executive Vice President
Upcoming Events
Sunday, November 1
For Scout Foundation Fundraiser

Monday, November 2
CF Sponsors Arts and Ideas Performance at Aurora University

Monday, November 2
Deadline for Nonprofit Organizations to Apply for Community Foundation Discretionary Grants

Saturday, November 14
Anderson Animal Shelter Dinner and Auction

Monday, November 23
Community Foundation Scholarship Program for 2016 Now Available


New Staff
Julie Christman
Juli e Christman joined the Foundati on on October 1 as director of community involvement and partnerships. Christman is a seasoned corporate and foundation relations manager with over twelve years of grant writing experience. Christman spent the past five years at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) managing their corporate and foundation relations, and writing grants for their STEM based program. Christman's twenty years of experience in working with social service agencies brings a great deal of insight into her current role at the Foundation. She received her bachelor's in Social Works from Saint Louis University and Masters in Social Work from Washington University. Christman currently teaches part time at Aurora University as an adjunct professor in their social work program. "Julie's extensive experience in foundation relations and grant writing will be extremely valuable to the Community Foundation," said Jeff Hartman, Foundation executive vice president. "The addition of Julie to our team brings a fresh and unique perspective to our grant program."

Julie can be reached by e-mail at  
or by phone at 630-896-7800. 
You may also view Julie's  LinkedIn profile.

New Funds
Two new funds were recently created within the Community Foundation. 

Jill Hanses
The Jill Hanses Scholarship Endowment Fund was established to provide scholarships to local students pursuing a career in veterinarian science or a related field.  In life, Jill was very active in various  non-profit charitable organizations in the Fox Valley area.   Amongst others, she was a longtime board member, treasurer and president of the Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin, as well as a devoted member of the St. Charles Kiwanis.  For more information on the Community Foundation's scholarship program, please click here .

F. Keith Brown

The F. Keith Brown Family Advisory Endowment Fund was created by F. Keith Brown to support his philanthropic objectives.


Grant Deadline
Nonprofit organizations wishing to apply for a Community Foundation Discretionary Grant must do so by Monday, November 2, 2015. The first step in the application process is submitting a letter of intent. All letters of intent must be submitted by Monday, October, 19, 2015. After submitting a letter, the organization will be contacted once their eligibility is confirmed. A site visit will be scheduled, and then a full grant application will become available.

For more information, contact 
Julie Christman at 630-896-7800 or jchristman@communityfoundationfrv.org. 

To submit a letter of intent, please visit our website.

Did You Know?
Did you know that the Community Foundation will match $5,000 for $5,000? When a not-for-profit organization establishes a $5,000 endowment fund, the Community Foundation will provide an additional $5,000 to bring the fund to $10,000. If your nonprofit is interested in this opportunity, please contact Jeff Hartman for more information:
630-896-7800 or

Reception  Honors  Sharon  Stredde
President Retires After 30 Years with Foundation

Sharon Stredde
On September 17, a reception was held to celebrate Sharon Stredde's thirty years of service to the Community Foundation. The reception took place  in the Santori Public Library downtown Aurora  after a Foundation board meeting . It was an intimate gathering of board members, staff and close friends. Cocktails and appetizers were catered by Reuland's Food Service of Aurora. 

The event was a great opportunity for guests to pay tribute to Sharon and all she has done for the Foundation. "The amount of dedication Sharon has shown to the Foundation over the past thirty years is remarkable," commented Jeff Hartman, Foundation executive vice president. "This evening is but a small way to recognize how instrumental Sharon's service has been to the Foundation and to the community." 

The reception was also an opportunity for Jeff to be introduced as the next Community Foundation president. By a unanimous vote at the board meeting, Jeff was named Sharon's successor. Jeff has worked closely with Sharon over the past several months to ensure a smooth transition. While it is sad to say farewell to Sharon, the Foundation is pleased to have Jeff Hartman on board as its next president. " Over the past two and a half years, he has proven to be a successful and effective leader," Foundation chairman Mark Truemper said. "We look forward to expanding our presence under his direction."

Jeff Hartman will assume his duties as president on December 1, 2015. Sharon will continue to serve the Community Foundation as president ermirtus. 
The Foundation in the News
U.S. News and World Report Mentions Foundation
In  a n article released on S eptembe 10, 2 015, U.S. News and World Report cited the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley as an industry leader in providing numerous scholarships to local students.  The article, titled "Know What to Do Before, During and After the Scholarship Search," stresses the importance of applying early and often for scholarships.  Kevin Ladd, vice president of  scholarships.com  and author of the article, offers a number of search options for students looking for scholarships, including local foundations. The article offers the Community Foundation as an example, stating that, "...the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley has awarded more than $11.4 million in college scholarships to students in the organization's small Illinois service area."   Continue reading the entire article.
In 2015, the Community Foundation received more than 600 applications and awarded scholarships to over 300 students totaling more than $1 million over the next four years.  For more information, and details on how to apply for a Community Foundation scholarship, please visit our website.  
Beds For Kids
Fund Brings Comfort to Children in Need
Dan & Barbara Sergi
Beds for Kids emerged from a conversation between Dan Sergi and a colleague over 10 years ago. That conversation brought to light  the unfortunate reality that too many children go to bed each night without a warm place to rest their head. These children were literally sleeping on the floors.  Dan responded that year by purchasing beds for several families in need. He then contacted local charitable organizations in an effort to raise awareness of this need and to inform them of his interest in addressing this situation. All along, Dan personally continued to purchase beds for children in need.

As the awareness of Beds for Kids has grown among service organizations in the Fox Valley, so too have the requests for beds. Dan continues to work closely with local not-for-profit organizations to raise awareness and id entify families in need. Beds for Kids now provides bedding, including pillows, blankets and sheets in addition to the beds themselves.

"The thought of children sleeping on the floor i s very disturbing to me," Dan states. "While other organizations provide food and clothing, I want to p rovide a warm comfortable bed for our children to sleep." 

P le ase  consider supporting Beds for Kids so that hopefully, one day, every child will have a warm bed and a soft pillow to rest their hea d.  To learn more about the Beds For Kids Fund and to make a donation, please visit our website.
Equine Dreams to Run Marathon
Foundation Partner Gears Up for Chicago Marathon
Equine Dreams, INC., a not-f or-profit therapeutic h orseback riding program, will be participating in the 20 15 Bank of America  Chicago Marathon o n Sunday, October 11. By forming a team to run the marathon, Equine Dreams will raise money to help hundreds of individuals with special needs. The organization provides free horseback riding sessions to children and adults with physical, cognitive, and social disabilities. For more information about this event and to make a donation to Equine Dreams' marathon team, please visit 

Equine Dreams established an endowment fund with the Community Foundation in 2013. Money raised through this fund helps support the organization's mission of nurturing abilities in individuals with special needs. In 2013, Equine Dreams received a Community Foundation grant of $13,411 to purchase a new horse trailer. To learn more about Equine Dreams, please visit their fund page 
on our website. 

Best of luck to Equine Dreams in the Chicago Marathon! 
  111 W. Downer Place, Suite 312,   Aurora, IL 60506
  127 South First Street, Suite 215, Geneva, IL 60134
  Ph: 630-896-7800      Fx: 630-896-7811