Community Connection

February 2023

New Director of Communications

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) has welcomed Andrea Ingwersen as the new Director of Communications.

“We are extremely fortunate to add Andrea to the CFCI team. Her extensive and varied experience in community outreach and communications gives Andrea a fresh perspective on the important work we do. I am certain she will be an asset to our organization as we continue to grow and change to positively impact central Illinois,” said Mark Roberts, CFCI President and CEO. 

Ingwersen is a graduate of Illinois State University and is a life-long resident of the Peoria Metropolitan area. Andrea has worked in the non-profit arena for over two decades. She is a member of several public relations committees and has chaired numerous tri-county community collaboratives. “Having worked in some of the same circles as CFCI, I am familiar with the important work the organization offers. Joining CFCI is a tremendous opportunity to continue to serve the community I love and utilize my communications background in a new capacity, “says Ingwersen. 

Spring Grant Opportunities

Applications for the following grant opportunities are due Wednesday, March 8, 2023.

  • Community Arts Grants

  • The Arts Mean Business Fund Grants (apply for up to $25,000!)

  • Jean M. Ligon Animal Welfare Grant

  • *NEW* Ackerman Family Learn to Swim Fund


Ending Hunger Together Community Conversation 

CFCI hosted "Ending Hunger Together (EHT) Community Conversation" on February 21, 2023 to highlight HEAL Food System Partners and Peoria Grown grantees. Community leaders, elected officials and volunteers learned about current initiatives, program successes of the EHT grantees and discussed next steps to end hunger and food insecurity. Discussion surrounded economic development, advocacy, funding, collaboration and planning. The morning ended with the presentation of the $40,000 "Big Check" for the 5th year of funding for HEAL Food System Partners and 3rd year funding for Peoria Grown.

Thank you to our featured speakers and panelists Amy Fox-HEAL Food System Partners*, Chris McGregor-Peoria Grown*, Chris Setti-Greater Peoria EDC and CFCI Board Member, Matt Gross-Bread for the World and CFCI Board Member, Raghela Scavuzzo-Illinois Farm Bureau.


Pictured Front Row L to R: Hillary Aggertt-Woodford County Health Department, Rebecca Crumrine-U of I Extension, Julie Eliathamby-Peoria Grown, Chris McGregor, Peoria Grown, Shanita Wallace, Tazewell County Health Department, Amy Fox-Tazewell County Health Department, Audrey Kamm, Midwest Food Bank

Back Row L to R: Matt Gross- Bread for the World and CFCI Board Member, Wayne Cannon- Peoria Area Food Bank and -Mike Brooks, OSF Healthcare

Click Here to Join the Conversation

Scholarships Available

New Easy Universal Application

CFCI scholarship opportunities are now open for graduating seniors, current college students, and non-traditional students! Our online application process makes applying easy. Complete the universal application, and you will be notified of all the scholarships you are eligible for.


Vernon "Butch" Gudat Scholarship:

Kara Luckey

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois is incredibly proud to administer the scholarship honoring Vernon "Butch" Gudat, established to honor the courage of a Peoria firefighter who gave his life in the line of duty. The fund provides at least one $1,500 academic scholarship to qualifying children and grandchildren of career and volunteer firefighters in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties.

Congratulations to Kara Luckey on receiving this year’s scholarship award! Kara is the daughter of Eric and Erin Luckey of Eureka, IL and granddaughter of Dick Gerdes, former Benson, IL Fire Chief. Kara is a senior at Eureka High School, President of Student Council and Science Club, and Team Captain of the Speech Team. Kara Luckey will be a freshman at Bradley University Fall 2023, studying biochemistry.

Pictured: Lori Gudat, Kara Luckey, Mike Gudat.

Emerging Philanthropists Fund

Women's Fund Events

We're proud of our accreditation with National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations®. This accreditation, signified by this Seal, indicates that the Community Foundation of Central Illinois meets the highest standards for philanthropic excellence. The 26 national standards establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere and indicates CFCI’s commitment to excellence and accountability. Learn more about the accreditation process at
3625 North Sheridan Road
Peoria, IL 61604
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