Meet Our Newest Board Member
Jay Walton
Caterpillar, Inc.
Jay Walton is the Caterpillar Defense General Manager at Caterpillar, Inc. He leads the company’s sales, engineering and operations for the U.S. military and other allied militaries around the world. He partners with corporate executives, product managers, business divisions and functional teams to ensure its successful growth of Caterpillar Defense solutions and services. Jay also devotes much of his time to bettering the community in which he lives and works. He currently serves as a board member for Peoria Christian School, is a member of the Caterpillar African American Network, National Black MBA Association, National Society of Black Engineers and served on the board of the Peoria Zoological Society and Upgrade. He also volunteers his time and passion to St. Paul Baptist Church. Above all, Jay is a dedicated husband and father, always setting aside regular time for his three boys and wife.
Welcome to the Community Foundation, Jay!

CFCI Awards $50,000 to
Address Food Insecurity
We are excited to announce the 2021 Ending Hunger Together grant recipients. The proposals submitted by HEAL Food System Partners, led by the Tazewell County Health Department, and Peoria Grown for their Market 309 and Wellness & Nutrition Hub project, will each be awarded $25,000 to help address food insecurity issues in the community.

“We are proud to support the incredible efforts of the HEAL Partnership and Market 309 and the Wellness & Nutrition Hub through CFCI’s Ending Hunger Together grant program. It has been impressive seeing the strides HEAL has made in addressing systemic issues related to food insecurity in the past few years and we look forward to its growth continuing. We are also excited to witness the undoubtedly large impact Peoria Grown’s project will have on this community while creating a more permanent hub to increase awareness and accessibility.” -Mark Roberts, CFCI President and CEO
Women's Fund Leader Luncheon Awards
Nominations for the Women’s Fund 2021 Women to Women Leader Luncheon Awards are now open. Help recognize the amazing women who make a difference in our community. Awards will be presented in the seven categories listed below. For additional information and to nominate a woman in the community, click any of the below items to be directed to the corresponding nomination form:

Award recipients will be announced at a virtual event on May 11.

Emerging Philanthropists Fund
Join us Tuesday, March 23, to kick off the 2021 grant cycle by making this year's Emerging Philanthropist Fund Virtual Kickoff event the best yet. Help us continue our initiative of encouraging emerging community leaders to come together and make a lasting impact through community giving. Bring a friend, your favorite snack and a drink and learn more about the Emerging Philanthropists Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois and how you can become a part of it. This event is free and open to the public! Registration is required.
PNC First Grant Program
The PNC Foundation and the Ruby K. Worner Charitable Trust announced 45 "PNC First Grant" recipients receiving cash awards of up to $1,000. The grant awards are given to outstanding teachers from schools throughout central Illinois. Over the past 30 years, the PNC Foundation and the Ruby K. Worner Charitable Trust have awarded 935 grants totaling more than $585,000. The PNC First Grant program is designed to help classroom teachers accomplish creative and innovative projects they would otherwise be unable to fund because of budget limitations. This year, the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from the PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., received 83 grant applications. The online application and review process is made possible by the partnership between PNC and the Community Foundation of Central Illinois. For more information please contact Samantha Conrad at

Example of items purchased for Hollis Grade School with grant funding. Photo provided by 2019-2020 PNC First Grant award winner, Erica Bolton.
This "Healthy Balance" project provides hands-on materials to enhance student learning and expose children to healthy lifestyle choices in the form of creative play. "Great conversations began immediately after implementing this project. Students have learned names for foods they've never seen or eaten before, such as asparagus, eggplants, grapefruits and more. They've been practicing fine motor skills with tongs, sorting fruits and vegetables, and have all around enjoyed creative play. We are grateful for all we've received with this grant money and are excited to continue exploring this project," says Erica Bolton of Hollis Grade School.
3625 North Sheridan Road
Peoria, IL 61604