September 2020
President's Message
This month we are reflecting on how grateful we are for all the amazing people who support our work with Peoria Public Schools. We appreciate each and every one of you. Check out the video below for a message from PPS Foundation President Cindy Morris.
Horizons is Back!
We are very excited to roll-out MS Teams Horizons Meetings in the next few weeks with the middle school students. Each Horizons student will receive a postcard in the mail letting them know that they are in the club. While we will all be chatting virtually, Horizons will still include career speakers, mentoring, 21st Century Skills exploration, and special treats for the kids. Thank you to our community partner Hy-Vee Sheridan Village for making the “Treat Totes” (see picture above) possible. Horizons students will be receiving more information soon about logging into the MS Teams meetings and Treat Tote distribution.

If you would like to volunteer to be a virtual career speaker for the 7th and 8th grade Horizons students, please email Trish at
Apply for a Classroom Grant Today!
Our mission at the PPS Foundation is to provide as much support as we can to PPS students and families. During this time, many things are looking different but our support for the school district is as strong as ever.

This year we have again partnered with the Yeomans Fund of the Community Foundation of Central Illinois to offer two types of classroom grants to PPS staff: a traditional classroom grant and a STEM grant. Applications can be submitted online between now and October 1st.

Plus, submitted applications will be entered into a random drawing to win a $50 Target gift card! Be sure to check out a video update from Cindy Morris below.

We Appreciate our PPS Foundation Board of Directors!
A huge shout out to our amazing Board of Directors! Each member of our board brings a unique perspective, fantastic ideas, and strong support which allows us to continue our work with Peoria Public Schools. Our current board consists of:

  • Andre Allen - Dean of Students at Methodist College and a board focus on our Adopt-a-School program

  • Ruth Bittner (Board Treasurer) - VP of Finance at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and a board focus on our finances

  • Solivian Dismuke - Registered Nurse with Unity Point Health and a board focus on our Horizons program

  • Maarten de Haas - General Manager at Caterpillar and a board focus on our Horizons program

  • Scott McCord - Financial Planner at Anthem Financial and a board focus on fundraising (specifically on our annual Golf Outing)

  • Daniel Musisi - On-Air Host and Operations Lead at WCBU and a board focus on our Scholarship program

  • Cheryl Sanfilip - Retired PPS Administrator and a board focus on our fundraising (specifically our 365 Annual Giving program)

  • Cathy Wiggers (Board Chair) - Retired PPS Administrator and a board focus on the operations of our Board

Thank you to all of our Board Members for their service. These are truly wonderful people who care deeply about Peoria Public Schools!

PPS Foundation Board Member, Daniel Musisi, receiving his Board Appreciation Bag last week
Check Out Buzz Chats, a PPS Foundation Video Series!
Every other week we will be connecting with different members of our community to talk about our public schools and how they interact with current events in Peoria.

Recently, we caught up with PPS Parent and Volunteer, Mike Murphy, and the PPS Foundation's own team to talk about the beginning of the school year.

Future broadcasts can be found on our Facebook page every other Thursday at 6:30 PM. This Thursday's upcoming chat will feature Peoria County Public Health Administrator, Monica Hendrickson. Be sure to tune in to hear this interesting discussion!
Buzz Chats with the PPS Foundation Team and Mike Murphy
SHERO of the Month: Stacy Hardin
Congratulations to Stacy Hardin for being chosen as our September PPS Foundation SHERO! Stacy is the owner of the Book Rack Used Books & Gifts.

You may have seen her on the news this summer or even heard that she was the recipient of the “Those who Excel 2020 Volunteer of the Year” award for the school district.

Stacy loves promoting the importance of reading and she is dedicating herself to promoting literacy in Peoria Schools. Through her Book Rack Literacy Foundation, she is giving free books to all Peoria Public Schools K-8 classrooms. Her store also sponsors the Little Free Library at Hines Primary School, and fills it with books on a regular basis.

If you have not been to her store, please stop in to say “hello and thank you.” She’s AMAZING!! 

Hy-Vee on Sheridan - an AMAZING partner and supporter!
One of the big challenges our community is facing during this time is making sure families in need have enough food to eat. The PPS Foundation would like to send a HUGE thank you to Hy-Vee on Sheridan for working with us to provide food and grocery deliveries to PPS families most at risk. We are truly in awe at the amount of support they have provided. Thank you for being so wonderful to work with, Hy-Vee!
PPS Foundation's Board of Directors:
Andre Allen, Ruth Bittner, Solivian Dismuke, Maarten de Haas,
Scott McCord, Daniel Musisi, Cheryl Sanfilip, and Cathy Wiggers

PPS Foundation's Staff:
Cindy Morris (President), Jen Adler (Administrative Director),
Sarah Oakford (Adopt-A-School Coordinator), Trish O'Shaughnessy (Director, Community Engagement & Horizons Program), Allison Coulter (Horizons), and Ella Dancey (Horizons)