March 2017 e  Memorandum

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."

Upcoming Events
Friday, March 10
Joe Sent Me: An Aurora Speakeasy -
Aurora Historical Society's Spring Fundraiser

Saturday March 11 & Sunday March 12
Fox Valley Orchestra Presents
Mozart, Glazunov, and Schumann

Saturday, March 18
Kiwanis Club of Aurora's
Pancake Breakfast

Saturday, March 18
Suicide Prevention Services' 50 Men Who Cook, 
50 Cooks Who Care

Wednesday, March 22
NAMI's Spring Into Action for Mental Health Dinner Gala

Friday, March 31
Mutual Ground's Food For Thought: Raising Hope Fundraiser

Saturday, April 1
Shine Bright 
Special Needs Prom
with Celebrate Differences

Thursday, April 6
CASA Kane County's Hands Around 
the Courthouse

Letters of Intent 
Letters of Intent for the spring 2017 grant cycle are now available!

The Community Foundation provides grants to nonprofit agencies for capital purposes in the areas of education, social services, health care, and arts & humanities. 

Agencies wishing to apply for a grant must submit a letter of intent by March 31, 2017.

Visit for application and complete details.


Congratulations to Felicity Cantrell, founder of the  For Scout Foundation, won second place in  #GivingTuesday's  #MyGivingStory campaign with her story, "My Love For Scout." 

"When I found out that we had won, I decided to grant all of the $5,000 prize money to the American Asthma Foundation on behalf of Scout and the For Scout Foundation," Felicity said.  "I felt in my heart that they could have the most far-reaching benefits with the money and affect the most people."  

After hearing this news, William E Seaman, MD, Research Director of the American Asthma Foundation, reached out to Felicity. He told her that he is introducing the keynote speaker at the AAF national research meeting this May as the Scout Cantrell Invited Speaker! 
                                                                          Felicity established the For Scout Foundation within the Community Foundation to honor the life of her daughter, Scout, and to support organizations that carry on her legacy.  "We had the absolute worst thing happen to us as a family," Felicity said. "But we decided together that you can either let life define you, or you can define your life. So we started For Scout Foundation to, in Scout's words, 'make the world a little bit better place.'"  


Grantee Spotlight
CASA Kendall County

CASA Kendall County staff and volunteers are excited to receive a Community Foundation grant for a new software program, scanner, computers, and a projector to help them be more effective and efficient in their ongoing efforts with children and families.

CASA Kendall County believes every child has the right to a safe, permanent and nurturing home.  Their mission is to recruit, train and support volunteers from the community to advocate for and effectively speak to the best interests of children who have been abused and neglected and are dependents of the Kendall County's juvenile court system.  For more information visit

Jennifer Gilbert, Executive Director and
Nikki Osterloh, Fundraising and Marketing Coordinator for CASA Kendall County.

Our Donors
We are deeply grateful to the individuals, businesses and organizations that commit to the charitable needs of the community. Follow the link below to view this year's donors. 

The lists of our donors are updated quarterly. They are available to view on our  website.
Grantee Recognition Ceremony
CFFRV Celebrates Fall 2016 Grantees

On January 26, 2017, the Community Foundation held a Grantee Recognition Ceremony to celebrate the twelve agencies that were approved for grants this past fall. The event was held at 
Water Street Studios  in Batavia.

Jeff Hartman, Community Foundation President & CEO, spoke of the dedication the grantees have illustrated in our community"You care so deeply about your community that you give freely of your time and talents to make the Fox River Valley a great place to live and work," Hartman said.

Other speakers included Marty Luna, Executive Director of Simply Destinee, a youth inspired dance team based in Aurora that promotes suicide awareness and fosters positive development in young people's lives. Luna gave a testimonial about the Community Foundation grant Simply Destinee received in May 2016. 

Danielle Hollis, Executive Director of Water Street Studios, spoke about the agency's programs and their dedication to increasing the presence of the creative arts in the Fox River Valley and making the arts accessible for all people. Water Street Studios received a Community Foundation 
grant in May 2016 to assist in making their facility wheelchair accessible. 

Kelmscott president and Community Foundation board member Scott Voris spoke about trends in the Foundation's grantmaking program. He also acknowledged the awarded agencies and outlined the projects the grants are supporting. Each agency was then presented with a certificate of recognition. 

A continental breakfast was provided to ceremony guests thanks to donations and discounts from the following local vendors:
We give tremendous thanks to the above vendors, Water Street Studios, and all of the grantees for the services they provide  in our area. We thank them for coming together for this event that was truly a celebration of community.

Click here  to see a list of the agencies that were awarded grants and to view more photos from the ceremony.

Letters of Intent for the spring 2017 grant cycle are now available. Visit for application and complete details. 
Introducing New Scholarship Funds
Three New Scholarship Funds Created
The Eric P. Whitaker Scholarship Fund  was established by Eric Whitaker, who received support from the then-Aurora Foundation in 1974 to attend the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  He seeks to support others from North Aurora who graduate from West Aurora High School to develop themselves as citizens and professionals through higher education.  After graduating from U of I, Eric served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines, working in community health.  He served as Assistant to the City Manager in Lodi, California for six years before joining the Department of State to serve as a Foreign Service Officer.  Having served in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, Eric now is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and is acting Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs at the Department of State in Washington, DC.

The Shelley Scott Fund was created to honor the life of Shelley Scott. Scholarships from the fund are awarded to graduates of Oswego High School with preference given to women attending Waubonsee Community College. Shelley was a 1988 graduate of Oswego High School where she was active in drama and speech. She received a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and later graduated with high honors from UIC with a degree in Nutrition.  She was employed as a Registered Dietitian and Diabetic Educator at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University Hospital. Her competence and compassion were lauded by her patients and coworkers. Shelley is described as a loving, caring and selfless person. The world lost a remarkable woman who made a difference in many people's lives, by her actions and inspiration for action to others.

The Towers Family Fund was created to honor Karen Towers who was an art teacher for West Aurora School District #129 for 36 years. Karen passed away in December 2016  at the age of 79. She was a passionate art teacher who believed that everyone could create art. Karen loved teaching and helping students find their creativity and artistic side.  Karen loved to share her love and knowledge of cultures and creating with others.  She believed that you could be an artist and a lawyer when you grow up, you don't have to choose.  Karen was involved with the Aurora Historical Society and the Aurora Public Art Commission. Karen was a Kane County Educator of the Year nom inee, Golden Apple for District #129 recipient, Y.W.C.A Woman of Distinction nominee, P.T.A. member and  many  more.  The Karen Towers Art Scholarship was created in her honor to help future art teachers reach their dreams.
Getting To Know Your Foundation Staff
Meet Greg Probst!
Greg Probst joined the Community Foundation of the Fox Rive Valley in July 2014 and is the Director of Finance & Technology.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in geography from Illinois State University. Before joining the Foundation, Greg worked briefly in the banking industry before returning to his alma mater to manage the university owned campus computer store. As Director of Finance & Technology, Greg is responsible for overseeing all financial and technology matters of the Foundation.

Q & A with Greg Probst

What is your favorite season and why?
My favorite season is summer because I love being outside.  Any day that I can be in the pool is a good day.
What is your favorite condiment?
Frank's Red Hot
What is your least favorite food?
Olives, any and all.
What are your favorite sports to watch/play?
I most often watch professional basketball, especially the Chicago Bulls.  There's nothing like a day at the ballpark taking in a Chicago White Sox game.
What was your high school mascot?
The West Aurora Blackhawks.
What radio stations do you listen to the most in the car?
SiriusXM has become a luxury I can't see myself without.  I enjoy AltNation and Classic Vinyl the most often.

What is a skill you'd like to learn?
I'd love to learn more about general woodworking.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
T eaching my dog, Hudson, to high-five.  But honestly, being able to work for organizations that serve others both at the Foundation and university.
If you could have any superpower, which would you choose and why?
To be able to fly.  As a kid, Superman was my go-to superhero.
  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