Leadership Fund for Now  created by SRCCF to enable us to operate; provide funds for immediate distribution to area agencies and charitable initiatives; and help us build the core administrative fund.  The Leadership Fund for Now is created with unrestricted gifts, earnings on investments and administrative fees. For now, this is where we need your donation the most.

The Ottawa/Naplate Disaster Recovery Fund – Financial donations are being accepted by the SRCCF to assist individuals, families and businesses impacted by the February 28, 2017 tornado and related storms. It is ALWAYS best to go to the source! The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation is not and never has charged an administrative fee for the Disaster Recovery Fund. 100% of the donations received will be distributed to those in financial need as a result of the February 28th tornado. 100% of contributions to the Disaster Recovery Fund will be used for LOCAL recovery efforts.  No administrative fees are being assessed against the Fund. 

SRCCF Legacy Fund  – accepts gifts from those who have made a bequest to the SRCCF in a will, or other estate document. We will be happy to work with your estate planner. Give us a call 815-252-2906.

Youth Engaged in Philanthropy – YEP Members ages 10-12 are learning about philanthropy. Why non-profits?  What are they?  How are they governed, funded and managed?  Who do they serve, what do they do and what is their mission? Do they have a wish list? Members of YEP meet monthly to learn the answers. The culmination of the program will be releasing a RFP to local non-profits so that they may apply for the $500 YEP grant. Members will analyze the grant applications and selected the grant recipient. Site visits to the agency finalists will be made to assist with the evaluation process. Donate today to help in underwriting the amount of the grant!

Women Inspired Network – WIN – A new Women’s Giving Circle – Each member contributes $200 annually to the giving circle. Our goal is a minimum of 150 women per year, enabling us to raise $30,000 per year. One third of the dollars raised will be invested in a permanent endowment, with 2/3 being distributed to 1-2 programs, projects or causes in Starved Rock Country. Meetings are held every other month. Give us a call to learn more or, to donate, click on WIN on the Donate page, and download the donation card. We are creating a large pool of funds to make significant impact in the community.



Robert M. Eschbach Legacy Endowment Fund In recognition of the vision, dedication and accomplishments of Mayor Bob Eschbach. Created by his sister, Sharon Eschbach Coleman, and her late husband, Ken Coleman, the Eschbach Endowment is designated for the continued aesthetic, cultural and economic development of Ottawa, Illinois.

Flags of Freedom – In Princeton, the “Flags of Freedom” stand in tribute to the men and women who serve or have served our country. They are a reminder of the sacrifices made to keep our Nation free. The Community Foundation serves as the Fiscal Sponsor for Flags of Freedom, and is accepting donations to assist with the purchase of new flags and to support project activities. This honorable program is deserving of your gift and we invite you to learn more at

Zero for Heroes – Marseilles resident, Chuck Wood, has a dream. Chuck contacted the SRCCF to find a way to make his dream come true. For Chuck, making life more bearable for US Veterans living with PTSD was the motivation behind his fund, Zero 4 Heroes. Dollars raised for the Zero 4 Heroes Fund will provide a dog or cat from a local shelter to a Veteran living with PTSD. All expenses relative to the adoption of the pet, veterinary care and food will be provided for two years by Zero 4 Heroes. With your help, this fund will provide the companionship of a pet to Veterans diagnosed with PTSD throughout our community.

The Carol and Dick Janko Scholarship for Promising Entrepreneurs  Dick and Carol’s focus on promising entrepreneurs highlights the need throughout Starved Rock Country for a renewed emphasis on ingenuity, determination and courage by our youth.  The Janko’s certainly took great pride in creating this generous and unique scholarship. Awarded annually for the purpose of granting a scholarship to a student from LaSalle, Bureau, Putnam or Livingston Counties to provide financial assistance to the student to attend a college or university.

The Rising Star Scholarship Awarded annually for the purpose of granting a scholarship to graduating high school seniors who reside in Marseilles or Seneca, Illinois. Students can apply for The Rising Star Scholarship in early February each year.  This generous scholarship, created by an anonymous donor, will be presented to a student enrolled in Illinois State University to pursue a teaching degree in Elementary Education.  Your contribution to support the Rising Star Scholarship is most welcome.

The Ethel McConnell Donor Advised Fund – Ethel McConnell, long-time Seneca resident and a teacher in the Seneca school district, created a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) through the SRCCF. Ethel and her late husband, Ed McConnell, were generous donors in their community for many years. When Ed passed away in July, 2016, Ethel decided to create her fund to make her charitable giving easier. One of Ethel’s  first gifts will be to the TBM Avengers Reunion event, to be held at the Illinois Valley Regional Airport in Peru, on May 20, 2017.  Contributions in Ethel’s honor to the Ethel McConnell Donor Advised Fund are most welcome.    

The Tucker Tillman Monetary Award –  Thomas Lee Tillman II known by all as Tucker was great friend and athlete. His living personality, sportsmanship, and team spirit resonated at Marquette High School. Tucker was tragically killed July 9, 1973 in an auto accident. He was loved by family and friends. This fund was created to honor that memory and to serve as a reminder that we must work together even when times are tough.

A generous gift has been made by the family of Tucker Tillman, to be given to the recipient of the annual Tucker Tillman Award at Marquette High School beginning in the Spring, 2017. Marquette staff selects the annual winner, and until 2017, there was no monetary award involved. You can help to increase the amount of the award by making your own contribution to the Fund.

Princeton Main Street Revitalization Community Fund –  Plenty of exciting plans for downtown Princeton! Your donation will support the many projects underway now and planned for the future.  

Ottawa Noon RotaryThe Rotary Club of Ottawa Noon has been serving the needs of the community for more than 102 years. Ottawa Noon Rotary Club was founded in 1915, and has grown into one of the premiere service clubs in the area.  Always mindful of the motto, “Service Above Self”,  Noon Rotary distributes grants and scholarships throughout the Ottawa community of nearly $20,000 per year, and volunteers for many initiatives.   In addition, the club has been the recipient of Rotary District and International grants for it’s good works in the community and in the world. Ottawa Noon, in partnership with Debbie Damron of Ottawa, First Presbyterian Church, and the Rochelle and Ottawa Sunrise Rotary Clubs, built a new school, created a playground, helped to establish a library, provided a clean water well, hygiene training, and a maize milling machine in the Kamwenge District of Uganda.  

The Ottawa High School Interact Club was formed in 2012 and currently boasts more than 60 members. Students are welcome at all Rotary Club meetings and events. Their philanthropic efforts have resulted in a number of impact projects throughout the community.

Your donations are welcome in one of three funds:

  1.  Ottawa Noon Rotary Legacy Fund – to support the general grant-making activities of the Club
  2.  Youth Fund – to support the grant-making initiatives relative to area youth, including the Interact Club
  3. Ottawa Noon Rotary Scholarship Fund – Ottawa High School, Marquette High School and Rotary Memorial Scholarships awarded by the Club

TBM Avengers On May 20, 2017, the Illinois Valley Regional Airport presented the 2nd annual reunion of TBM Avengers and other various aircraft, both military and civilian. The TBM Avenger is a World War II torpedo bomber and with only 15 of these magnificent aircraft flying in the world, we are proud to have been able to have hosted some once again. Be on the lookout here for more information about the next TBM Avengers event, to be held May 21, 2018. 

The Oakland Cemetery Preservation Fund –  Whether or not the Oakland Cemetery in Princeton has been a part of your family’s history, consider a gift to the Oakland Cemetery Preservation Fund. Honor those who are buried there by contributing to the continual upkeep of the grounds. Your gift to support the work of a very small, but dedicated team of concerned residents who maintain the Cemetery is greatly appreciated.  

Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce Leadership Fund The Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation to convert the OACC Foundation to a Donor Advised Fund with the SRCCF. The DAF is a flexible, efficient way to facilitate charitable contributions from the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce. Dollars in the fund will be invested along with the other assets of the Community Foundation.  Gifts to the OACC Community Leadership Fund are tax-deductible in accordance with IRS regulations.

Green*STOCK*TEEN Fund In Ottawa, a creative new fund, the “Green*Stock*Teen” Fund was established to provide a gift to teens ages 13-19 who may not otherwise receive a holiday gift. The local Red Stocking Fund in Ottawa has been providing gifts for children age 12 and under for many years. The new fund was created by the staff of Lady Di’s in Ottawa, who has provided gifts to area youth for more than 20 years. Donations of teen gifts and monetary contributions to the fund are needed year-round.

Danny Nelson Memorial Fund – Danny Nelson was a young father and husband from Princeton, Illinois who tragically passed away on October 11, 2016 after being hit by semi truck on his way to get lunch for his coworkers and himself. Danny was a huge proponent of supporting community initiatives and he truly loved his town. This fund was created by Danny’s family with Danny’s giving and caring spirit in mind. All proceeds of this fund will go to the town of Princeton to be used to bette the community, just as Danny would have wanted. His friends have also organized a memorial golf outing in his honor with all proceeds going to the Danny Nelson Memorial Fund.

The Lamb Family Fund for Crotty Park Playground The Lamb Family has been a part of the community in Seneca, Illinois for over 60 years and hopes to continue their commitment to the community for years to come. Gene and Mary Lamb moved to the area with their six children in 1953 after Gene took a job at LST Shipyards in 1942. They would continue to live in and support Seneca for the remainder of their lives, leaving  6 children and 12 grandchildren in the area. One of Gene’s sons, George, kept family history in Seneca alive by buying the LST Shipyard and operating an industrial park there for 20 years. George and his wife Cindy’s experience as parents of a child with special needs, along with George’s experiences when his brother Joe was struck with childhood polio, showed the couple how important inclusion for all children of every ability is in the community.  George and Cindy are thrilled to be able to give back to the children in Seneca and the surrounding communities by partnering with the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation to bring an all-inclusive, wheelchair accessible playground to Crotty Park.  The park is located not far from The Shipyards and will be dedicated to Gene and Mary.  The family hopes to provide a variety of equipment at the playground that allows children of any ability to play alongside one another.

The Lamb Family Fund for Ability and Adaption The Lamb Family has partnered with The Starved Rock Country Community Foundation to bring not one, but two new funds to Starved Rock Country. This fund, The Lamb Family Fund for Ability and Adaption, was started with a generous gift from George and Cindy Lamb in anticipation of making charitable gifts to organizations and agencies that serve individuals living with physical disabilities. 

 The Corbin Burress Superhero Fund – Corbin Ty Burress was welcomed into this family six weeks early and weighed 3 pounds, 5 1/2 ounces. He actually fit in a cigarbox! After spending 12 days in the NIC unit At Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, he was sent home with a clean bill of health. As he grew, his family noticed that his right side wasn’t as strong or active as his left side. Corbin was evaluated at Easter Seals in Ottawa, Illinois and began occupational therapy, physical therapy, and developmental therapy. He attended preschool at the Easter Seals Center. The staff worked with him and before too long they had him actually taking steps! Corbin was the Little Ambassador for the Easter Seals 2008 Telethon and the 5K Walk with Me event. After “army crawling” to get around, Corbin started walking when he was three. For the next five years,  he received several forms of therapy in Naperville, along with weekly instructions in Villa Park to learn how to use a special communicator. Along with therapy, he went to preschool at Lincoln School in Ottawa and attended McKinley School for kindergarten through fourth grade. Corbin is currently in seventh grade at Central School. He is looking forward to going to Ottawa High School sooner than his family will be ready for him to go! 

Corbin’s family and us here at SRCCF have partnered up to be able to create the Corbin Burress Superhero Fund. This fund will benefit those who have confronted similar obstacles in life that Corbin has. With your donations, we can help more and more people who truly need it! We have high hopes for the Corbin Burress Superhero Fund and cannot wait to see what our journey with Corbin and his family has in store. 

The Margaret Messer Memorial Fund –  Born on November 15, 1923 in Newport, Kentucky, Margaret “Margie” Messer attended parochial schools, graduating from the Academy of Notre Dame in Covington in 1940.  While employed by the New York Central Railroad in Cincinnati, Marge met her future husband, Vernon Messer. Married in 1946, Vernon and Marge spent the next 59 years dedicated to each other, their children and their strong Catholic faith. Vernon passed away in February 2005. A loving mother and homemaker while raising her children, Marge returned to work as the “Welcome Wagon Lady” in the late 1960’s and was well known throughout the Centerville community. She later became the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of the Washington Township Chamber of Commerce in 1972. An avid bridge player, traveler, seamstress, and crafter, Marge loved nothing more than her children and her faith.

To honor and in memory of Margie, her daughter, Pamela, created the Margaret Messer Memorial Donor Advised Fund. Through the Fund, the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation will provide grant funding to organizations that support Margie’s most cherished values – people of faith, mothers and children. We are honored to recognize the grateful heart that served Margie so well throughout her lifetime.









Your unrestricted donation to the Leadership Fund for Now is just that, a gift for NOW. It enables us to operate, provides funds for immediate distribution to area agencies and charitable initiatives and helps us build the core administrative fund. The Leadership Fund for Now is made up of unrestricted donations, earnings on investments, and administrative fees. This is where we need your donation the most.
Pamela Beckett
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