The Lyons Community Foundation has announced the winners of the 2017 Student Scholarships. The winners are Maddie Maguire (Gerald Boland Memorial Scholarship), Cole Berreman (Steve Ralston Memorial Scholarship), Nicole Smith (“Uncle Bud” Winker Memorial Scholarship, Kyle Frohling and CeAnn Udovich (Joel Mack Memorial Scholarships) and Grayson Thomas (LCF Scholarship). These stand-out students are recognized as leaders in academics, community mindedness and athletics. The scholarships are $1000 each and may be applied to any institution of higher learning. They were formally recognized at Lyons High School on May 16th.
Over the years, the scholarship program has been an important piece of the LCF legacy. Since 2008, over $26,000 has gone to dozens of Lyons-area students to aid in their dreams of attending college. In some cases, first generation college students’ college careers have been launched, thanks in part to this assistance. If one considers the impact of LCF scholarships in a small school, historically one in 5 graduates will merit an award. While it may not seem like a huge amount with the high cost of college tuition, it can certainly fill a gap in providing resources to a student embarking on their journey.
In addition to scholarships, the Lyons Community Foundation has historically made many grants to local area schools. A local leader in the school community Kathy Leiding, has recently come back to serve on the LCF Advisory Board. The former teacher and athletic director recently retired after serving in Lyons for 28 years! Kathy was one of the founding board members of LCF in 2008, and has seen the impact on Lyons schools first-hand.
Since 2008, $68,000 has gone to Lyons schools to support everything from the booster club, field trips, student service groups, the band and more. As Kathy describes “the school is lifeblood of a community. It’s where parents meet each other and you see the impact of volunteer contributions and community involvement. In particular in a small school, there are only so many resources to go around. One of the reasons I got involved in LCF in the first place was to further support school enrichment in areas such as robotics, after-prom, and technology. With a foundation like LCF, fundraising efforts can be consolidated and giving will go farther”.
Debbie Simms, Chair of the LCF Executive Committee adds “We are so thrilled to have Kathy back on board. Her commitment to the schools and the whole community of Lyons is tremendous. Her well-deserved retirement allows us to tap into her spirit of contributing”. Indeed. Along with founders Christy Crosser and Connie Eyster, the original board including Kathy, Dorothy Pelluchoud, Nancy Hammons, Rick England, and Mystie Bracket had the vision 10 years ago to start something special. As one looks around Lyons and notices public art, garden plantings, enjoys music in the park, one can’t help but notice LCF’s impact. At a recent donor event, a grant recipient remarked “I’ve never lived in a community where people are so caring. The generosity and willingness to contribute by the people of Lyons is truly amazing”.
Ten years in, the Lyons Community Foundation is going strong. The support for the wide-range of projects supported is still evident despite increased competition from other nonprofits in the area. The goal of the foundation is to continue to support life in Lyons and work collaboratively with other organizations such as LEAF, the Lyons Arts and Humanities Commission, Lyons Elementary, Middle, and High Schools, Lyons Historical Society, and the Town of Lyons. These groups have all seen the support of LCF granting and only benefit from its existence.
The Lyons Community Foundation was founded in 2007, and began granting in 2008. The mission to Improve the Quality of Life, Build a Culture of Giving, and Encourage Positive Change in the Greater Lyons Area remains the driving force. In 10 years, dozens of volunteer board members, project leaders, local businesses, students and caring citizens have contributed to the spirit of community -based philanthropy. As we look forward to our second decade of serving the people of Lyons, we ask for your support. Become a monthly donor, inspired volunteer, grant seeker, or champion of work.