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Boone County Community Foundation

Connecting Our Community

Boone County Community Foundation

The Boone County Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life in Boone County for today, tomorrow and the future by building a culture of giving in our community and by connecting donors. 

We are a tax exempt, non-profit, philanthropic organization with the long-term goal of building permanent, named funds for the broad-based charitable benefit of the residents in Boone County and to strengthen our community through philanthropy. We offer the best tax advantages for charitable donations operating as a 501©(3) organization of the internal revenue code. 

We help raise the level of local giving and help keep charitable dollars in the local community. The Boone County Community Foundation will help to ensure that charitable endowment gifts given to help our community will remain effective and relevant over long periods of time.

website congrats2022

Congratulations to the Class of 2022!

The Boone County Community Foundation is honored to have awarded 28 deserving graduates from North Boone, Belvidere, and Belvidere North High Schools a total of $81,600 in new and renewal scholarships.

Wilbur & William Cummings Memorial Educational Scholarship
New Recipients: Faith Bartz, Emma Marten, Crystal Sotelo, Sarah Vallee
Renewal Recipients: Steven Grabowski, Jessica Ochoa, Allison White, Alaina Coen, Tate Bauman, Abigail Houk, Paige Stolp

Bob & Betty Edwards Memorial Scholarship

Payton Korst, Kourtney Olsen

JoAnne & Warren Emry Scholarship

Tate Bauman, Jazmine Guzman

Hugh K & Alice Iles Funderburg Scholarship
New Recipients: Brain Flaherty, Brandon Massman, Emma Walberg
Renewal Recipient: Noah Anderson, Carter Huff

Dave Graham Memorial Education Scholarship

Christian Rodriguez-Hernandez, Sarah Vallee

Margery Hinrichs Scholarship
Kaden Finnestad, Aiden Krup, Grace Reza, Jadyn Vail

NBFPD#3 Fireman’s Association Jake Schoepski Memorial Scholarship
Jenna Poole, Riley Rankin

Passing of the Torch

The Boone County Community Foundation would like to recognize Kevin Behling, John Crone, Rob Funderburg, Curt Tobin, and Richard Van Evera for their years of service and dedication on the Board of Directors. Along with Jack Wolf, their commitment, time, and action has been a catalyst for the creation, growth and success of the Foundation, which became incorporated December 5, 2005. Through combined efforts, resources, and causes, Boone County and its residents will benefit for generations to come. The Foundation was started with a donation of $500.00, and has grown to over $7 Million dollars in assets with over $1 Million dollars invested and given back to Boone County through grants and scholarships. It is with the sincerest and utmost gratitude that the Foundation wishes them well and thanks them for all that they have done! The Foundation would also like to welcome Matt Branom, Dr. Dale Drake, Scott Greenlee, Jeffrey Hartle, Natalie Hyser Barber, Jen Jacky, Amy Morris, and Therese Trenhaile. They will be bringing new perspectives, energy, resources, and expertise as new board members. The Foundation is looking forward to working together to continue the good work of those that came before us, and carrying out the Foundation’s mission to improve the quality of life in Boone County for today, tomorrow and the future.


The Boone County Conservation District and the Boone County Community Foundation hosted the Mildred and Melvin Banks Memorial Trail Dedication on Saturday, October 19 in Poplar Grove, IL. The dedication was followed by a wagon ride along the newly renovated section of the Long Prairie Trail now called the Mildred and Melvin Banks Memorial Trail. The new trail surface and four new bridges were made possible by a generous bequest of Mildred and Melvin Banks through the Boone County Community Foundation. The earnings from the fund with the Foundation are used to make the annual payment on the bond the Boone County Conservation District set up for improvements to the trail. Relatives of the Banks family were able to attend and be a part of the dedication. Special thanks to the Boone County Conservation District for all their hard work on creating and maintaining this wonderful resource for our community!

Amazon Smile

Did you know that you can support the Boone County Community Foundation while you shop on Amazon? It is as simple as following this link. Select the Boone County Community Foundation and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. Thank you for all that you do in supporting the Foundation and our community!

What is Forward Boone County?

Boone County officials, businesses and organizatons are working together to aide county businesses, employees and residents as we transition to the states five reopening phases. With support from the Boone County Health Department, Forward Boone County has developed a local resource website, where the public can view guidance and practices put forth by credible, vetted sources.


The Boone County Community Foundation (BCCF) is the proud recipient of a $100,000 grant from the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund (ICRF). The ICRF was established by the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations in collaboration with the Office of the Governor. ICRF Funds are disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to the ICRF, many of those hit hardest in our communities now have access to critical resources needed—from emergency food and basic supplies to interim housing and shelter. For more detailed information on the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund please visit


Donate to make a difference in Boone County

In these unprecedented times, we come together and depend on each other and our community. We look for ways to support and help one another. For those who have inquired and want to donate to the Boone County Disaster Fund you may do so here.


Latest News

Congratulations 2022 Community Grant Recipients!

Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce:  $2,000 -Hispanic outreach, inclusivity & events

Blackhawk Area Boy Scouts of America:  $1,250– Membership & Program Assistance

Boone County Arts Council:  $3,000– 5th grade arts festival

Boone County Auction Association: $2,500 -Wash Rack for Sheep Barn

Boone County Council on Aging:  $1,500 –Telephone Reassurance Program

Boone County Fair Association & 4H:  $10,000– Upgrade to 4-H and Grange Stands

Boone County Museum of History:  $7,500– Virtual Historic House Museum

Children’s Home & Aid Society: $5,500 -Doula Program for high-risk young woman

Farmwork and Landscaper Advocacy Project: $2,000 -Outreach, Education, Financial Assistance

Flaming Monkey 4H Robotics Team:  $2,600– Robotics Competition and Outreach

Girl Scouts of America:  $1,250- Direct costs of programming, membership for Boone County

Growth Dimensions Economic Development: $2,000 – FastTrac Curriculum into Spanish, Outreach, Resources

Habitat for Humanity of Boone County:  $5,000- Home Construction Costs

Lutheran Social Service of Illinois: $5,350– basic need items for children & families in therapeutic and foster care

Northern Illinois Food Bank:  $5,000-Take 50 for four Boone County Member Agencies

Parks & Conservation Foundation: $4,000 – Oasis (sensory) room for Special Recreation Association

Poplar Grove Lions: $4,800 – Bleachers and concrete pad for Poplar Grove Lions Park  

Regional Access & Mobilization Project:  $2,000- TNT curriculum & transition service

Rock Valley College: $5,000 – Welding simulator for technical education to middle school

Rosecrance: $1,500 -Therapeutic Recreation group for Belvidere Clinic

Sister Cities Association of Belvidere: $1500 – Summer exchange program

Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau:  $4,500- Agriculture education programs in Boone County

Zion Lutheran Church:  $1,000-Food Distribution

It is with our deepest reverence; we acknowledge the passing of one of our founding members and beloved pillar of our community. To know Jack, one would have to know his love, care, commitment, and generosity to Boone County. Our love and condolences go out to Peggy and the entire Wolf family. His legacy lives on in the thousands of lives he has enriched, community programs he has supported, and the love he gave.

New Scholarship Opportunity for College Students 

JoAnne & Warren Emry Scholarship is a new scholarship that will be offered to individuals who have graduated from Belvidere or Belvidere North and are currently considered a junior in college or who have completed a minimum of 60 hours at an accredited college or university and are pursuing a degree in finance, education, law, pharmacy, nursing, environmental studies, or related fields. The Boone County Community Foundation is honored to be chosen by the Emry family to manage this scholarship, and help carry out their intent to help others from Boone County continue their education. Please visit our scholarship page for more details.
Despite having to cancel our annual community grant breakfast, the Boone County Community Foundation awarded 14 Boone County organizations over $38,400 in community grants. The 2020 grants are part of the Community Grant Program which consists of grants from the Melvin & Mildred Banks Funds, the Wilbur & William Cummings Fund, and individual donor advised funds.

Congratulations to the 2020 Community Grants Recipients!

  • B1 Food Pantry
  • Belvidere Family YMCA
  • Belvidere Lions Club
  • Boone County Arts Council
  • Boone County Council on Aging
  • Boone County Fair Association
  • Boone County Museum of History
  • Boy Scouts of America, Blackhawk Area
  • Family Counseling Services of NIL
  • Friends of Stone School Parks & Conservation
  • Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois
  • Habitat for Humanity of Boone County
  • Regional Access & Mobilization Project
  • Winnebago-Boone Farm Bureau

Boone County COVID 19 Response Grant

The Boone County Community Foundation (BCCF) is pleased to announce that a total of $100,000.00 was awarded to 17 organizations in two rounds of the Boone County COVID-19 Response Grant (BCCRG).

The intended purpose of the BCCRG is to respond to and support the needs of the people of Boone County during the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing grants to local organizations that are in and/or serving Boone County. 

The organizations who received funding after two rounds of grantmaking include:

B1 Food Pantry
Boone County Council on Aging (Keen Age Center)
Boone County Health Department
Belvidere Family YMCA
Belvidere Police Department
BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center
Catholic Charities
Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, Inc.
Empower Boone
Family Counseling Services of Northern Illinois
Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP)
First Presbyterian Compassion Closet
First Step Daycare
The Baby Bank
Regional Access & Mobilization Project (RAMP)
Zion Lutheran Church


Grant Cycle Now Closed

The Boone County COVID-19 Response Grant is currently closed until additional funding becomes available and/or through private donations. If/when additional funding becomes available and after consideration of community needs, the Foundation will assess reopening the application process.


COVID- 19 Grant Recipients Final Report

BCCRG Final Report
Attention COVID-19 response grant recipients please complete the final report no later than August 14, 2020.  Please email completed report to Melissa Erickson at


BCCF can also accept checks mailed to:
Boone County Community Foundation
600 South State Street, Suite 302
Belvidere, IL 61008

The Boone County Disaster Fund is managed by the BCCF. The Fund was established to accept monetary tax-deductible donations that are used to support mid- to long-term recovery of declared disasters here in Boone County. Donations made to this particular fund will be used for the COVID-19 Response Grant and future declared disasters.

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Bob & Betty Edwards Memorial Scholarship

Bob Edwards, the founder of Edwards Apple Orchard, Inc., has established a scholarship fund in memory of his wife, Betty Edwards.   Each year, for 10 years, a $1000 tuition scholarship will be given to a North Boone High School Graduate who attends Rock Valley College.  As a former RVC trustee, Bob greatly appreciates the many wonderful contributions that Rock Valley has made to our community.  You may apply for this scholarship through the North Boone High School Guidance Department.


Dave Graham Memorial Education Scholarship

Dave Graham was a history teacher, librarian and golf coach in District 100.  As a lifelong learner and proponent of the value of education Dave’s legacy is to help future educators fulfill their dreams.  Two recipients will be chosen from Boone County.  Eligible graduating seniors from North Boone, Belvidere North, and Belvidere High Schools may apply.  For details and timelines please speak with your school’s counselor.

Hugh K. and Alice Iles Funderburg Scholarship Fund

The generosity of Hugh K. and Alice Iles Funderburg will live on as the descendants of R. Robert and Sally D. Funderburg have set up this scholarship in their memory. By endowing this scholarship program, the donors intend to continue to help the Boone County Community and its residents succeed and to promote entrepreneurship at the Belvidere and Belvidere North High Schools. Two eligible applicants will be awarded the amount of $10,000 each. Students must meet certain requirements, obtain all information needed, and complete the application process through their high school’s guidance office. 

Margery Hinrichs Scholarship Fund

Margery was a long time librarian at Belvidere High School and wished to recognize students who are both active in sports and good academic students at Belvidere High School with this scholarship fund created at the time of her death. This scholarship is given to senior athletes at Belvidere High School who demonstrate athletic skills, academic skills, good character, and are pursuing a post high school education at an accredited college or university upon graduation.  Coaches at Belvidere High School make the selection for this scholarship.  There are up to four possible scholarships available ranging from a minimum of $1,000 up to $2,500. 

NBFPD #3 Firemen’s Association Jake Schoepski Memorial Scholarship

Jake Schoepski was a dedicated firefighter for the North Boone Fire Protection District #3 for 48 years and also served as a trustee for 25 years.  In his memory, the NBFPD#3 Firemen’s Association is awarding a two $500.00 scholarships.   One to a graduating senior at North Boone High School and one scholarship to a graduating senior at Belvidere North High School.  The scholarship is for students pursuing a career in firefighting, EMS, police, medical, or other first responder-type profession.   

Wilbur and William Cummings Memorial Educational Scholarship

Wilbur and William Cummings were twin brothers and lifelong residents of Caledonia, IL.  They were active members in the Caledonia Congregational Church, the North Boone Fire Department, the Belvidere Moose Lodge, and both worked at the Belford Theater for 27 years.  After Wilbur lost his arm in a farming accident in 1953, he was treated by a doctor in nearby Caledonia.  Both brothers attributed having a physician close by to saving Wilbur’s life.  The incident had an incredible impact on Wilbur and William.  They valued and saw the importance of education and wanted to provide scholarship opportunities for young men and women interested in furthering their education.  As a reflection of their lifelong interest in and support of Community District 100, Wilbur and William Cummings established a scholarship to assist Belvidere and Belvidere North graduates who intend to enter the field of public education

Grant Programs

Melvin & Mildred Banks Grant Program

The Banks farmed and ran numerous businesses in Boone County.  Melvin was a farmer, business owner, and active community member.  He was a founding member of the Boone County Conservation District.  Mildred was an award winning and published photographer, who loved traveling and giving presentations of those travels and photos to church groups, club meetings, camera clubs, retirement homes, and schools.  They have graciously endowed an unrestricted fund for Boone County non-profit organizations, and established the Boone County Conservation District Fund.

Wilbur and William Cummings Grant Program

Wilbur and William Cummings were lifelong residents of Boone County.  Pursuant to their interests, a grant program was established that enhances the Boone County community.  The majority of the proceeds are available for the Boone County Fair Association and the Boone County Historical Society.  The balance is reserved for at-large community purposes.


Making Donations

Thank you for your interest in donating to the Boone County Community Foundation. With your donations we are able to help Boone County become a better place to live and work.

Online Donations
You may make an online donation using our PayPal Account by using the Donate Now button. If you have a Special Interest Area, Know the Name of the Fund, or in your gift is in Memory or Honor of Someone, please indicate that in the “How shall Boone County Community Foundation direct your donation?” area of the PayPal page or in the memo area of your check. 

Boone County Disaster Fund

Boone County has been a known area to be hit by tornadoes and other disasters. Everyone can remember or has heard about the tornado devastation from the 1967 disaster.  It changed the lives of everyone forever.  This fund managed by the Boone County Community Foundation and accepts monetary tax-deductible donations that will be used to support the mid- to long-term recovery of declared disasters in Boone County. > More

Boone County Council on Aging Endowment

The Boone County Council on Aging is a group of dedicated professionals working to provide programs, services and supports aimed at improving the lives of mature individuals, their families and caregivers in Boone and surrounding counties. > More

Boone County Historical Society

The Boone County Historical Museum was established in 1968 in the heart of historic downtown Belvidere. BCHM is open Tuesday through Saturday every week for visitors, guided school group tours,  special event rentals, and community events. > More

Regional Access & Mobilization Project, Inc. (RAMP)

RAMP empowers individuals with disabilities (all disabilities, all ages) through services and advocacy to live an independent life.  This is accomplished by partnering with them to make changes in their own lives, seek peer support and remove barriers. RAMP also advocates for  the implementation of current laws, promotion of needed legislation and improvement of existing systems for people with disabilities while working to diminish negative attitudes that threaten to impede equal access. > More

Boone County Conservation District Fund

The Boone County Conservation District is a locally governed agency whose mission is to “Preserve and manage natural areas and open spaces for ecological, educational, and recreational benefits of present and future generations.” The Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) currently owns and manages 3,500 acres of conservation lands. > More

Boone County Community Foundation

600 South State Street
Belvidere, IL 61008
(p) 815-544-7231
(f) 815-544-7221

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