Grants Give Local Youth Programs a Boost

Fifteen area not-for-profits were awarded more than $21,000 in grants today from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri. Friends and family of Samantha Otte gathered at the Quincy Art Center to present grants that will benefit hundreds area of youth for artistic, leadership, and humanitarian efforts.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund has awarded more than $308,000 since it was established in late 2000. The Fund honors Samantha Otte, who died in March 2000 at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.

“Support from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund helps provide art experiences to schools that do not have visual art education on a regular basis. With the grant awarded today, students will receive art lessons in the classroom and a tour and hands-on experience at the Quincy Art Center,” said Jennifer Teter, Quincy Art Center Executive Director.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was supported until 2014 by proceeds from the Sammy Fund Weekend. In 2015, the Quincy Breakfast Kiwanis Club announced it would continue a Sammy & Kids Golf Outing and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Fund for continued growth.

“We are incredibly grateful for all the goodness area children will enjoy in Samantha’s memory. The grants awarded today will help teach life-enhancing skills, provide incredible opportunities, and bring many smiles to area youth. We are deeply grateful to the generous people who have made this possible,” said June Otte, Samantha’s mother.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Grant Recipient Grant Purpose
Big Brothers Big Sisters West Central Illinois To help screen volunteers, match children with mentors, provide monthly activities and provide case management.
Quincy Teen Reach Support for 50 children to participate in the Teen Reach program’s Frederick Ball location.
Cheerful Home Painting supplies for children attending Cheerful Home.
Cornerstone Foundations for Families To support Comprehensive Youth Services, a counseling and casework program for children experiencing social, emotional and behavioral issues.
Girl Scouts of Central Illinois To ensure participation of low-income girls in the program “Be a Friend First” and to provide summer camp activities.
Jackson Lincoln Swimming Complex Support for children who otherwise would not be able to access the pool.
John Wood Community College Foundation Tuition support for income-eligible children to allow attendance at JDUB Academy.
Kids in Motion Support for at-risk youth to participate in Kids in Motion and Teens in Motion in Hannibal, MO.
Midsummer Arts Faire Artistic outreach program at Washington and/or Berrian Schools.
Quincy Art Center smART Kids Art Mentor Program for students K-3 at Washington, Dewey, Berrian and Adams Schools.
Quincy Public Schools Swimming opportunities for special needs children in all five Quincy elementary schools.
Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association Tuition waivers for low-income children to participate in Quincy Area Youth Chorus and Quincy Area Youth Orchestra.
Transitions Bounce House to be used at Transitions School for children with severe disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorders.
Bluff City Theater To support the Youth Education in Theater after-school program in Hannibal, MO.
YWCA Supportive services and program support for homeless children with disabilities, including childcare, mental health counseling, tutoring, educational supplies, prescription/medical/dental co-pays and diapers.


Founded in 1997, the Community Foundation provides a simple, yet effective, approach to charitable giving, helping individuals, families and organizations reach their philanthropic goals.

It has IRS 501(c)(3) status and contributions made to the Community Foundation generally qualify for the maximum allowable deductions for income and estate tax purposes.

While the Community Foundation focuses on funds created on a permanent basis, it does accept funds that serve a more limited purpose.

More than $4 million has been distributed since the Community Foundation began making grants in 1999. These grants have helped more than 200 organizations serving communities in 12 counties: Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike, Illinois; Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Knox, Shelby and Monroe, Missouri.

For more information, call 217-222-1237, email or go to or

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