Grants Give Local Youth Programs a Boost

Eighteen area nonprofit organizations were awarded more than $30,000 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 Community Theatre 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 $360,000 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.

“For 19 years we have been amazed by the generous and caring nature of people in our community and their willingness to help children in Samantha’s memory. It is a wonderful comfort to see so many good things happening for area children, and we are grateful to everyone who makes this blessing possible,” said Chuck Otte, Samantha’s father.

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.

“As part of our ongoing effort to reach out to the community and stimulate creativity in the minds of young people, Quincy Community Theatre offers in-school workshops. Topics of workshops range from theatrical subjects to life skills.  Sadly, not all schools in our area are able to benefit from our Outreach program due to financial restrictions. The grant from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund will enable QCT to bring workshops to 20 classrooms regardless of their financial status,” said Reagan Costigan, Executive Director of Quincy Community Theatre.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Grant Recipient Grant Purpose
Adams County Farm Bureau Foundation Support of the “Ag in the Classroom” initiative and assistance in increasing awareness amongst area children of the many ways agriculture affects their lives.
Bluff City Theater Support of the Youth Education in Theater initiative.
Canton Area Arts Council Financial assistance for low-income children to take summer art classes.
Douglass Community Services, Inc. for Kids in Motion Support for the Kids in Motion and Teens in Motion programs in Hannibal, MO.
Girl Scouts of Central Illinois For 90 girls to participate in the Girl Scout outreach program at their schools and to provide camperships to girls in the Quincy area in need of financial assistance.
Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex Pool scholarships for low-income swimmers at the Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex.
John Wood Community College Foundation Tuition assistance for 20 low-income children to attend JDUB Academy.
Junior Achievement Education of K-12 students in financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness.
Midsummer Arts Faire Support of a special art class event offered in conjunction with the 2019 QFest.
Muddy River Opera Company Support for performances of “Jack and the Beanstalk” in area schools.
Muscular Dystrophy Association Financial support for two low-income area children to attend a one-week MDA summer camp in Hudson, IL.
Quincy Art Center Support of the smART Kids Program in all Quincy public and private elementary schools.
Quincy Community Theatre Support for the QCT outreach program, offering interactive performing arts workshops to area classrooms and community groups.
Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association Tuition scholarships to allow low-income youth to participate in the Youth Choir and Youth Orchestra and to purchase printed music.
Regional Office of Education #1 Books, onesies, and bibs for the “Ready. Set. Grow!” initiative, helping parents understand the vital role they play in their children’s language and literacy development.
Transitions of Western Illinois Foundation To help purchase a mobile all-in-one white board for students at Transitions School.
Western Illinois Dream Factory To fulfill the wishes of one critically or chronically ill child in the Quincy area.
YMCA of West Central Illinois Installation of a children’s inclusive sensory path in the Kids Fit Zone.

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