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The Sammy Fund

Newspaper Articles

January 6, 2014

Groups share in $22,000 distribution

Jan. 6, 2014 – Quincy Herald-Whig by Staff Writer Matt Hopf

            Chuck Otte said he and his wife, June, are overwhelmed by the dedication from the community in their goal to support organizations in the region that help children through a fund set up in their daughter’s name.

This year, the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund will distribute more than $22,000 to 18 area nonprofits, the most the fund has provided in a single year.  A ceremony was scheduled for Monday morning, but it was canceled because of extremely cold weather.

            “I don’t believe there are many communities where a group of people can get together after the loss of a child, like we’ve done, and raise this much money and have people still support us after so many years,” Chuck Otte said.

            Samantha Otte died in March 2000 at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by Cystic Fibrosis.  Since the Sammy Fund was established later that year, $237,000 has been awarded to various organizations.

            The purpose of the Sammy Fund is to support organizations that maintain and enhance community betterment, along with artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people.

            The Quincy Art Center, one of the 18 organizations, will use its grant for volunteer training and materials for the smArt Kids art mentoring program at Washington and Berrian Schools.

            The center trains voluntary mentors, who go into the schools for hands-on projects twice a year.  The students also take a field trip to the art center, where the staff displays exhibits selected specifically for the children.

            “After that, they go down to our studio, where they’ll use professional tools and techniques, and they’ll make projects that go with artwork they saw upstairs,” center curator and Executive Director Julie Nelson said.  “We see a lot of happiness and joy on the faces of these kids as they’re learning things, and they feel very confident, which is really wonderful.”

            The fund is supported by money raised during the annual Sammy Fund weekend in October, where hundreds of people support the fund by participating in a run/walk, golf tournament and other activities.  Major sponsors of the 2013 Sammy Fund weekend were County Market, Refreshment Services Pepsi, The Quincy Herald-Whig and WGEM.  Most of the proceeds from the annual event, memorial gifts and other donations are added to the Sammy Fund, which is administered by the Community Foundation Servicing West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

            Chuck Otte said the goal is to eventually build the fund so it can sustain itself and provide grants through annual earnings.

            “We’ve really done great over the years,” he said.  “We have a great group of volunteers.”

            The Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that serves 13 counties in West-Central Illinois, Northeast Missouri and Southeast Iowa that builds permanent charitable funds to address needs and opportunities in the communities.

            More than $2 million has been distributed to more than 200 organizations since the Community Foundation was founded in 1999.

Sammy Fund Award Recipients:

Organizations awarded grants from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund and what they will be doing with the money:

1.      Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western Illinois -  $1,500

-          To fund monthly activities for at-risk children, recruitment of volunteers and children, do background checks on volunteers, and support case management

2.      Cornerstone Foundations for Families - $2,000

-          To support Comprehensive Youth Services, a counseling and casework program for children experiencing social, emotional and behavioral problems

3.       Douglass Community Service / Kids in Motion Program - $1,000

-          Support for at-risk youth to participate in the Kids in Motion summer service learning program

4.      Girl Scouts of Central Illinois - $2,500

-          To provide membership assistance, uniform components and Girl Scout curriculum to underserved girls

5.      GPS Ministries, Inc. - $300

-          To help fund the children’s snack pack program and food pantry program

6.      Jackson Lincoln Swimming Complex - $2,500

-          Scholarship program for children who cannot afford pool fees

7.      John Wood Community College Foundation (Children’s College Scholarship Program) - $1,000

-          Tuition support for children in need to allow attendance at the summer education enrichment program at JWCC’s Children’s College

8.      Junior Achievement - $500

-          To help support Junior Achievement Program being taught in Quincy schools 

9.      Midsummer Arts Faire - $500

-          To provide youth art classes held in conjunction with the 2014 Midsummer Arts Faire

10.   Payson Elementary School - $500

-          To purchase art supplies for a volunteer-based art education program for kindergarten through sixth grade students

11.   Quincy Art Center - $3,000

-          To fund the smART Kids Art Mentor Program for children at Washington and Berrian Schools

12.  Teen REACH / Quincy Christian Schools - $1,000

-          To support a three-day visit to Horn Field Campus in Macomb, IL for 40 youth and 4 staff members

13.   Quincy Family YMCA - $1,000

-          To support the 4th grade free membership program

14.  Quincy Public Library - $500

-          To support early literacy through Story Times at the Quincy Public Library by purchasing hand held manipulative objects to enhance children’s story time experiences

15.  Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association - $1,200

-          Tuition waivers for low-income children to allow participation in the Quincy Area Youth Chorus or Quincy Area Youth Orchestra.  Remaining funds, if any, will aid in purchasing new music.

16.  Transitions of Western Illinois - $1,000

-          To purchase therapeutic games to be used in counseling and therapy services for children

17.  Water Works Program at Quincy University - $1,250

-          To purchase equipment for special needs children, including a water walking platform, changing table, puddle jumpers and permanent water diapers

18.  Good News of Christmas - $1,100

-          To adopt a family’s Christmas wish list

December 18, 2013

 

 

DaVita Teammates Give Back to the Community

Adams County Dialysis Donates $1,000 to Quincy’s The Sammy Fund as Part of the “DaVita Way of Giving”

On Dec. 18, DaVita Adams County Dialysis presented The Sammy Fund with a $1,000 check as part of the “DaVita Way of Giving,” the company’s locally focused charitable giving initiative that helps nonprofit organizations throughout the United States grow and thrive.

The Sammy Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides rewarding activities for children with limited opportunities. The Sammy Fund helps send children to various camps, provides funding for children’s art programs, supports a variety of at-risk youth programs and other mentoring opportunities. DaVita teammates from Adams County Dialysis chose to donate to The Sammy Fund because the organization helps children to participate in meaningful activities that promote healthy, active living while expanding their knowledge of diversity throughout the community.

“They honor Sammy through their work with children, giving children opportunities to participate in activities that promote lifelong learning and develop interests that will enrich their lives,” said Susan Pierce, a DaVita patient care technician.

June and Chuck Otte of The Sammy Fund said the DaVita contribution will go a long way to support its mission.

“We are honored to receive this support for The Sammy Fund  so we can continue our mission of helping children participate in activities that better their lives and well-being,” said Otte.

DaVita, a leading provider of kidney care services, is committed to improving the quality of life for those diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and is dedicated to spreading ripples of citizen leadership through its Trilogy of Care – caring for its patients, caring for each other and caring for the world.

To learn more about DaVita’s community engagement efforts, please visit DaVita.com/CommunityCare.

DaVita and DaVita HealthCare Partners are trademarks or registered trademarks of DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

About DaVita HealthCare Partners

DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a Fortune 500® company, is the parent company of DaVita and HealthCare Partners. DaVita is a leading provider of kidney care in the United States, delivering dialysis services to patients with chronic kidney failure and end stage renal disease. As of Sept. 30, 2013, DaVita operated or provided administrative services at 2,042 outpatient dialysis centers located in the United States serving approximately 166,000 patients. The company also operated 66 outpatient dialysis centers located in 10 countries outside the United States. HealthCare Partners manages and operates medical groups and affiliated physician networks in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Florida in its pursuit to deliver excellent-quality health care in a dignified and compassionate manner. As of Sept. 30, 2013, HealthCare Partners provided integrated care management for approximately 760,000 managed care patients. For more information, please visit DaVitaHealthCarePartners.com.

January 6, 2011

Twelve organizations receive grants from fund established in memory of Samantha Otte

By EDWARD HUSAR

Relatives and friends of the late Samantha Otte gathered this morning at the Transitions Vocational Training Center, 631 N. 48th, to celebrate her 21st birthday by distributing $19,300 in grants to a dozen organizations that benefit children in the Quincy area. Samantha, the daughter of Chuck and June Otte, died in March 2000 following a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis. She was 10 years old.

 In the wake of her passing, Samantha's family and friends decided to create something positive in her honor by forming the Sammy Fund -- a group of about 100 volunteers who work to raise money to benefit other children. The chief source of revenue is the Sammy Fund event, held each October since 2000. The Sammy event raised $40,300 last year from activities that included a run/walk, a golf tournament, an auction and a poker tournament. While some money was retained by the Sammy Fund to help provide financial backing for certain youth-oriented causes, most of the money was turned over to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund, which was established in September 2000 through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area. The remainder of the money raised last fall will remain in the fund to help the account grow so it can benefit future grant recipients. The fund currently has a balance of about $270,000.

 "We continue to be thrilled and blessed with the support that the community has given the Sammy Fund and the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund," Chuck Otte said in an interview. "It's really a healing thing for all of us who loved Samantha to know that this work is continuing on after 11 years and continuing to help kids in the community. It's a real blessing."

The foundation has distributed 121 grants totaling more than $175,000 to help provide access to worthwhile activities for children with limited opportunities. The primary purpose of the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund is to support organizations that "maintain and enhance community betterment and artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people," according to a press release from the Community Foundation.According to Otte, another series of Sammy Fund events will be held Oct. 8-9. Details will be announced later this year.

First Bankers Trust Co. has served as a major sponsor of the Sammy Fund event from the beginning. Refreshment Services Pepsi, The Quincy Herald-Whig, WGEM and County Market are also major sponsors.

The Community Foundation of the Quincy Area is a not-for-profit resource that serves as an endowment builder, donor advisor, community connector and grant maker for individuals and groups in 13 counties on both sides of the Mississippi River.
-- ehusar@whig.com/221-3378

GRANTS
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Illinois, to support one-on-one mentoring relationships in Adams County.

• Cornerstone: Foundations for Families, to support vital youth services and programs for at-risk children.

• Douglass Community Services’ Kids in Motion summer youth program, to provide scholarship support for two students to participate.

• Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, to provide membership assistance, outreach programming, “campership” support and the Take Charge program for at-risk girls.

• Good News of Christmas campaign, to adopt a family of four’s wish list.

• Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex, to help fund a scholarship program for children who can’t afford pool fees.

• John Wood Community College Foundation, to fund tuition waivers for income-eligible children to attend Children’s College next summer.

• Quincy Art Center, to help fund the Art Mentoring Program, which provides art instruction for students at three Adams County schools.

• Quincy Humane Society, to support the agency’s educational summer camp program for underprivileged children.

• Quincy Family YMCA, to support the cost of swim lessons for Head Start students from the Early Childhood Education Center.

• Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association, to provide need-based tuition waivers for young singers to participate in the Quincy Area Youth Chorus.

• Transitions of Western Illinois Foundation, to by electronic hardware and software for children with severe developmental disabilities.

January 6, 2010

Community Foundation of the Quincy Area

Sammy Fund grants top $150K

Thirteen groups share in nearly $19,000 awarded on what would have been Samantha Otte’s 20th birthday

Jill Arnold Blickhan remembers how excited Samantha Otte was when a fundraiser was held for her to offset rising medical costs.

“After it was over, she said, ‘Can we have a party like this next year?’” said Blickhan, executive director of the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.

“Actually, she wanted to do it the next weekend,” said June Otte, Samantha’s mother.

Samantha Otte, who died at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis, would have celebrated her 20th birthday today.  A small party was held this morning at the Quincy Art Center to honor her memory and to award $18,700 in grants to 13 youth-based organizations through the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

More than 100 grants totaling $150,235 have been distributed from the fund since it was established in 2000.  The fund is supported by proceeds from the annual Sammy Event, in which a run/walk, golf tournament, auction and dinner are held during a two-day weekend in October.  The Community Foundation administers the grants.

Though grant distributions this year were down slightly from 2008, this year’s Sammy Event raised more than $40,000, making it one of the most successful in the 10-year history.  Ralph and Lisa Oakley were chairmen of the 2009 event.

“With the economy, we thought we might raise less money this year,” said Chuck Otte, Samantha’s father.  “We did really well.”

Two new grants were given this year.  One was to the University of Illinois Extension, which is working with a group of teens living in the northwest section of Quincy to help create a community development project.

Jennifer Sousa, community and economic development coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension, said the group (which is calling itself the “Youth Movement”) has surveyed other teens and is compiling the results to find out what kind of project it would like to undertake.

“When it comes to community and economic development, sometimes we forget to ask the kids what they want,” Sousa said.  “Things like this can help keep young people in our community.”

Another new grant was given to the Fall Creek Friends 4-H Club, which plans to create a general store inside the historic Lewis Round Barn Museum near Mendon. 

“Our goal is to create a room that if it was 1930 and you walked into a general store, what would you see?” said Alison Tieman, a representative with the club.

Tieman said a group of 14 kids are taking home one or two items from that period, cleaning them and researching them before they are displayed in the general store, which is expected to be ready for viewing by spring.

Other grants were awarded to:

·                    Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Adams County, to support one-on-one mentoring relationships for 103 children

·                    Camp Callahan, to support camperships for disabled youths.

·                    Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, to provide a leadership development program so disadvantaged girls at Baldwin School can participate in the “Staying Safe” program.

·                    Good News of Christmas, to adopt a wish list of a family with four children.

·                    Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex, to help fund season pass scholarships for 450 children.

·                    John Wood Community College Foundation, to fund tuition waivers for its Children’s College summer program.

·                    Muddy River Opera Company, to pay for nearly 300 students at Washington School to see the opera in March.

·                    Quanada, to fund a play about emphasizing personal safety and preventing dating violence in conjunction with the Quincy Community Theatre.

·                    Quincy Family YMCA, to pay for swim lessons for Head Start students from the Early Childhood Education Center

·                    Quincy Art Center, to provide funding for an art mentoring program at Washington School.

·                    Sheridan Swim Team, Inc., to provide swimming lessons for children from the Redmon and Lee Center.

 

September 8. 2009

by Steve Eighinger

Quincy Herald-Whig

“Between Friends” effort trying to build on past success to raise funds to benefit children

Suzette Krummel is hoping to make a good thing even better.

            Krummel and Vanessa Pulliam help coordinate “Between Friends,” an effort from a group of volunteer women who dedicate their craft making and artistic abilities to enrich the Sammy Fund and what it represents.

            For the first time, “Between Friends” is incorporating young people who would like to help create items in support of the nonprofit Sammy Fund, which raises money to benefit children in the community.

            “Between Friends” will be hosting its third annual sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. September 26th at 2815 Maine.   Each of the first two sales raised $1000.

            “We’re hoping for more this year, “ Krummel said.  “We’re hoping this sale will continue to build into a citywide event.”

            Pulliam said it was only natural to get kids involved in the process.

            “It’s something we wanted to do because of what the Sammy Fund stands for,” Pullium said.

            The Sammy Fund was established in memory of Samantha Otte, daughter of Chuck and June Otte, who died after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.

            After Samantha’s death, here family and friends decided to create the Sammy Fund to honor her memory and benefit other children.

            The chief source of revenue is the Sammy Fund event, held each October since 2000.

            Since its inception, the Sammy Fund group has raised more than $360,000 through the annual events and private donations.

            For more information about the “Between Friends” sale, items that will be available or making a donation, call Krummel at (217) 224-9368.

            “This is a win-win,” she said.  “You get something proudly made by someone in the Quincy area, and then your money is donated to the Sammy Fund, which in turns donates to many children’s charities and organizations in the community.”

August 7, 2009

By Edward Husar

Plans were announced this morning for the 10th annual Sammy Fund event that raises money for youth-oriented charitable causes.

The event is held each year in memory of a 10-year-old Quincy girl who died in March 2000.

This year’s Oct. 10–11 fundraiser features a running/walking event, a golf tournament, a dinner and a silent auction, with proceeds benefiting children in the community.

This is all being done in memory of Samantha Otte, daughter of Chuck and June Otte, who died after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.

After Samantha’s passing, her family and friends decided to create something positive in her honor by forming the Sammy Fund group, which works to raise money to benefit other children.   The chief source of revenue is the Sammy Fund event, held each October since 2000.

Plans for the 2009 event were outlined at a news conference this morning at Cornerstone Foundation for Families, 915 Vermont, where Ralph and Lisa Oakley were introduced as honorary chairmen of this year’s Sammy Fund event.

“I think this organization is quintessential Quincy and the Tri-State area,” Ralph Oakley said. 

“It’s friends and family who have gotten together to do good things for the community and for thousands of kids.   It’s a wonderful event, and thousands of dollars have been raised, and thousands of kids have been helped.”

Since its inception, the Sammy Fund group has raised more than $360,000 through the annual events and private donations.

Most of that money was turned over to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund, which was established in September 2000 through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.   Over the years, the foundation has distributed 100 grants totaling $137,535 to help provide access to worthwhile activities for children with limited opportunities.   The most recent grants – a dozen totaling $21,500 – were awarded Jan. 6th, Samantha’s birthday.

The fund now has a balance of more than $200,000 and will continue to grow so more grants can be awarded.

In addition, the Sammy Fund group – a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization – has distributed more than $10,000 in direct grants to support youth-oriented activities and needs in the community.

Chuck Otte said the annual fundraising event, which raised $47,726 last year, has been a success because of the community’s strong support and the efforts of more than 100 loyal volunteers.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with the support from the community,” he said.  “We want to help kids in the community in Sammy’s name, and we’ve been able to do that.   And we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

June Otte said she is grateful for the continuing support.

“It started out just as a way to bring comfort to people who loved Samantha, and it has grown beyond our wildest expectations,” she said.

“The generosity of the Quincy community has been incredible.   They really care about their children.   and they don’t just talk about it.   They put their money where their mouth is and really help a lot of kids.”

First Bankers Trust Co. has served as a major sponsor of the Sammy Fund event from the beginning.   Refreshment Services Pepsi, the Quincy Herald-Whig, WGEM and County Market are also major sponsors.

Activities planned as part of the 2009 Sammy Fund event:

*Saturday, Oct. 10:  A run/walk beginning at 9 a.m. at Madison Park and going through Quincy’s East End Historic District.

*Sunday, Oct. 11: golf tournament at Westview Golf Course starting at 10:30 a.m.

*Sunday, October 11:  Dinner and silent auction at the Knights of Columbus Hall.    Doors open at 3:30 p.m., meals served from 4 to 6; silent auction from 4 to 6:15; prizes awarded at 6:30.

More information is available by calling 242-1527 or visiting the Sammy Fund group’s website:  www.thesammyfund.com

Direct contributions to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund can be arranged by calling the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area at 222-1237.

July 2009

January 6, 2009

Grants totaling $21,500 issued to youth-oriented groups
During nine years, fund has handed out more than $137,000 to meet 100 requests

 Today’s Sammy Fund Grant Recipients:

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Adams County for one-on-one mentoring relationships

  • Cornerstone:  Foundations for Families for youth service programs
  • Girl Scouts of Two Rivers Council for membership assistance, outreach programming and “campership” support

  • Quincy Herald-Whig Good News of Christmas to fulfill wish list for a family of four

  • Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex to fund scholarship program for children who can’t afford pool fees and to sponsor Family Fun Nights

  • John Wood Community College Foundation for summer Children’s College tuition waivers for income eligible children

  • Panther-Pride Foundation for Adams County Academic Success Initiative to help implement the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” program in all Adams County schools
  • Quincy Community Theatre for outreach programming in Adams County schools
  • Quincy Family YMCA for swim lessons for Head Start students from the Early Childhood Education Center
  • Quincy Symphony Orchestra for need-based tuition waivers for young singers to participate in the Quincy Area Youth Chorus

  • Sheridan Swim Team for fees for income eligible children to take swim lessons

  • YWCA of Quincy for three sessions of Catch Me if You Can Running and Leadership Academy for girls in TeenReach and Supportive Housing program, and to support the Quincy High School PSAE/ACT Test Prep Project by buying calculators, food and incentives for study skills preparation program

Family and friends honored Samantha Otte’s memory this morning by presenting $21,500 to 12 youth-oriented organizations.

It marked the ninth year for the grants.   Samantha died at age 10 in March 2000 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.

Jill Arnold Blickhan, executive director of the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area, said the 12 grants from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund will touch the lives of hundreds of area children.

Nearly 100 grants totaling $137,535 have been distributed from the fund since it was established in 2000.  The primary purpose of the fund is to support organizations that maintain and enhance community betterment and artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people.

The Sammy Fund is supported by the annual Sammy Event in October, organized by a group of family and friends.  Samantha’s parents, Chuck and June Otte, emphasize that the Sammy Fund group deserves credit for the Sammy Event’s success.  This core of dedicated people spearheads the efforts of more than 100 volunteers.

The event includes a run/walk, golf tournament, auction and dinner.   A portion of the proceeds from the annual event, memorial gifts and other donations are added to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund, enabling it to grow and make annual grant distributions.  The Sammy Fund also retains a portion for other youth-oriented needs.

First Bankers Trust Co. has served as major sponsor of the event from its start.  Refreshment Services Pepsi, the Quincy Herald-Whig, WGEM and County Market are also major sponsors.

Harold and Ann Knapheide served as the Sammy Event’s 2008 honorary chairmen.

November 20, 2008

Annual Sammy Fund event raised $47,726

The ninth annual Sammy Fund event in October raised $47,726 to benefit youth organizations and community betterment.

Organizers gathered Wednesday night to thank volunteers and show appreciation to honorary chairmen Harold and Ann Knapheide.  The Sammy Fund honors Samantha Otte, who died at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.

The run and walk at Madison Park, four-person scramble golf tournament at Westview Golf Course and silent auction at the Knights of Columbus Hall raised funds.  More than 100 volunteers help each year with the weekend events.

Harold Knapheide, president of Knapheide Manufacturing, called the event “unique” and said he and his wife were proud to be chairmen

“It’s one of the best-run events I’ve been involved with,” he said.  “Sammy is very much a part of Quincy.  She is an institution here and her eternity is a part of us.” 

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund handed out 19 grants totaling nearly $20,000 to local organizations in January through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.

Since 2000, 86 grants totaling $116,035 have been distributed from the fund.  The funds support organizations that maintain and enhance community betterment, artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people.

Major sponsors were First Bankers Trust Co., Refreshment Services Pepsi, The Quincy Herald-Whig, WGEM and County Market. 

August 3, 2008

“On the Street” Column, Quincy Herald-Whig

Making a Difference:  Ben Bumbry, manager of the Jackson-Lincoln Pool in Quincy, spoke at a press conference Thursday for the annual Sammy Fund event on Oct. 18-19.   The pool is one of several organizations to receive grants from the Sammy Fund, which was started in 2000 by Chuck and June Otte in memory of their daughter, Samantha.  “We’re averaging 140 kids and their parents on Family Nights on Thursdays, and we’ve got kids who come here at 1 o’clock and stay here all day,” he said.  “When you look at how many times these kids come here, you know that people like (the Ottes) make a difference.”

6 O’clock Follies:  When Chuck Otte was asked to speak at Thursday’s press conference, his first order of business was the prevent a possible disaster.  Wendy Bockhold, a volunteer for the Sammy Fund, spent about 10 minutes explaining the upcoming event, introducing the honorary chairmen and recognizing the event’s major sponsors, all the while nervously edging backward nearer the edge of the pool.   When Otte stepped forward, he immediately grabbed Bockhold and moved her two or three steps away from the pool.   “I just saw one of those heels slipping over the edge,” he said.  “And with all these television cameras here, I don’t think we would have wanted to see that on the 6 o’clock news.”

August 1, 2008

By David Adam and Rodney Hart

Sammy Fund Honorary Chairmen introduced

The pain never goes away and the healing is never complete, but June Otte says the annual Sammy fund event that was created in memory of her daughter has given her “a thousand little blessings I would have never expected.” 
            A news conference this morning at the Jackson-Lincoln Pool in Quincy introduced Harold and Ann Knapheide as the honorary chairmen for this year’s event, which will celebrate its ninth year during the third weekend in October.   The gathering also gave organizers a chance to recognize local sponsors and talk about the money that has been raised since 2000.
            Just as important, however, was a chance for those in attendance to remember Samantha Otte, who died at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.
            “This event has been so helpful to us, because we never stop thinking of her,” June Otte said.            “What makes this so remarkable is that it was almost as if Samantha knew she had limited time with us here, so she got involved in so many things.  She was such a ham.  And now, it’s neat to think there are thousands of children every year to are getting to do things that she loved to do.”
            “Samantha ignited the spark for all of this.”
            This year’s event begins October 18th with a run and walk starting in Madison Park.  A four-person scramble golf tournament will be held October 19th at Westview Golf Course, followed by a dinner and silent auction at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
            More than 100 volunteers help each year with the weekend events.  Last year’s event raised a record $41,096.85, and honorary chairmen Richard and Patti McNay raised $15,600 more through a letter-writing campaign.   A fashion show earlier in the year organized by Ally & Co. raised $3,401, putting the year’s overall total to more than $60,000.
            The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund handed out 19 grants totaling nearly $20,000 to local organizations in January through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.   Since 2000, 86 grants totaling $116,035 have been distributed from the fund.   The primary purposes of the fund include support of organizations that maintain and enhance community betterment through artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people.
           Chuck Otte, Samantha’s father, said that when he and his wife decided to start this event, he hoped that they would do it for “four or five years.”
           “It’s been so humbling, and the community has been so supportive,” he said.   “What this has allowed us to do is take a horrible situation and do something positive.”
            Harold Knapheide, president of Knapheide Manufacturing, is well-known for his community involvement.   He was honored in May with the Joe Bonansinga Community Service Award from the United Way of Adams County.
            “It’s pretty hard not to say yes to something like this,” Knapheide said.   “It really speaks well of Quincy and its dedication to kids.”
           Major sponsors are First Bankers Trust
  Co., Refreshment Services Pepsi, the Quincy Herald-Whig, WGEM and County Market.

January 25, 2008

Sammy Fund Grants Given to Groups, Programs

One of Quincy’s biggest and best fund-raising groups celebrated this morning.   The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund handed out nearly $20,000 in grants to local organizations.

 Samantha Otte was 10 when she died in 2000 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.   Her parents, Chuck and June Otte, decided to raise money for children’s programs in the Quincy area.  This is the eighth year for the awards, done via the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.

 Grant Recipients:

 - United Way of Adams County - Quincy Area Partnership for Unmet Needs 

- Camp Callahan - Campership support for one-week camping sessions

- John Wood Community College Foundation - Children’s College tuition waivers for eligible children

- Girl Scouts of Two Rivers Council - Membership assistance, outreach and campership support

- First Tee of Great River - Life skills training for kids at Walter Hammond Day Care and Cheerful Home Child Care & Early Learning Center

- Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex - Costs of 10 Family Swim Nights from June to August

- Panther Pride Foundation for Central Schools - “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” program in Adams County schools

- Quincy Family YMCA - for swim lesson costs for Head Start students at the Early Childhood Education Center

- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Adams County - One-on-one mentoring relationships

- Community Foundation of the Quincy Area - Community Endowment Fund

Grant History:

So far, 86 grants totaling $116,035 have been distributed from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund since 2000.   The primary purpose of the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund includes, but is not limited to, support of organizations that maintain and enhance community betterment, and artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people.

The Event:

More than 100 volunteers help with the Sammy Fund weekend golf tournament, auction, walk/run and dinner.   Last October’s event raised a record $41,096.85, and honorary Chairmen Richard and Patty McNay raised an additional $15,600 through a letter-writing campaign.   A fashion sow earlier in the year organized by Ally & Co.  Raised $3,401, raising the year’s total to more than $60,000.

Sponsors:

First Bankers Trust Co.  Has served as a major sponsor of the event from its October 2000 start.  Refreshment Services Pepsi joined as a major sponsor in 2002, with the Quincy Herald-Whig and WGEM joining in 2003.   County Market rounded out the lineup of major sponsors in 2006.

November 9, 2007

Sammy Fund event raises record $41,000
Organizers and Volunteers gather to celebrate the success of this year’s fundraiser for a charity that benefits children
 

By Rodney Hart

            Sammy Fund organizers announced Thursday that the annual fundraiser in October raised a record $41,096.85.

 The October 20-21 run, walk, golf tournament, dinner and silent auction benefited the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.   The event was started in 2000 to honor Samantha Otte, who died at age 10 after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis.

In addition to the money raised from the weekend event, honorary Chairmen Richard and Patty McNay raised $15,600 through a letter-writing campaign.   A fashion show earlier this year organized by Ally & Co. raised an additional $3,401, putting this year’s overall total to more than $60,000.

 The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was established in late 2000 through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.   There have been 73 youth-oriented grants of nearly $97,000 made through the fund since 2000, and the weekend event is a reminder of how Chuck and June Otte turned the death of their young daughter into something positive.

Last year’s Sammy Fund event raised more than $38,000.   Organizers gathered Thursday at the Quincy Boat Club to celebrate the good news from this year’s event. 

 “People involved and who donate time and money to the Sammy Fund know it benefits children,” Chuck Otte said.  “This also speaks to the generosity of the community, the generous nature of people in this town.    It motivates us to make it bigger and better every year.”

 Chuck and June Otte praised the 20-member volunteer group that organizes the event every year and they lauded the McNays for their work this year.

“We appreciated the opportunity to serve, and we really enjoyed it,” Richard McNay told the crowd after he and his wife received a standing ovation for their efforts.  “This is an all-volunteer-driven group, and for us to be involved with something like this is an honor.”

 

October 19,2007

Sammy Fund Extends Reach Well Beyond Annual Event

Oct. 19, 2007 – Quincy Herald-Whig

By Rodney Hart

Seven hundred children are able to take swimming lessons.   A young mother and child take the trip of a lifetime.

            The reach of this weekend’s annual Sammy Fund event goes far beyond just numbers of dollars raised.

            Sure, there’s the 73 youth-oriented grants of nearly $97,000 since 2000, and the weekend event is a reminder of how Chuck and June Otte turned the death of their young daughter into a positive experience. 

            The run, walk, golf tournament, dinner and silent auction benefit the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.   The event was started to honor Samantha Otte, who died at age 10 seven years ago after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis.

            Last year’s event raised more than $38,000.   The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was established in late 2000 through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.  The Early Childhood Education Center has received funding to provide Head Start swim lessons at the Quincy Family YMCA for 700 children.

            Julie Schuckman of the ECEC says the swimming lessons often mark the first time in the water for many youngsters, and the lessons provide valuable social skills. 

“It teaches our young people something we normally might not be able to do without the Sammy Fund,” Schuckman said.   “It’s such a crucial skill to have in life.   Water skills and learning to swim make our kids safe from the get-go.”

            The Early Childhood Education Center relies on donations and grants to help fund services.

            “It seems like every year it gets harder and harder to effectively budget,” Schuckman said.  “Grants like this one from the Sammy Fund give us opportunities other grants just don’t cover.” 

            June Otte said about 90 percent of Sammy Fund money allotted goes through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.  There are other projects, however.

            YoungLives of Quincy, a mentoring ministry for teen moms, received $1,200 to send a young mother and daughter to Wildhorse Canyon Camp in Oregon.

            “It means a whole lot to us,” said Leslie Henry of Young Lives.  “This was the first time we’ve received funds, and not only have we gotten financial support, we also built a relationship with them (Sammy Fund organizers).   Chuck and June are such nice people.”

July 19, 2007

Plans announced for annual Sammy Fund events

Richard and Patti McNay will be the honorary chairmen of this year’s fundraiser, scheduled for Oct. 20-21 in Quincy, to benefit the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund

Chuck and June Otte still believe they can make the event named after their daughter bigger and better. 

The eighth annual Sammy Fund event takes place Oct. 20 – 21 in Quincy.   The run, walk, golf tournament, dinner and silent auction benefit the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

The event was started to honor Samantha Otte, who died at age 10 after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis.

During a news conference this morning at the Redmon and Lee Youth and Adult Community Center, Richard and Patti McNay of McNay Truck Line were named the honorary chairmen of this year’s event.

Samantha’s parents said not all families can afford the many opportunities for children in Quincy.

“The Sammy Fund group is very grateful to all the individuals and businesses who generously support our mission of providing access to worthwhile activities for children with limited opportunities,” June Otte said.

“It’s exciting to realize the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund is closing in on our goal of becoming endowed.   What a comfort to know Sammy’s life continues to make a difference.”

Since the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was established in late 2000 through the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area, 73 grants for $96,700 have been distributed.   The grants are for youth-oriented activities.

The Ottes said Richard and Patti McNay support many local causes and agencies benefiting area children.   Richard is a past Community Foundation board member and past chairman of the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.   Patti is active in Girl Scouts and the Baldwin PTO.

“They have also been dedicated supporters of the Sammy Fund mission,” Chuck Otte said.  “We are honored they have agreed to lend their good name and talents to the Sammy Fund group while we try to make this year’s event the best ever.”

The run and walk is at Madison Park and is scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, October 20.   The four-person golf scramble tournament is Sunday, October 21 at Westview Golf Course, and it will be followed by a dinner and silent auction at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Major sponsors are First Bankers Trust, Refreshment Services Pepsi, WGEM, the Herald-Whig and County Market.

May 9, 2007

Fashion Show will benefit Sammy Fund

By Steve Eighinger

Quincy Herald-Whig

The Sammy Fund will benefit from a Mother’s Day weekend fashion show sponsored by Ally & Co. on Saturday at Washington Park.

This is Ally & Co.’s third major fundraiser fashion show in the last two years that targets assistance for a local non-profit organization.   Its most recent effort was last fall when a sold-out show at the Ambience raised $10,000 for breast cancer research.

“We’re looking to raise $6,000 for the Sammy Fund, said store owner Allison Readdy, who said the figure would be higher but the Washington Park venue will offer about 100 fewer seats than the Ambience event.

Ally & Co. is at 515 Maine.   Reservations can be made by calling (217) 223-2600.   Invitations have been sent, but the event is open to the public.   Tickets are $35 for the event, which starts at 11 a.m. and features lunch from the Park Bench or Brix.

The Sammy Fund is coordinated by friends and family of Samantha Otte, who was 10 when she died nearly seven years ago after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.   Each year the Sammy Fund awards grants to youth-oriented organizations.

To date, 73 grants totaling $96,785 have been distributed from the fund since it was established with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area in late 2000.

Samantha’s parents, Chuck and June Otte, oversee a 20-person committee and more than 100 volunteers who work to make the Sammy Fund a success.

“When I researched information about the Sammy Fund and found what it does, this Mother’s Day show seemed like a natural,” Readdy said.  “We’re happy to be able to help the Sammy Fund.”

The fashion show will feature a runway under a tent.

“This will be a true fashion show,” Readdy said.  “We actually have a runway, and there is nothing else like it in Quincy.”

The fashion show will go on, rain or shine, Readdy said.   Those in attendance will be protected by a 40-foot-by-60-foot tent.   The show will be in the southwest quadrant of the park.

:”We don’t make any money on the fashion show, but women will see the clothes and will want to come in and buy them,” she said.   “It benefits the charity, and in the end, we all win.   We have a very loyal customer base for this type of thing.”

The event is also sponsored by Kristopher’s and Tranquility Med Spa.

April 30, 2007

Fashion Show to Benefit the Sammy Fund

Quincy Herald-Whig

A Mother’s Day fashion show sponsored by Ally & Co. will take place May 12 in Quincy’s Washington Park.   Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Sammy Fund.

Ally & Co. is at 515 Maine.   Reservations can be made by calling (217) 223-2600.   Invitations have been sent, but the event is open to the public. 

Allison Readdy, owner of Ally & Co., says the show will feature mother-daughter spring and summer fashions.

Tickets are $35 for the event, which starts at 11 a.m. and features lunch from the Park Bench or Brix.   The noon show will feature a runway under a tent.

“This is a true fashion show,” Readdy said.   “We actually have a runway, and there is nothing else like it in Quincy.”

Ally & Co. put on a fall fashion show last year at the Ambience in Quincy and raised $10,000 for breast cancer research.   More than 300 people attended the sold-out event.

Ally & Co. has been open for nearly two years, and Readdy says the fashion shows benefit both charities and businesses.   She chose the Sammy Fund, named after the late Samantha Otte, after hearing how it supports local children’s programs.

“We don’t make any money on the fashion show, but women will see the clothes and will want to come in and buy them,” she said.   It benefits the charity, and in the end, we all win.”

The event is also sponsored by Kristopher’s and Tranquility Med Spa.

January 5, 2007

Quincy Herald-Whig

Sammy Fund Awards $15,015

Twelve area agencies are better off financially with today’s disbursements from the 2007 Sammy Fund event in Quincy.

The Sammy Fund is organized by friends and family of Samantha Otte, who was 10 when she died nearly seven years ago after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.   Twelve grants totaling $15,015 from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund will help further her legacy.

Samantha’s parents, Chuck and June Otte, said they are humbled by the event’s success.   Chuck Otte said it was due to the “innate goodness of the people and the community.”

This marks the seventh year for the grant awards.   The Girls Scouts of Two Rivers Council hosted a program and checks were distributed this morning.

As of today, 73 grants totaling $96,785 have been distributed from the fund since it was established with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area is late 2000.   The fund supports youth-oriented organizations.

Saturday would have been Samantha Otte’s 17th birthday.

“Samantha would be very happy and proud children are being helped in her name,” Chuck Otte said.

“The Ottes said the local organizing committee for the Sammy Fund event deserves much of the credit.  The 20-person committee oversees more than 100 volunteers.

Nov. 21, 2006

Samantha Otte event raises record amount

By the Herald-Whig Staff 

Organizers announced Monday that October’s annual Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund event raised a record $38,066.

Fundraising events October 14 – 15 involved a golf tournament at Westview, a walk and run around Madison Park, motorcycle poker run, concert and dinner and auction at the Knights of Columbus.

Samantha Otte died at age 10 in March 2000 after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis.   Family and friends formed the Sammy Fund and the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund to make worthwhile activities available to more area children.

Chuck and June Otte, Samantha’s parents, thanked 2006 Sammy Fund honorary chairmen Rich and Connie Niemann of Niemann Foods and County Market.   They also thanked the 21 board members and gave special thanks to Bryan and Donna Smith of TNT Action Sports.

The seventh annual event attracted 184 runners and walkers, 144 golfers, and featured 444 dinners and 275 kids meals served at the Knights of Columbus.   More than 100 people volunteered during the weekend.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was established in late 2000 after the first fundraiser, and the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area has distributed 61 grants totaling $81,770.   The fund has a balance of $135,000, and the Ottes say they are getting closer to the goal of making the fund self-perpetuating.

This year’s disbursements will be announced in early January.

Major sponsors this year were First Bankers Trust, County Market, Refreshment Services Pepsi, WGEM and the Quincy Herald-Whig.

July 15, 2006

Events, dates announced for 2006 Sammy Fund

By Rodney “Dutch” Hart

Still grieving the death of their 10-year-old daughter, Chuck and June Otte made a decision six years ago to turn tragedy into triumph.

Samantha Otte died in March 2000 after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis. The Ottes, along with many friends and family, formed the Sammy Fund and the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund to make worthwhile activities available to more area children.

During a Wednesday morning gathering at the Jackson Lincoln Pool in Quincy, Chuck Otte remembered the summer day six years ago when the idea was first announced at a press conference.

“It’s amazing that we are kicking off our seventh event,” Otte said. “It’s been successful beyond our most hopeful thoughts.”

This year’s event features Honorary Chairmen Rich and Connie Niemann of Niemann Foods and County Market. A run and walk will take place in Madison Park on Oct. 14, and a Westview Golf Course scramble tournament, followed by dinner and a silent auction at the Knights of Columbus, is set for the following day.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was established in late 2000 after the first fundraiser, and the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area has distributed 61 grants totaling $81,770. The fund has a balance of $135,000, and Sammy Fund spokesman Mike Hancox said the goal is to make the fund self-perpetuating.

“Sam was an inspiration. It’s a testament to her spirit that we are all here this morning,” Hancox said.

Last year was the first time a run and walk took place, and about 180 people participated. Last year’s Sammy Fund event netted $36,100, the highest total yet.

Rich Niemann told Chuck and June Otte, who were joined by Samantha’s brother Chris, that the event “is an honorable way to remember your daughter” and the event is synonymous with the Niemann Foods family philosophy.

“Anytime you can do anything for the children of our community, that’s what it is all about,” Niemann said.

Chuck Otte said he was proud to be from Quincy. He thanked the volunteers and community for supporting the Sammy Fund.

“The support has been overwhelming,” Otte said. We are able to help so many children in so many ways.”

Major sponsors this year are First Bankers Trust, County Market, Refreshment Services Pepsi, WGEM and the Quincy Herald-Whig.

Contact Staff Writer Rodney Hart at rhart@whig.com or (217) 221-3370.


January 6, 2006

Youth programs receive $13,805 from Otte Fund

By Rodney Hart

Family and friends celebrated the late Samantha Otte’s 16 th birthday this morning by handing out 11 grants from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

The Community Foundation of the Quincy Area awarded the checks totaling $13,805. Samantha Otte died at age 10 in March 2000 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.

This marks the sixth year for the grant awards. As of today, 61 grants totaling $81,770 have been distributed from the fund since it was established with the Community Foundation in late 2000.

The primary purpose of the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund includes organizations which maintain and enhance community betterment and artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund is supported by funds raised during the annual Sammy Event organized by the Sammy Fund, a group of family and friends. Every year in October, several hundred people participate in a golf tournament, auction and dinner to honor Samantha’s life.

First Bankers Trust Co. has served as major sponsor of the event from its October 2000 start. Refreshment Services Pepsi joined as a major sponsor in 2002, with the Quincy Herald-Whig and WGEM in 2003.

This year County Market joined the lineup of major sponsors. Bryan and Donna Smith served as the Sammy Event’s 2005 honorary chairmen.

Check recipients were:

  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters, $1500 – Purchase a projector for use in programs for Adams County children in BB/BS activities and in community presentations promoting BB/BS
  • Camp Callahan, Inc., $1000 – Funds scholarships for one-week sessions of summer camp
  • Community Foundation, $1225 – Funds the Unrestricted Endowment use of the Quincy Area for grants and programs
  • First Tee of Great River, $500 – Support Life Skills training programs for income-eligible children and to purchase SNAG golf equipment
  • Friends of the Trails, $300 – Assist in launching a citywide bicycle-lending program for children, families and adults who do not have access to bicycles
  • Girl Scouts, $2500 – Support in-school and outreach of Two Rivers Council, Inc. programming for approximately 150 income-eligible Girl Scouts
  • Jackson-Lincoln Pool, $2000 – General operating expense support for the swimming complex for the 2006 season
  • John Wood Community College, $1500 – Funds to enable low-income children to attend College for Kids
  • Quincy Humane Society, $750 – Support responsible pet care educational programs for approximately 400 Girl Scouts
  • Quincy Family YMCA, $1500 – Provide Learn to Swim lessons for approximately 550 Head Start children
  • Walter Hammond Day Care, $1000 – Purchase two computers for students and for day care staff.

November 23, 2005

Sammy Fund event raises $36,100

Organizers say the sixth annual Sammy Fund event last month netted $36,100, the highest total yet raised.

The events included the first fall color run and walk through East End Historic District in Quincy, a motorcycle observation run, golf tournament at Westview golf course with 40 teams, and a silent auction, raffle and dinner at the Knights of Columbus.

Started in memory of Samantha Otte, who passed away in March 2000 from complications following a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis, the Sammy Fund group has raised more than $214,000 through annual fall events and donations.

Honorary chairmen this year were Donna and Bryan Smith, owners of TNT Action Sports.

Funds raised go to support the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund at the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area, from which grants will be distributed in January. The Sammy Fund also supports other youth-oriented initiatives in the community.

Major sponsors this year were The Quincy Herald-Whig, WGEM, Refreshment Services Pepsi, First Bankers Trust Co., and Company Market.


September 12, 2005

Sammy Event adds run, walk to lineup

The new activities will be held Oct. 15, the day before the fundraiser’s golfing events

The Sammy Event Fundraiser has added a run and walk the day before the sixth annual golf tournament, par 3 tournament and pork chop dinner/auction.

The October 16 event golf and dinner, one of Quincy’s biggest fundraisers, is highlighted by a four-person scramble at Westview Golf Course.   The event raises money in memory of Samantha Otte.

This year’s event features a twist.   In addition to the auction during and after the dinner at the Knights of Columbus, organizers are putting together a 5-kilometer run and a 2-mile walk Oct. 15 through Quincy’s East End Historic District. 

Donna and Bryan Smith of TNT Action Sports in Quincy are the honorary chairmen this year.  During a press conference at Washington Park this morning, Donna Smith said she came up with the idea of a run to add something new to the event.

“I like to run, and I thought it would be a nice personal touch,” Donna Smith said.  “With the fall colors and the trees overhead, it should be a beautiful day. 

Established in late 2000, the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area has distributed 49 grants totaling $67,815.   After five years of grant distributions, the fund has grown to more than $100,000.

Sponsored by Dr. Rae McIntee, Dr. James Kase and First Bankers Trust, the walk will start at 8 a.m. Oct. 15, with registration at the Madison Park (24th & Maine) shelter.

Cost for the run/walk is $15 per race participant or $40 per family.   All participants receive a T-shirt and ticket to the pork chop dinner later the next day.  Prizes for different age groups will be awarded in the 5K run.

The run and walk will start at 24th and Maine and head south, basically heading back east along York Street.   The route will feature many of Quincy’s beautiful and historic residences.

Ten-year-old Samantha died in March 2000 following a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis.   Her parents, Chuck and June Otte, joined friends to create something positive from the loss, and the first Sammy Event took place in the fall of 2000.

The Sammy Event also features a nine-hole par 3 golf event at the Knights of Columbus course for parents and kids.   Cost is $25, which includes a meal ticket.   All proceeds from the par 3 tournament will benefit the Great River First Tee, which creates affordable and accessible golf facilities and instructions for area children.

Sponsors include First Bankers Trust, which has been with the Sammy Fund Event since its inception, Refreshment Services Pepsi, WGEM/Quincy Herald-Whig and new sponsor County Market.

For more information on the event, contact the Sammy Fund at 231-0070.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

TNT Owners Tee up as Leaders of Sixth Annual Sammy Event

By Rodney Hart

Bryan Smith says he only plays golf twice a year, but he’s guaranteed to be at Westview Golf Course October 16 th.

Bryan and Donna Smith were announced this morning as the Honorary Chairmen of the annual Sammy Event Fundraiser, one of Quincy’s biggest and best events. The Smiths own TNT Action Sports in Quincy.

“Maybe we’ll try to get a few more teams signed up and add some life to the party,” Bryan Smith said.

This is the sixth year for the event, which raises money in memory of Samantha Otte. Established in late 2000, the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area has distributed 49 grants totaling $67,815. After five years of grant distributions, the fund has grown to more than $100,000.

The October 16 th event will include a four-person scramble at Westview, a tournament at the par 3 Knights of Columbus course, and a dinner and silent auction at the K of C.

Ten-year-old Samantha died in March 2000 following a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis. Her parents, Chuck and June Otte, joined friends to create something positive from the loss, and the first Sammy Event took place in the fall of 2000.

Donna Smith said she was “honored and flattered” when asked by the Ottes to help with the event.

“The important thing to them is each other, June Otte said of the Smiths. “Their children are also important, as is making a difference in the community.”

June Otte said the event can be “bittersweet,” as it can’t change the fact that they lost their daughter. But it also helps to “embrace the sweet things in life” and make a difference in the lives of area children, she said.

This morning’s press conference took place at First Union Congregational Church, home of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Quincy office.

Sponsors include First Bankers Trust, which has been with the Sammy Fund Event since its inception, Refreshment Services Pepsi, WGEM/Quincy Herald-Whig, and new sponsor County Market.

Organizations receiving funds last January included the Adams County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Adams County, Camp Callahan, Cornerstone, Girl Scouts of Two Rivers Council, John Wood Community College Foundation, Quincy Family YMCA, Quincy Humane Society, and the Redmon & Lee Youth and Adult Center.

For more information on the tournament, contact the Sammy Fund at 231-0070.


Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005

Sammy Fund Distributes $16,885 in Grants

Quincy Herald-Whig

The money will enable several hundred children to participate in activities, such as camping, theater, swimming and golf.

By Rodney Hart

Samantha Otte’s family marked what would have been her 15 th birthday today by attending a grant presentation in her memory.

Samantha died in March 2000 at the age of 10. Family and friends gathered as 13 checks totaling $16,885 were distributed to nonprofit organizations by the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

“I’d just like to convey that we continue to be amazed at the generosity of the community and businesses that respond to our group,” said June Otte, Samantha’s mother. “We are very comforted her life goes on making a positive difference.”

This is the fifth time grants from the funds have been awarded. The brief program took place at the Redmon & Lee Center.

This year’s grants will enable several hundred children in the Quincy area to participate in a variety of activities, including camping, theater, swimming and golf. Others will learn about animal care or attend children’s college. Some of the organizations will use their grants to purchase car booster seats, a computer and printer, or furniture and chairs to accommodate youth needs and programs.

“It feels great to be part of something that returns so much to youth in the community,” said Dennis Cashman, the former Adams County judge who served as the 2004 honorary chairman. “It really is about children. I knew Samantha well and Samantha would be so proud.”

The primary purpose of the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund includes, but is not limited to, support of organizations which maintain and enhance community betterment and artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people. Since being established with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area in late 2000, 49 grants totaling $67,815 have been distributed from the fund.

Cathy Meckes, a member of the organizing committee, says the event has far exceeded their expectations.

The fund is supported from monies raised during the annual Sammy Event organized by Samantha’s family and friends. Hundreds of supporters get together each October for golf, an auction, and dinner to honor Samantha’s life.

First Bankers Trust Company has served as major sponsor of the event from its start in October 2000. CedarBrook Health Group and Refreshment Services Pepsi participated as major sponsors in 2002 and 2003, with the Quincy Herald-Whig and WGEM joining the others as major sponsors in 2003.

Sammy Fund Allocations

The Community Foundation of the Quincy Area has provided the following information about the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund. Checks totaling $16,885 were distributed Thursday to nonprofit organizations. Organizations receiving money, the grant amount and program name are:

  • Adams County Chapter of the American Red Cross: $500, training and certification for girls in First Aid & Safety Programs
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Adams County: $3000, support program services for one-to-one relationships between adult volunteers and children
  • Camp Callahan, Inc.: $1000, program support so handicapped children can experience a week at Camp Callahan
  • Community Foundation of the Quincy Area: $1535, to Unrestricted Endowment to help support the Community Foundations’ programs
  • Cornerstone: Foundations for Family: $1000, purchase of therapeutic games, materials, and videotape curriculum to aid in counseling services for low-income families
  • Girl Scouts of Two Rivers Council, Inc.: $2500, program support and membership needs for troops at Washington School, Harrison Hills, Redmon & Lee Center and Walter Hammond Daycare
  • John Wood Community College Foundation: $1250, provide financial assistance for children who cannot afford the registration costs for the College for Kids program
  • Quincy Family YMCA: $1500, fund introductory swim lessons for 540 children through Head Start Learn to Swim program
  • Quincy Humane Society: $500, continue educational pet care programs for economically disadvantaged youth in Girl Scouts
  • Redmon & Lee Youth & Adult Center: $4100, purchase of computers and upgrades along with 20 chairs and five tables

October 14, 2004

Residents Turn Out for Annual Kids Benefit

The Sammy Event, which raises funds for children’s programs, is one of Quincy’s most successful

By Rodney Hart

The numbers are impressive, but there’s a more poignant reason the Sammy Fund is one of Quincy’s best and most successful fund-raisers.

It’s all about the kids.

“The Sammy Event has been a big boost to us,” says Jim Callahan of Camp Callahan , a summer camp for physically and mentally challenged children. “We depend on these kinds of people to follow us every year, and we really appreciate this. You go up to see the kids having fun at camp, and it makes you feel good about it.”

The fifth annual Sammy Event is Sunday at Westview Golf Course and the Knights of Columbus. It honors Samantha Otte, who died in March 2000 at age 10 after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis.

The first event was held in fall 2000, and proceeds were used to establish the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area. Samantha’s parents, Chuck and June Otte, work tirelessly with a dedicated committee to organize the event.

Camp Callahan rents the Saukenauk Scout Reservation near Lima from the Boy Scouts. It had about 150 youngsters participate this year during three one-week sessions. The camp has received $6,400 from the Sammy Fund scholarships.

“We don’t turn anybody away who can’t pay,” Callahan said. “We had financial problems a few years ago and we were wondering how we were going to keep it going. Mrs. Otte contacted me and she wanted to see what we were doing.

“She was very intrigued by what we were doing, helping children and the stuff we take care of.”

The fund provides access to worthwhile activities for children and ensures accessibility of programs that provide artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for children.

Since the fund was established with the Community Foundation, 39 grants totaling $50,930 have been awarded to 17 organizations.

Sunday’s golf tournament at Westview has a full field. The public is invited to the K of C on 36 th Street for a $10 grilled pork chop meal, silent auction and children’s activities.

There’s a huge variety of bid items for the silent auction, including a stunt bike, St. Louis Symphony tickets and Rams, Cardinals, University of Missouri and Cubs tickets. There also will be NASCAR collectors’ items, passes to area golf courses, patio furniture, Florida and St. Simons Island condo rentals, a Jerry Eberhardt framed wildlife print and many personal care gift certificates.

Doors at the K of C open at 3:30 p.m. The par 3 child/adult tournament starts at 2:30 .

Contact Staff Writer Rodney Hart at pweber@whig.com or (217) 221-3370.


September 26, 2004

Two Groups Sponsoring Adult/child Scramble-format Golf Tournament

By Phil Weber

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The First Tee of Great River program and the Sammy Fund are joining forces on October 17 to offer families a chance to have some fun while helping a good cause.

The organizations are working together to sponsor an adult/child scramble-format golf tournament at the Knights of Columbus nine-hole,

par-3 course. The event, which costs $25 per person, begins at 2:30 p.m. and will also include children’s activities, a raffle and a silent auction. Children ages 7 – 12 are allowed to participate.

“Working with the Sammy Fund volunteers exposes people to what First Tee does. We’re happy that it also brings more families out to participate in all the activities following golf,” said First Tee Director Mark Thomas.

First Tee’s tournament is in addition to the fifth annual Sammy Event golf tournament held at Westview Golf Course the same day by the Sammy Fund Group to raise money for the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund. People participating in the adult/child tournament also receive tickets to the Sammy Event dinner after the tournament.

The First Tee program creates affordable and accessible golf facilities and instructions for children. To date the chapter has exposed more than 3,000 children to the game of golf in the Great River area.

The Sammy Fund Group held the first Sammy Event in October 2000 to raise money to establish the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area. The fund serves as a memorial to Samantha Otte, who died in March of 2000 at the age of 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.

Since its creation, the Community Foundation has awarded 39 grants worth more than $50,000 from the fund to non-profit organizations that provide worthwhile opportunities for children.

To register, or for more information about the First Tee adult/child tournament, call (217) 224-5902. For more information about the Sammy Event dinner, auction and tournament, call (217) 231-0070.

Contact Staff Writer Phil Weber at pweber@whig.com or (217) 221-3374.


July 7, 2004: Growth of Sammy Event still amazes organizers

by Rodney Hart, Herald Whig Staff Writer

It started as a way to honor a young girl and her family members who were
inspired with courage in the face of a fatal illness.

It has become one of Quincy's best-organized and supported fund-raisers.

The fifth annual Sammy Event will take place October 17 at Westview Golf
Course and the Knights of Columbus. Friends and family of Samantha Otte
gathered this morning at the Redmon & Lee Center to announce this year's
plans.

When Samantha died in March 2000 at age 10 following a liver transplant
made necessary by cystic fibrosis, family and friends decided to create
something positive from their loss. The first event was held in the fall of
2000, and proceeds were used to establish the Samantha Otte Youth
Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.

"This has gone way beyond Sam now," said her father, Chuck Otte. "When we first started this, she was simply the inspiration. We hope to continue to
do this because it's so good to give back to the community."

Sponsors include First Bankers Trust, Refreshment Services Pepsi,
Cedarbrook Health Group, WGEM and the Quincy Herald-Whig. The event raises funds on behalf of the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area for the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

"What floors me is we have a core group of about 13 people who help the
family and friends to get this done," said June Otte, Samantha's mother.
"Now it's turned into a tradition. People come out, and they know every
dime they spend goes back into the community."

This year's honorary chairman is recently retired Adams County Judge Dennis Cashman, who knew Samantha well and visited her in a St. Louis Hospital when she was battling her illness.

"She was more concerned about me and how I was doing," Cashman said. "I remember she took me down the hall to get some ice cream."

"She's looking down at us knowing all the money is going to a great cause."

The fund provides access to worthwhile activities for children and insures
accessibility of programs that provide artistic, leadership and humanitarian
opportunities for children.

Since the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was established with the
Community Foundation, 39 grants totaling $50,930 have been awarded to 17 organizations.

Ben Bumbry of the Redmon & Lee Center said a grant from the fund helped buy new tables and chairs for the center.

"The kids here see that when we take care of them," Bumbry said. "They are excited about what they have here, and they take pride in what they have here."

Donations can be made to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area at any time. The Community
Foundation is a public charity with IRS 501(c)(3) status, making donations
tax deductible to the extent allowable under law.

"I'm amazed at this group," said Jill Arnold Blickhan, executive director
of the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area. "Their energy and
enthusiasm just wears me out."

For more information, contact Blickhan at 222-1237 or qacf@adams.net.


January 6, 2004: Family continues to keep Samantha Otte legacy alive

The Sammy Fund presents $15,730 in checks to celebrate what would have been her 14th birthday.

by Rodney Hart

Samantha Otte always loved a big party on her birthday, and her family continues to make her special day a big event.

This morning at John Wood Community College, Samantha's family celebrated what would have been her 14th birthday with grant presentations from the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area.

Samantha passed away nearly four years ago at the age of 10. Thirteen checks totaling $15,730 were distributed to nonprofit organizations by the Community Foundation from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

"Our family continues to be overwhelmed with the generosity of the community," said June Otte, Samantha's mother. "Sam always liked to have a big party and celebrate."

This is the fourth time grants from the fund have been awarded. The grants will enable several hundred children in the Quincy area to participate in a variety of activities, including camping, theater, swimming and golf. Others will learn about animal care or attend children's college.

Some of the organizations will use their grants to buy car booster seats, a computer and printer, or furniture for youth needs and programs.

"What Sam's family has done to keep her legacy alive is amazing, not only through the giving but the amount given," said Jim Mentesti, who served as the 2003 honorary chairman of the annual Sammy Fund golf event last October. "To raise this amount of money from a golf tournament for several years in a row, it's just literally unbelievable."

The primary purpose of the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund includes, but is not limited to, support of organizations which maintain and enhance community betterment and artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people. Since being established with the Community Foundation in late 2000, 39 grants totaling $50,930 have been distributed from the fund.

The fund is supported from money raised during the annual Sammy Event organized by Samantha's family and friends. Hundreds of supporters get together each October for golf, an auction, and a dinner to honor Samantha's life.

Proceeds from the annual event, memorial gifts and other donations are also added to the fund at the Coummunity Foundation, enabling it to grow and to make annual grant distributions.

First Banker's Trust Co. has served as a major sponsor of the event from its start in October 2000. CedarBrook Health Group and Refreshment Services Pepsi participated as major sponsors in 2002 and 2003, with the Quincy Herald-Whig and WGEM joining the others as major sponsors in 2003.


July 3, 2003: Mentesti named to chair annual Sammy Event Fund-Raiser

Named in memory of Samantha Otte, the golf tournament and silent auction benefits groups that offer enrichment activities for children.

Jim Mentesti admitted he was speechless after being named honorary chairman of the fourth annual Sammy Fund golf tournament and silent auction.

Mentesti, president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation, will help make the Oct. 19 event "the biggest and best ever." It raises money for organizations with various child-affiliated programs through the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

WGEM and The Quincy Herald-Whig were named as new sponsors for the fund-raiser. The four-person scramble golf tournament at Westview and dinner and silent auction at the Knights of Columbus again highlight the event.

Mentesti called being named honorary chairman "the greatest honor I've ever had in my 33 years in Quincy."

When 10-year-old Quincy resident Samantha Otte died in March 2000 after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis, her family and friends decided to create something positive from their loss. Her parents, Chuck and June Otte, helped organize the first Sammy Event in the fall of 2000.

Mentesti's voice cracked with emotion as he talked about Samantha, her family and the many organizations helped by the fund.

"We want to make this one of the biggest and best events yet, and I'm not really sure how we are going to do that," Mentesti said. "But it's like June told me - Quincy is big enough to be special and small enough to understand."

First Bankers Trust has been the major sponsor of the Sammy Event. Refreshment Services Pepsi and Cedarbrook Health Group joined as major sponsors in 2002.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund has distributed more than $35,000 to various organizations. About $58,000 is in a Community Foundation of the Quincy Area endowment fund, with the hope of some day having enough funding to permanently endow the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund.

The fund ensures accessibility of programs that provide artistic,
leadership and humanitarian opportunities for children.

By Rodney Hart
Herald-Whig Staff Writer


Jan. 6, 2003: Sammy Fund grants $15,400 to projects helping area youth

The fund, in memory of Samantha Otte, has contributed $35,200 over three years.

Somewhere this morning, Sammy smiled.

The Quincy Area Community Foundation's Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund - also called the Sammy Fund - awarded grants totaling $15,400 this morning to 12 non-profit organizations.

The third annual presentations took place during a press conference at the First Union Congregational Church.

The grants are awarded to agencies which provide leadership, artistic, and humanitarian or community betterment opportunities for youth. The grants are given in memory of Samantha Otte, who suffered from cystic fibrosis and died at age 10 in March 2000 from complications from a liver transplant.

"Today would have been Sammy's 13th birthday," said Chuck Otte, Samantha's father. "She lived life to the fullest, and her smile lives on in the Sammy Fund. This fund provides increased opportunities for the youth in our community. That's what the Sammy Fund is all about."

Jill Arnold Blickhan is the executive director of the Community Foundation. She paid tribute to the Otte family and local sponsors of the fund.

"This family has taken the grief it has had and turned it into something positive," said Blickhan, fighting back tears. "This is absolutely tremendous."

Blickhan handed out the grant funds with the assistance of Chris Otte, Samantha's 15-year-old brother. Samantha's mother, June, was also in attendance.

Today's grants bring the total awarded during the past three years to $35,200. The grants awarded today were from funds raised in October 2002 during the third annual Sammy Fund golf event.

First Bankers Trust has served as a major sponsor of the golf event since its October 2000 inception. Newest major sponsors include CedarBrook Health Group and Refreshment Services Pepsi.

"My wife, son and I are extremely grateful to our friends and family who have put so much time and effort into making this event so successful," Chuck Otte said. "All of us involved in the Sammy Fund express our sincere appreciation to the community for its support each year. It is very comforting for all who love and miss Samantha to realize so many children in our community will benefit from these grants. We cannot express how much it means to honor her memory by helping children in our
area."

Receiving grants today were Adams County Big Brother Big Sister ($2,380), Adams County Chapter of the American Red Cross ($500), Camp Callahan, Inc. ($2,700), Great River First Tee ($720), Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex ($1,000), Paw Pals, Inc. ($1,000), Quincy Art Center ($900), Quincy Community Theatre ($300), Quincy Family YMCA ($1,000), Quincy Area Community Foundation ($1,400), Two Rivers Council of Girls Scouts ($2,500) and Walter Hammond Daycare ($1,000).

Contributions to the Samantha Otte Youth Fund can be made through the Quincy Area Community Foundation at P.O. Box 741, Quincy, Ill. 62306.

For information, contact Jill Blickhan at (217) 222-1237.By Steve Eighinger
Herald-Whig Staff Writer


July 9, 2002: "This is helping young people."

Don Gnuse has been named event chairman, and Refreshment Services Pepsi
and Cedarbrook Health Group added as sponsors, for the third annual
Sammy Event in October.

When 10-year-old Samantha Otte died in March 2000 following a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis, family and friends decided to create the Sammy Fund Group. The first Sammy Event in the fall of 2000 raised money and established the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Quincy Area Community Foundation.

Gnuse is president of First Bankers Trust Co., a sponsor of the event since its inception. He remembers being on vacation in North Carolina and getting a call from the bank's marketing director, Jane Fischer, asking him to sponsor the Sammy Event.

"She told me it wasn't in her budget but that we really needed to do this, and I've never regretted it," Gnuse said. "I'm delighted at what I'm seeing and how this is helping young people."

Chuck and June Otte, Samantha's parents, said the fund provides access to worthwhile community activities for children whose opportunities might be limited. The fund ensures accessibility of programs that provide artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for children.

Since the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was established, $19,800 has been awarded from the fund. Groups benefiting include Quincy Art Center, Quincy Community Theatre, Quincy Family YMCA, Two Rivers Council of Girl Scouts, the Quincy Area Community Foundation, Camp Callahan, Jackson-Lincoln Pool, Great River First Tee, Quincy Society of Fine Arts and Walter Hammond Day Care.

This year's event takes place Oct. 20 with a golf tournament at Westview Golf Course and dinner and silent auction at Knights of Columbus.

Gnuse says he didn't hesitate to take on the challenge of being the event chairman. Mayor Chuck Scholz and Mary Winters, assistant general manager of The Herald-Whig, were the first two chairmen.

"It's not just the money you put on the line, it's also donating the time to make this happen," he said.

Jim Callahan, whose father, Ray, started Camp Callahan 50 years ago, expressed appreciation for the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund. Camp Callahan provides facilities for handicapped children.

"I know we are looking for support all the time," Callahan said. "It's great for the community and we need things like this."

The first two events raised nearly $60,000, with $40,000 put in an endowment fund.

By Rodney Hart
Herald-Whig Staff Writer


Jan. 5, 2002: Otte memorial fund distributes $11,000

Groups that help the community and youth benefit from the money raised in honor of Samantha Otte, who would have been 12 on Sunday.

Chuck, June and Chris Otte were more than happy to give out an early birthday present this morning.

Through the Quincy Area Community Foundation's Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund, the Ottes passed out $11,000 in checks to nine organizations during a brief program at the Walter Hammond Day Care.

Samantha Otte, the daughter of Chuck and June, died in March 2000 from complications after a liver transplant.

Sunday would have been Samantha's 12th birthday.

"Each year we attempt to do this around her birthday," Chuck Otte said. "It's a way for all of us, and especially for June, Chris and me, to remember her with her upcoming birthday."

Volunteers do all the work to raise money for the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund. This year's Westview Golf Course tournament and Knights of Columbus auction and dinner raised $26,500. First Bankers Trust was the major sponsor and Mary Winters was honorary chairman.

In two years, the fund has given out $19,800.

"It's great. We are really happy about it," Chuck Otte said. "Our event this year was very successful. It's a long process and a lot of hard work and this is what we are doing it for, to help the kids in our community and honoring Samantha."

The purpose of the fund includes, but is not limited to, support of organizations that maintain and enhance community betterment and artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for young people.

Otte said the Sammy Fund has a five-year goal of building the fund to $75,000 while continuing to make annual distributions.

Next year's event is being planned for Oct. 20 at Westview and the K of C.

"We're trying to improve it, and we definitely improved it this past year," Chuck Otte said. "Now we're trying to make it even better."

By Rodney Hart
Herald-Whig Staff Writer


Jan. 5, 2001: Samantha Otte Fund donates $9,000 to groups

Donations to the Quincy Community Theatre, the Girl Scouts and the YMCA are targeted to low-income children.

by Phil Weber, Herald-Whig Staff Writer

In March, Samantha Otte died from complications arising from a liver
transplant. Today, the day before what would have been her 11th birthday, a little bit of her spirit lives again.

In front of her family, friends and community leaders, the Samantha Otte
Youth Opportunity Fund and the Quincy Area Community Foundation distributed almost $9,000 to several area organizations that provide leadership, artistic, humanitarian and community betterment opportunities for children.

"We wanted to help other children have the opportunity to be involved in
the organizations that our daughter Samantha was a part of," said her
father, Chuck Otte.

The Quincy Community Theatre received $4,000 for the children's theater
program. The organization plans to use the money to bring in a children's
theater company to stage workshops, offer classes and give a performance. Much of this programming will be geared towards children from low-income families.

The Two Rivers Council of Girl Scouts received a $2,000 grant to help cover the cost of registration fees, special events and camping programs for about 100 girls in low-income areas.

The Quincy Family YMCA and the Quincy Art Center both received grants of $1,000. The YMCA grant will pay for introdutory swimming lessons for 500 children in the Head Start program. The Quincy Art Center will use the
money to develop educational programs for children who show promise in the visual arts.

Finally, the Quincy Area Community Foundation received $800 to benefit the organization's Unrestricted Endowment Fund which, in turn, provides grants to other area non-profit groups.

Samantha had been a member of the Girl Scouts, participated in community and school theater, and attended classes at the Art Center.

"She got a lot of joy out of being involved in these organizations," her
father said.

The donations to the Girl Scouts and QCT are the largest single grants the
Quincy Area Community Foundation has ever given.

"We've never given anybody more than $1,000," said foundation Executive
Director D. Reaugh Broemmel.

In September, more than $20,000 was raised for the SOYOF at a golf
tournament, dinner and silent auction held at Westview Golf Course and the Knights of Columbus facility. This money helps ensure that the grant
program can continue.

A second golf fund-raiser is scheduled for October 21.


Sept. 16, 2000: Golf tourney to benefit "Sammy Fund"

Sunday's event will benefit a fund named for Samantha Otte to help needy children.

With the help of a benefit golf tournament and youth opportunity fund, Samantha Otte's light will keep shining.

Samantha was 10 years old when she died in March after receiving a long-overdue liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis. Her parents, Quincy natives Chuck and June Otte, decided to organize a golf tournament to benefit the Sammy Fund, which will help deserving and needy children.

The tournament at Westview Golf Course is Sunday, with a full field of 30 four-player teams. Doors at the Knights of Columbus open at 3 p.m., with a meal served 5-8 p.m. and a silent auction 4-8 p.m.

The K of C event is open to families and games will be available for kids. Tickets are $10 for the meal and free for children 12 and under.

"It's helped us a great deal with the loss of Samantha to realize how much people care," Chuck Otte said. "It's important to June and I that we help other kids in the community while sustaining Samantha's memory."

"I think every parent who has lost a child has that big fear that their child will not be remembered. This is a way we'll be able to do a lot of good sustaining her memory and honor her spirit and memory."

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund recently was formed through the Quincy Area Community Foundation.

Chuck and June Otte know their daughter would be pleased with the tournament and the cause.

"She would like all this," June Otte said with a smile. "She was a very giving child herself and she was always wanting to help those less fortunate than herself, so I know she would approve."

A lively and fun-loving child, Samantha was active in the community theater and the St. Anthony's Girl Scouts.

The Ottes are grateful for the support and generosity displayed by the Quincy community. First Bankers Trust is the main sponsor and many friends and businesses donated items for the auction.

Organizing the golf tournament has helped with the healing process. It's kept Chuck and June busy and made them realize they have many friends and family who want to help.

Among the many silent auction items are a condominium for a week in St. Simon, Fla., a ski trip, YMCA membership, savings bonds, tickets for Rams, Cardinals, Cubs and Blues games, art prints, massage and beauty sessions, two season passes to the Quincy Community Theatre, floral arrangements, restaurant gift certificates and overnight hotel accommodations.

The golf tournament is a natural because both Chuck and June Otte play at Westview, and they had a benefit tournament two years ago at the course to raise money for Samantha's liver transplant.

They intend to make it an annual event.

"We learned first-hand that you don't have control over some of the most important things in your life," June Otte said. "But the thing you can control is your attitude. This has helped us realize we're not the only ones or only couple who's faced the loss of a child or faced difficulties."

By Rodney Hart
Herald-Whig Staff Writer


Aug. 2000: Community Foundation fund honors Samantha Otte

Samantha Otte's story will continue to be heard, thanks to friends, family and the Quincy Area Community Foundation.

The QACF today established the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund in honor of the 10-year-old Quincy girl who died March 5 after a liver transplant necessitated by Cystic Fibrosis.

The QACF will distribute money from the fund to non-profit organizations to provide program access to children with limited opportunities. The main fund-raiser will be the first annual Sammy Golf Tournament this fall at Westview Golf Course.

"It's a celebration of her life and we're doing it in honor of her life," said Diane Jones, who is helping organize the fund-raising effort. "The really important thing is that we're providing funds for kids with limited means, whether it's through the theater, arts, Girl Scouts ... those types of things."

Samantha was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church and was in the fourth grade at St. Anthony School. She was active in Quincy Community Theater, Quincy University Children's Choir and the Girl Scouts. She loved all animals, especially dogs, and wanted to be a veterinarian.

Friends and family helped raise money for Samantha's liver transplant. The QACF continues to remember Samantha with the golf tournament at Westview. Cost per person for the four-person scramble format is $100.

There will be prizes, raffles, hole sponsors and a dinner at the Knights of Columbus after the tournament, complete with a silent auction. The golf tournament will be an annual event.

"It's part of the healing and grieving process to remember Sam in this way and do something good," Jones said.

Chuck Otte, Samantha's father, read a statement at this morning's press conference at the Mercantile Bank at Fifth and Maine. He thanked the community for its support during and said the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund would help celebrate his daughter's life.

QACF Chairman Ralph Oakley said the group is proud to be associated with the Otte project.

"It's a wonderful example of what the Quincy Foundation can do for the community and what the people are doing is fantastic," Oakley said. "It gives them an opportunity to remember a sweet young girl, and it gives us a way to start a fund to help young people in the area."

Friends and family of Samantha approached the QACF to help with the project and start the fund in her name. Oakley said this is the first memorial fund started by the QACF.

"We hope over time a number of different funds like this will be started," Oakley said.

By Rodney Hart
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Donate Online

Email : jotte614@yahoo.com

Web design by Collette Calkins

 

The Sammy Fund, P.O. Box 3622, Quincy, IL 62305   Voice Mail ( 217)242-1527

 

(All donations to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund are subject to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws of the  Community Foundation, all of which provisions are hereby incorporated by reference).