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