Grants Honor Samantha Otte’s Life & Legacy

Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation awards grants for youth opportunity

Today, on what would be Samantha Otte’s 31st birthday, twenty area nonprofit organizations received grants in her memory that will benefit hundreds of area youth for artistic, leadership, and humanitarian efforts. 
The grants, totaling more than $32,000, were distributed from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri.  
The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund honors the life and spirit of Samantha Otte by helping others. Samantha passed away in March 2000 at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis. Since the fund was established in late 2000, more than $400,000 has been distributed through grants in Samantha’s memory.
“We are so very grateful to all who helped make these blessings possible,” said June Otte, Samantha’s mother. “The grants awarded today will brighten the lives of thousands of disadvantaged area children in Samantha’s memory. We are delighted to know — due to generous community support — that Samantha’s life continues to bring goodness to others.”
The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was supported until 2014 by proceeds from the Sammy Fund Weekend. In 2015, the Quincy Breakfast Kiwanis Club announced it would continue a Sammy & Kids Golf Outing and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Fund for continued growth. 
“Kroc Academy is thrilled to be able to expand the STEM education it provides students in its after-school program. Thanks to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund, Kroc Academy will add accessories to its Sphero robots that will give children more opportunities to learn computer coding in a fun and interactive way,” said Matt Schmidt, Assistant Development Director with the Quincy Salvation Army. “This education program provides Kroc Academy students hands-on learning with technology they don’t have access to at school or home.”
Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Bella Ease – Teen Reach College Bound program, providing financial assistance for first-generation college students

Cheerful Home Child Care & Early Learning Center –Infant playground equipment

Connect Child & Family Solutions – Transportation in serving foster, intact and DCFS families

Cornerstone: Foundations for Families – Comprehensive Youth Services program

Girl Scouts of Central Illinois – Girl Scout Outreach Program and camperships for girls in need of financial assistance

Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex – Scholarships for low-income swimmers 

Jensen Woods – Camp Playground equipment

John Wood Community College Foundation – JDUB Academy tuition assistance

John Wood Community College Foundation – Financial assistance for participants in the College for Life Program

Junior Achievement – Financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness education for K-12 students

Mississippi Valley Council of Boy Scouts of America – Campership and scouting opportunities

My Brotha’s and My Sista’s Keepers – Clothing assistance for disadvantaged children 

Quincy Art Center – Youth art education programming

Quincy Christian School – Take-home art instruction for students

Quincy Community Theatre – Support of children’s theater programs, including online virtual instructions and productions

Quincy Salvation Army – STEM accessories for the afterschool education program

Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association – Tuition scholarship for low-income participants in Youth Choir and Youth Orchestra and for the purchase of printed music

Regional Office of Education #1 – Support for Adams County Health Department’s “Ready.Set.Grow!” initiative by purchasing children’s books, onesies and bibs 

Transitions of Western Illinois Foundation – Wheelchair platform swing  

United Way of Adams County, Inc. – Children’s books to be provided for the “Covered Bottoms Diaper Bank” participants

YMCA of West Central Illinois – Quincy Family YMCA – Swim lessons and water safety education for approximately 70 financially challenged Quincy area children

The Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri builds permanent charitable funds to assist area nonprofits and communities.  Its mission, “connecting people who care with causes that matter,” is achieved by gathering funds, growing them through investments, then granting to nonprofit organizations, causes or communities that mean the most to its donors.   
Since 1997, the Community Foundation has made more than $10 million in grants. It serves 12-counties: Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike in Illinois and Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Knox, Shelby and Monroe in Missouri.  
The Community Foundation has IRS 501(c)(3) status, and contributions made to the Community Foundation generally qualify for the maximum allowable deductions for income and estate tax purposes.  
For more information, call 217-222-1237, email or go to or

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