QUINCY — Philip Krupps surveyed the room before forming his words on what Thursday morning meant to him and the organization he represented — the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.
“I always love this day. It’s a beautiful thing,” said Krupps, the foundation’s board chairman who had the honor of awarding 18 grants totaling $31,725.
The foundation’s grants were from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund, which has awarded more than $360,000 since it was established in late 2000. Samantha died in March 2000 at age 10 following a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis.
All of the Otte Fund grants benefit nonprofit organizations that assist area youth in artistic, leadership and humanitarian efforts.
Krupps compared the communities in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri to a large, intertwined family.
“And family transcends everything,” Krupps said, holding his 1-year-old daughter, Auley.
Among those on hand Thursday morning was Chuck Otte, Samantha’s father.
“For 19 years we have been amazed by the generous and caring nature of people in our community and their willingness to help children in Samantha’s memory,” Otte said. “It is a wonderful comfort to see so many good things happening for area children, and we are grateful to everyone who makes this blessing possible.”
Organizations that received funds included the Adams County Farm Bureau, Bluff City Theater, Canton Area Arts Council, Douglass Community Services Inc. for Kids in Motion, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois, Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex, John Wood Community College Foundation, Junior Achievement, Midsummer Arts Faire, Muddy River Opera Company, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Quincy Art Center, Quincy Community Theatre, Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association, Regional Office of Education No. 1, Transitions of Western Illinois Foundation, Western Illinois Dream Factory and YMCA of West Central Illinois.