Samantha Otte Fund Distributes $16,885 in Grants

Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005

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

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