Sammy Fund Continues to Help Kids

QUINCY — Members of the Breakfast Kiwanis announced Friday that more than $20,000 was raised for area kids during the Sammy and Kids golf outing in October.

Attending the Kiwanis wrap-up celebration were Chuck and June Otte who started the Samantha Otte fund in memory of their daughter who died in March 2000 at age 10 from complications of cystic fibrosis. Later that year the Sammy Fund was established to help kids in need. Fund-raising events have kept the effort going, and for the past four years the Breakfast Kiwanis have helped with an annual golf outing.

“When you boil it all down, this is all for the kids,” Chuck Otte said.

The Kiwanis will send $5,000 to the Sammy Fund, $5,000 to the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund, which is managed by the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri, and $1,000 for Key Club Scholarships. The remainder will be allocated through the Gem Kiwanis Foundation.

June Otte thanked the Kiwanis and a large network of donors for continuing the efforts for area children in Samantha’s memory.

“We are so grateful to the Breakfast Kiwanis for picking up the reins of this tournament and keeping it going, because it has such a positive impact for the children in this community that really need some help,” June Otte said.

The Ottes held the annual Sammy Fund golf outing for 15 years before the Breakfast Kiwanis stepped in to organize it.

The Sammy Fund website indicates that donations support camping scholarships for children with disabilities, Scouting activities, theater and art scholarships, art lessons and activities, swimming lessons for Head Start students and other programs.

Chuck Otte said it also can be used to meet unmet needs when children and their families face expenses that would be difficult to handle. One family is in the process of getting a $2,000 insulin pump for a child, he said.

Jill Arnold Blickhan of the Community Foundation said the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund has provided about $335,000 to more than 50 organizations in West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.

Bruce Gardner, who was chairman of this year’s golf event, said the support of sponsors, players and volunteers made the golf fundraiser possible. Major sponsors were County Market, Refreshment Services Pepsi, The Herald-Whig and WGEM.

Planning for next year’s Sammy and Kids Golf Outing already is underway. The event will be held Oct. 13.

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