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Volume 9, Issue 1 // Spring 2012

The Foundation 205 South Fifth Street, Suite 930 Springfield, Illinois 62701

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Past and present focus of fund Evelyn Brandt Thomas creates new fund

In This Issue • Miller Family Fund . . . pg 2 • Young Philanthropists . . . pg 2 • Colantino Family Fund . . . pg 3 • Wolaver Golf Fund . . . pg 3 • Creating a Fund . . . back cover

Evelyn Brandt Thomas believes in preserving the past and encouraging the future. In order to help her achieve those goals, Thomas has created the Evelyn Brandt Thomas Fund through the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. The Fund easily enables Thomas to meet the needs of her areas of interest in a flexible timeframe. “It gives me time to think about it and when opportunities come up, it allows me to take care of it right then,” said Thomas, who was a co-founder of Brandt Consolidated.

Evelyn Brandt Thomas

The fund will focus on the upkeep and improvements to the Thomas Garden of Hope area of the Simmons Cancer Institute, an area that showcases Thomas’ belief in preserving the past for a future audience.

Board of Directors Saul J. Morse, Chairperson Harry J. Berman Carolyn A. Blackwell Arthur H. “Hy” Bunn G. Virginia Conlee Janet S. Costello Kevin W. Crumly Katherine S. Germeraad Karen H. Pletsch John C. Slayton Bruce A. Sommer Martha S. Sumner John G. Stremsterfer, Executive Director

The garden was constructed in memory of Thomas’ late husband, Gordon Thomas. It was inspired by a family farm in Mt. Sterling called Rocky Branch. The Garden of Hope features an array of native prairie plants and rocks and geodes found on the fifth generation family farm. “That’s my main project,” Thomas said. “It requires maintenance year to year.” Thomas also plans to support the preservation of Clayville Historical Site near Pleasant Plains. Education is another major area of interest for Thomas. She plans to use this fund to help increase the scholarship value for the ten scholarship awards she has already established for college students studying agriculture. Currently, she funds scholarships at the University of Illinois, Lincoln Land Community College, University of Illinois Springfield and Brown County High School. “I will extend the scholarships I have,” Thomas said. Philanthropy has long been part of her activities. She has been active in Home Extension offices, Conservation Club of Pleasant Plains, Zion Lutheran Church, Women for Women and other philanthropic efforts. “I’ve always been involved in the community,” Thomas said. “It’s important to be involved.” See Past and present on pg 2

© 2011 Community Foundation of the Land of Lincoln

Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln

Volume 9, Issue 1 // Spring 2012

Three New Funds Created to No time worries for Miller

New fund will help family plan for charitable giving Neal Miller has stopped the end of the year rush. The traditional end of the year philanthropic decisions will be spread throughout the calendar with the establishment of the Miller Family Fund through the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln.

Young Philanthropists award sixth annual grant to Camp Care-A-Lot


embers of the Young Philanthropists giving circle were able to increase their annual grant to $6,000 in 2011. The award was made to Camp Care-A-Lot in support of its residential summer camp program for underserved children. Donations from members have made it possible for this group to award $28,000 in grants to local organizations over the last six years. The next social event for members is coming up on June 21 at the Orthopedic Center of Illinois. Visit for more information.

Connecting people who care with causes that matter.

“We think it’s a great vehicle for us to allocate dollars, to be able Rachel, Neal, Julie and Heather Miller to make distributions through the year,” Miller said. “Historically, there is a rush to make financial distributions in the last quarter. There are needs throughout the year and you can donate the money more through the year instead of the last 60-90 days.” The donor-advised fund will not focus on a single interest, but instead touch a variety of areas including hunger, literacy and religion. The creation of the Fund through the Community Foundation allows for a streamlined process. “My family has always tried to be diligent in committing funds back to the community,” Miller said. “The Foundation gives us a way to do that. It makes the process easier and allocation simple.” Neal and his wife Julie will be the primary decision-makers of the fund’s recipients. However, in time the couple’s daughters, Heather and Rachel, will play an increasingly larger role in the process. Miller co-owns EOS, Inc. and Julie is a second-grade teacher in Rochester. The couple has lived in Springfield since 1991. “Our children know how important it is to give back to the community,” Miller said. “They will partake in the decision. We will allot money for them to make decisions for community needs that interest them.” For more information on creating a fund at the Community Foundation, please call 217-789-4431. Continued from front cover

Past and present Thomas founded Brandt Consolidated with her brother Glen in 1953. The company will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2013 and has grown from a small business in Pleasant Plains into an international leader in specialized agricultural projects. While the size of the company has grown, the spirit of helping maintain the land to support agriculture efforts remains its core. “We encourage people to be good stewards of the soil,” Thomas said. “They aren’t making any more land. It’s very important to maintain the land. ... Life has been good to us. It feels good to help out others.”

visit us online WWW.CFLL.ORG The Foundation | 2

Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln

Volume 9, Issue 1 // Spring 2012

Assist Future Philanthropists and Students Plan in place for future giving

Robert & Nancy Colantino Family Charitable Fund Opportunity presented itself and Bob Colantino ushered it through the door. The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln provided the opportunity for a more formalized approach to the Colantinos’ philanthropic efforts and Bob and his wife, Nancy, made use of it by establishing the Robert & Nancy Colantino Family Charitable Fund.

formal strategy for kids to give back, set up for them, then it’s a reminder of that message and it becomes an equal competitor with other things for their dollars.” The fund is donor-advised allowing diversity in giving. However, the family will likely focus on educational efforts. “I’m a firm believer in education,” said Colantino, who is an oral surgeon. “If you teach a person how to fish, they can sustain themselves.” For more information on establishing a charitable fund for your family, please contact the Community Foundation at 217-789-4431.

Wolaver leaves legacy through golf New memorial scholarship fund established

Don Wolaver loved golf. He loved it for more than 50 years. That love for the sport has led to the creation of the Donald Lee Wolaver Memorial Golf Scholarship Fund through the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln. The Fund will be used to provide scholarships for students who played golf in high school.

The Colantinos: Alison, Emily, Nancy, Bob & Drew

“Society creates an opportunity for people, not all people see opportunity, and not all that see it, take it,” the 69-year-old Colantino said. “One way of sharing success is to give back and help others see their opportunity. It’s very important.”

“Golf is a very personal sport,” said Donna Wolaver, who married Don in 1960. “You have to give a lot of self to do well, you have to practice, love competition, follow the rules. The majority of kids on golf teams are good students.” Don Wolaver’s love affair with golf started early as a child living on Cook Street in Springfield. His mother would often send him to Pasfield Park to play golf while she taught music lessons. It blossomed after a head injury during a sandlot football game forced him to give up other sports.

“We wanted to give back to the community. The community has been very good to our family. We wanted to give back in a systematic and organized way. The Community Foundation is an excellent vehicle to do that.” The planning process extends to the involvement of Colantino’s children, Emily, Alison and Drew. The parents expect the children to all participate in the fund and expand their roles in later years. “This is a family commitment,” Colantino said. “We wanted to establish a vehicle for them to make it easy for them when they are positioned to do that.” The plan is long-term as the three children have either just started careers, as in Emily’s case as an attorney in Chicago, or are still in post-graduate studies as in Alison’s and Drew’s status. The ability to establish a giving plan was an important lesson to convey to the children. “There is so much competition out there, so many interests for your money. Sometimes you forget that you need to give back a percentage every year,” Colantino said. “If you have a

Donald Lee Wolaver

covered a lot of territory.”

“Golf became his passion,” said Wolaver. “Don and I spent 30-some years going places and playing wonderful golf courses. Those golf clubs

Don graduated from Bradley University with a degree in civil engineering and spent 38 years working for the Illinois Department of Transportation.

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See Wolaver scholarship fund on back cover

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Why let the billionaires have all the fun?

Continued from pg 3

Wolaver scholarship fund

“That’s the perfect profession for people who like to play golf,” Donna Wolaver said. The passion continued through years of league play at Lincoln Greens and Jacksonville Country Club. The Wolavers played courses across the country from Pinehurst in North Carolina to a multitude of courses near Scottsdale, Arizona. Following a trip to play golf in Arizona in the winter of 1995, where he was bothered by shoulder pain, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He spent the next few months rehabbing with the hope of returning to the golf course before the weather ended the season.

recently the used wealthiest created upon hischallenged death. It was originally to help purchase new equipment for high school teams and other youth golfers. individuals and families in America to Recently, Donna decided to move the fund to the Community pledgeinmuch their toset up the Foundation order to of create greaterfortune formality and scholarship program. charity. Set up a charitable fund with

For more information on establishing a charitable fund to us and get the benefit your interests, or toexpert donate toadvice the Wolaverand Fund, please contact the Community Foundation at 217-789-4431. support the billionaires get.

Creating a fund

Several to meet charitable goals at To findoptions out how, call your John Stremsterfer If(217) you are789-4431, interested in setting a fund for yourself, your ness or your family, there are several options available to help or visit meet your charitable goals. You can choose when to give, what to give and choose a fund name.

Whatever your philanthropic We believe this process should be very straightforward for the passion, the Sangamon County donor. When you’re ready to begin, call us at 217-789-4431 and we’ll walk you through these steps. He passed away in December of 1996. A memorial fund was Community Foundation can help you Sangamon County Community Foundation 205 S ou th Fi f t h S t re e t , S u i t e 9 3 0 | S pr ingfie ld, I llinois 62701 T: 217789- 4431 F : 217- 789 -4635 design your own “Giving Pledge.” “By the end of the year he had gone out with buddies and played golf,” Donna Wolaver said. “Golf was one of the reasons for him working to recover and get back.”

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Spring 2012 Newsletter  

Read the stories of how four local families used funds at the Community Foundation to further their philanthropic giving.

Spring 2012 Newsletter  

Read the stories of how four local families used funds at the Community Foundation to further their philanthropic giving.