ROCKFORD (WIFR) – The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois announced today that, due to the generosity of the Eunice Wishop Stromberg Family and local donors, the Boone-Winnebago Regional Spelling Bee will be endowed in perpetuity. The Eunice Wishop Stromberg Spelling Bee Endowment Fund has surpassed the original goal of $100,000 and is now valued at $103,015.
Media outlets reported in March 2010 that according to the Regional Office of Education the regional Spelling Bee was in jeopardy due to the loss of a local funder. Fortunately at that time, an anonymous donor stepped forward to sponsor the 2010 Bee, and members of IBEW Local 364 generously offered to fund the Bee’s expenses in 2011.
Meanwhile, the Eunice Wishop Stromberg family believed establishing a permanently endowed fund at the Community Foundation to support the regional Spelling Bee was an ideal way to honor the memory of their beloved aunt. Stromberg’s family indicated that Eunice was a life-long Rockford resident who was particularly fond of children and encouraged their pursuit of academic excellence. Several members of Eunice’s close family have chosen education as their profession and together the relatives embraced the idea of the Spelling Bee legacy for Eunice.
The family offered a dollar for dollar match for contributions to the Spelling Bee Fund, up to $50,000. Donations raised at the Community Foundation’s Annual Dinner last October and charitable contributions recently received by the Foundation (including a $5,000 anonymous gift) place the value of the fund at $103,015.
Each year, income from the permanent fund will pay for the Spelling Bee’s expenses. Students and teachers can plan ahead, knowing that the Spelling Bee will take place. The Regional Office of Education will no longer have to spend time on fundraising. This year’s Spelling Bee will take place on March 19.
The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is the area’s largest provider of grants and scholarships. For 60 years, since 1953, its mission has been to attract, grow, and preserve an endowment for the Northern Illinois community. Contributions to endowed funds at the Community Foundation are tax-deductible and accepted at any time.