Today, on what would be Samantha Otte’s 30th birthday, twenty-two area nonprofit organizations received grants in her memory that will benefit hundreds of area youth for artistic, leadership, and humanitarian efforts.The grants, totaling more than $32,000, were distributed from the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri at the Quincy Public Library in the presence of her family and friends.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund honors the life and spirit of Samantha Otte by helping others. Samantha passed away in March 2000 at age 10 after a liver transplant necessitated by cystic fibrosis. Since the fund was established in late 2000, more than $400,000 has been distributed through grants in Samantha’s memory.

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund was supported until 2014 by proceeds from the Sammy Fund Weekend. In 2015, the Quincy Breakfast Kiwanis Club announced it would continue a Sammy & Kids Golf Outing and donate a portion of the proceeds to the Fund for continued growth.

Grants were awarded to the following organizations:

Adams County Farm Bureau FoundationAg in the Classroom initiative, increasing children’s awareness of the ways agriculture affects their lives
Bella EaseTeen Reach College Bound program, providing financial assistance for first-generation college students
Cheerful Home Child Care & Early Learning Center"Kiddie Kushion” mulch for playground
Cornerstone: Foundations for FamiliesComprehensive Youth Services program
Cornerstone: Foundations for FamiliesActivities for youth counseling clients
Girl Scouts of Central IllinoisGirl Scout school outreach program and camperships for girls in need of financial assistance
Griggsville-Perry Community School District #4 FoundationPlayground swings at middle school
Jackson-Lincoln Swimming Complex, Inc.Seasonal passes to allow low-income youth to access the pool and family-friendly activities
John Wood Community College FoundationJDUB Academy tuition assistance
John Wood Community College FoundationFinancial assistance for participants in the College for Life Program
Junior AchievementFinancial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness education for K-12 students
Muscular Dystrophy AssociationMDA Camp scholarship for low-income Quincy and West Central Illinois children
My Brotha's and My Sista's KeepersCrisis assistance for area children through the Keeper’s Project
Quincy Community TheatreTwo monthly scholarships for low-income children to attend QCT classes
Quincy Public LibrarySupport for 2020 “Big Read” initiative, providing 2,000 books to local children
Quincy Public Schools District #172Water therapy program at the YMCA
Quincy Society of Fine Arts/Arts QuincyInstant Arts classroom & Community Arts Access program support
Quincy Symphony Orchestra AssociationTuition scholarship for low-income participants in Youth Choir and Youth Orchestra and for the purchase of printed music
The Art CentersmART Kids Program
Transitions of Western Illinois FoundationMobile listening center for students at Transitions School
United Way of Adams County, Inc.Good News of Christmas campaign
YMCA of West Central Illinois - Quincy Family YMCASwim lessons and water safety education for up to 72 financially challenged Quincy area children

The Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois & Northeast Missouri builds permanent charitable funds to assist area nonprofits and communities. Its mission, “connecting people who care with causes that matter,” is achieved by gathering funds, growing them through investments, then granting to nonprofit organizations, causes or communities that mean the most to its donors.

Since 1997, the Community Foundation has made more than $8 million in grants. It serves 12-counties: Adams, Brown, Hancock and Pike in Illinois and Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, Knox, Shelby and Monroe in Missouri.

The Community Foundation has IRS 501(c)(3) status, and contributions made to the Community Foundation generally qualify for the maximum allowable deductions for income and estate tax purposes.

For more information, call 217-222-1237, email or go to or

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