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Beacon-News Spotlights CFFRV Video On West Aurora Schools


The September 28, 2016 edition of the Aurora Beacon-News features an article about the Community Foundation’s video, “A History of West Aurora School District 129.”

The article, “New video shines light on history of West Aurora schools” by Linda Girardi, can be viewed in full on the Beacon-News’ website.

A new video, titled “A History of West Aurora School District 129,” has been released documenting the 179 years of history of the district from 1836 to 2015. Sharon Stredde, president emeritus of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, researched the background and authored the script for the project.

While the Community Foundation took the lead role in preserving the district’s history in the 55-minute DVD, Stredde credits a document, “A Study of Aurora Schools 1835-1935,” written by former Aurora teacher Frances Jean O’Brien, for the basis of her work.

Stredde said the Aurora Historical Society was an “invaluable” resource that provided assistance to verify the accuracy of information, as were the approximately 100 people she interviewed as part of the project across four months.

She said the Community Foundation five years ago decided to pay homage through a series of history videos to endowment fund donors, individuals and businesses such as the John S. Dunham Endowment Fund which is a tribute to the Dunham family and the Community Foundation Memorial Endowment Fund in memory of Virgil L. Gilman.

“We developed the project to honor these individuals and organizations maintaining permanent funds with the foundation. It is also our way of preserving local history and showing our respect for the past,” said Stredde, who served as a Community Foundation administrator from 1985 to 2015.

The Community Foundation has produced 27 videos since 2011, all of which are collaborative efforts, she said.

Longtime West Aurora School Board member and West Aurora High School graduate Neal Ormond is the narrator of the videos, including the newly released video that preserves the heritage and traditions of the West Aurora School District.

Visit the Foundation’s Video History Series page to view the West Aurora video and all other video histories.

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

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