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Office Closure: The Community Foundation will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2022, in observance of Independence Day.

John “Jack” Harkness Memorial Fund

Established 2018

The John “Jack” Harkness Memorial Fund was established to support activities relating to mathematics and business through the A+ Foundation for West Aurora Schools. In addition, an annual scholarship will be granted to a senior scholar athlete planning to major in accounting, business or math.

John “Jack” Harkness was raised in Aurora and graduated in 1946 from East Aurora High School. After high school, John spent two years overseas in the Army with the occupation forces following World War II. Following those two years, he played football at Knox College while serving in the Army Reserves. He graduated from Knox in 1952 with a degree in Accounting. After a final stint in the Army, he was honorably discharged and began his accounting career and focused on raising a family with the love of his life, Mary. Together they raised four children: John (deceased 1972), Mary Ann, Susan, and Karen.

It was when his children began school, in the West Aurora district, that John became an ardent supporter of the Blackhawks. He was involved in the founding of the Blackhawk Boosters and served as its first president. He was active in making sure girls were given more athletic opportunities at the high school. He ran for the school board and was elected to a post when his youngest daughter, Karen, began kindergarten, serving as president for some of those years. When Karen graduated high school, John decided it was time to step down since he no longer had children in the schools. He was given an honorary West Aurora diploma for his service on the board. He served on the first board of the Foundation for West Aurora Schools, now the A+ Foundation.

In addition, John owned Johnson and Harkness, Accountants (now Johnson, Harkness and Park, Inc.) He was active at First Presbyterian Church in Aurora as an elder, deacon, summer camp counselor, and high school Sunday school teacher.

John passed away in June 2018 and is dearly missed by his children and grandchildren. His passion for education was passed on to his daughters, who all became teachers.

Being a part of the Community Foundation scholarship committee is the highlight of my year. For many, a scholarship from the Community Foundation is the reason they are able to continue reaching for their dreams and changing the future of our world. I hope each recipient knows just how inspirational they are to those of us who are lucky enough to read their stories.

Jessica Breugelmans

Board Member & Scholarship Committee Member

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

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

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

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

…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

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