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SciTech Hands-On Museum Receives $4K Grant From Community Foundation

Chicago Tribune

Dorothy has a new home, and it isn’t Kansas anymore.

On Nov. 11, the SciTech Hands-On Museum in downtown Aurora celebrated the grand opening of its tornado and storm chase exhibit. Mayor Tom Weisner helped unveil the center piece of the new exhibit: “Dorothy,” a storm chase vehicle, standing next to a 10-foot-tall tornado simulator that allows children to stand inside a “twister.”

Eight Munchkins, who sang and danced at the opening ceremony, were the first to check out Dorothy and its equipment. The Munchkins will perform in the Wizard of Oz at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre Thanksgiving weekend.

SciTech now serves as the permanent home of Dorothy, thanks to support from the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. SciTech visitors can get a close-up look at the 1992 Chevy Blazer and its on-board weather monitoring equipment, which enabled storm chasers to upload live videos of storms and tornados to television newsrooms.

Dorothy, donated by well-known storm chaser Eddy Weiss and his national Chasing4Life organization, has logged hundreds of thousands of miles to record hurricanes, tornados and floods and to educate children and adults about disaster preparedness. The vehicle has appeared on television programs and education events across the nation.

“Thank you for the opportunity for Dorothy to be on display at SciTech and to continue its education mission,” said Dan Bocklund, who represented Chasing4Life at the exhibit opening.

SciTech, located at 18 West Benton Street in downtown Aurora, is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 to 3 and Saturday from 10 to 5. Admission is $8 and free for children 3 and under. Museum visitors enjoy free validated parking in the parking garage on the corner of West Benton Street and Stolp Avenue. For more information, visit or call 630-859-3434.

…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

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

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

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

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