Sharon Stredde began her tenure at the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley 25 years ago. At that time, the foundation (then the Aurora Foundation) had $3.7 million in assets, 63 funds and five endowments to administer.
Today, the Community Foundation of the Fox River boasts more than $50 million in assets, 370 funds and 219 endowments.
“Sharon won’t tell you that she played any part in the foundation’s success, but the board of directors will,” John McKee, chairman of the board when Stredde was hired in 1985, said in a recent news release. “Sharon has been the driving force behind the success of the Community Foundation.
“She quietly goes about the business of growing the foundation’s assets, funds, scholarships and endowments because she truly believes in the work the foundation is able to do as a result of its success.”
Stredde now holds the title of president and CEO of the Community Foundation and has seen the foundation grow substantially in the last 25 years. During her tenure, more than $52 million has been received in gifts, $21 million has been distributed to nonprofit organizations and $7.5 million has been awarded for scholarships. And in the process, the foundation has grown to become a $50.4-million resource for the local community.
One of the programs for which Stredde is most proud is the Peaceful Schools Fox Valley anti-bullying program she introduced to the community in 2001. The foundation has provided support of more than $300,000 for the program, which has resulted in calmer classrooms, better behavior and increased self-esteem. The foundation continues to fund the program as a way to protect the children in the communities from the tragedies that result from bullying.
Robert Hubbard of Batavia, current board chairman, said in the release that all of the communities in the Fox River Valley have been strengthened because of the Community Foundation under Stredde’s leadership.
“In today’s world, it is rare for one person to devote so many years to one organization,” Hubbard said in the release. “We are pleased to pay tribute to Sharon’s many accomplishments on her 25th anniversary and look forward to our continuing partnership of service.”
Citizens interested in learning more about the Community Foundation should call 630-896-7800 or visit www.cffrv.org.