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West’s Field of Dreams Campaign Hits Million-Dollar Mark

The Beacon-News
By Matt Brennan

The West Aurora School District has raised approximately $1 million through its Field of Dreams campaign to pay for the artificial turf athletic field installed at West High, according to Neal Ormond, School Board president.

The board received a check for $500,000 from the Community Foundation on Monday, as a first installment toward the field. The Community Foundation is an Aurora-based group that assists local non-profits by managing their fundraising and accounting efforts.

“West Aurora schools have a lot of friends and supporters,” said Sharon Stredde, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “They (the donations) continue to pour in.”

The district also made a $1,000 donation to the Community Foundation Monday, in appreciation for donated time and services. The foundation did not charge the School District for managing the funds.

“They’ve allowed us to become so much more efficient and effective,” Superintendent James Rydland said.

Ormond said the district is still seeking donations to cover the remaining $300,000 of the field’s cost. People can still donate by going to the district’s website at, and clicking on the button to support the Field of Dreams.

He also said the district expects to save between $25,000 and $50,000 per year by not having to perform routine maintenance on the field, such as mowing, watering and fertilizing. The district is also expecting to be able to use the field as a revenue source, renting it to various community organizations for events, he said.

The field was dedicated on Aug. 20.

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

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

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