MENDON, Ill. -- The Friends of Unit 4 recently cemented its legacy with the school district by establishing a permanent charitable endowment fund through the Community Foundation Serving West Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.
The endowment is a long-term investment and a reaction to the volatility of school funding in the state of Illinois.
"With the state of Illinois the way it is, the future is uncertain," said Paul Bealor, Friends of Unit 4 Board treasurer. "We would like the school to be focused on keeping staff. We can provide the extras."
Friends of Unit 4 has helped fund new playground equipment and a facelift for the district. It has also contributed to curriculum upgrades and bridges the gap between state funding, school budgets, booster club funding and the needs of teachers, club sponsors and coaches.
With the permanent endowment fund, Friends of Unit 4 will "help continue the legacy of the district," Bealor said. The fund is established with the Community Foundation in such a way that if the district should consolidate or cease operation, the fund would still be applied to whatever district would take its place.
"Our board of directors realized the need for a stable, predictable source of income for our organization," Bealor said. "Working with the Community Foundation to manage and administer the endowment allows us to focus on our mission."
Bealor described Friends of Unit 4 as "an umbrella organization" that is not restricted in how it distributes its donations.
"We are not limited by anything we can give to, if you want to support the school district in any specific fashion," Bealor said.
Interested donors may make a gift to the Community Foundation, noting that the gift is for the Friends of Unit 4. Gifts for the Friends of Unit 4 Fund are tax-deductible, as the Community Foundation is a not-for-profit with 501(c)3 status.
"We're grateful that Friends of Unit 4 has entrusted us with this fund," said Jill Arnold Blickhan, Community Foundation President and CEO. "Our experience enables us to assist anyone with an interest in the organization to give while they live or plan for their legacy."
More information is available at friendsofunitfour.com or mycommunityfoundation.org.