The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Opinion

June 30, 2009

Foundations help communities grow

Students who benefit from the efforts of the Danville Public School Foundation received a significant boost last week with a $250,000 pledge from the Julius W. Hegeler II Foundation.

Hegeler’s generosity, coupled with a similar pledge from 1956 Danville High School graduate Dr. Ron Gillum, helps create a solid financial base for the foundation.

With interest earned from investments, the foundation will be able to help District 118 schools to expand the scope of its offerings to students.

The foundation offers people who want to help the schools and local students a way to put their dollars to the best use. By coming donations of all sizes, the Danville Public School Foundation can improve classroom materials, offer scholarships and otherwise enhance the district’s curriculum.

Many communities — including Covington just across the state line in Indiana — use similar foundations to pay for special projects, scholarships and other projects.

Foundations give donors a tax break for committing their money to good causes while providing an opportunity for bigger and better projects. They put private money to work for the public good.

Danville could benefit from such a foundation. Giving people with ties to the community a way to show their appreciation, to honor special residents or to just lend a helping hand could pay off in significant ways.

Creating a community foundation with a target of the whole city would be a good way to pay for progress without looking to government for a handout.

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