It’s only October, but Susan Dixon is already looking forward to the late May honors assembly at Lyons Township High School, where dozens, if not hundreds, of students are bestowed scholarships from local organizations.
Dixon attends the even on behalf of La Grange-Countryside Elementary District 105, awarding a scholarship to graduating seniors who have excelled in the classroom and who have demonstrated a need for college assistance.
“Honestly, it’s one of my favorite days of the year, when we give our scholarship away,” says Dixon, president of the District 105 Foundation. “We know from students who come back to us how important it is, because they tell us they wouldn’t be able to do what they are doing without the help.”
I’ve been to that honors ceremony twice and can attest to how remarkable it is to flip through pages and pages of scholarship listings in the event booklet, and see firsthand the generosity of many people in our community, such as foundations and individual families who award scholarship in name and memory of their late children to local service organizations.
My own sons have benefited from receiving scholarships from various groups, and our family has been humbled by others’ passion for helping young people realize their dreams, at a time when the scholarship donors could be doing other things with their time and funds. It’s a reminder, particularly in stark times like today, that many people put their money where their mouth is in terms of building the future.
The end of the school year is far away right now, when the leaves have barely begun to turn and senior portraits are just starting to arrive in parents’ mailboxes. But for Dixon and others involved with the D105 Foundation, planning and fundraising is well underway for the 2018 scholarships for graduating LT seniors as well as previous winners eligible for their scholarship to be renewed for another year.
Those fundraising efforts include a D105 Foundation Grand Jam event from 7-11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 from at the Illinois Harley Davidson on La Grange Road in Countryside. The $ 100 ticket price includes food from La Buona Vita in La Grange, beer, wine and/or soft drinks and entertainment by Howl at the Moon dueling pianos.
“In addition to that, we’ll have an airbrush tattoo artist, photo booths, test rides on stationary motorbikes and a chance to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle,” says Dixon, adding that raffle tickets are also available to win a range of prizes.
The event is novel in the community in various ways.
“This is the first time we have tried a fundraising event to beef up our scholarship fund,” she reports.
At least 100 tickets have already been sold for a venue that can accommodate many more, according to Dixon.
For more details, visit www.d105foundation.org.