By Kathryn Menue


BELVIDERE – The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) presented a grant to the Boone County Council on Aging on Thursday, Sept. 17. The grant presentation occurred at the Keen Age Center in Belvidere at 3:30 p.m.

The grant, totaling $5,000, will be used for the Boone County Council on Aging’s community care program.

CFNIL Executive Vice President Jon Bates and Director of Community Investments Dan Dineen presented the check to Boone County Council on Aging Executive Director Joe Fortmann and Community Care Supervisor Cindy Mathison.

“Through the community grants program we support health in the community and this group [Boone County Council on Aging] fit perfectly,” Dineensaid.

CFNIL is an organization designed for financially aiding local charitable organizations so they can help improve the quality of life in the northern Illinois communities.

The CFNIL states that their mission is to “attract, grow, and preserve an endowment for the current and future needs of people of northern Illinois.”  The CFNIL accomplishes this through all of their donors and supporters.

“With more than $85 million in assets and more than 400 individual funds, CFNIL makes grants to charitable organizations and scholarships to local students,” the CFNIL official website said.

Dineen said that the CFNIL contribute to all of Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties.

Dineen said that they were happy to present the grant to the Boone County Council on Aging so that they could purchase materials for training 25 people.

Mathison was thrilled to have the grant come through so that the Boone County Council on Aging could purchase new training DVDs for the caregivers, since caregivers have to receive 24 hours of training before being fully instated as a caregiver, which is mandated by law.

“We haven’t purchased any new training materials in a while,” Fortmann said, which was a bit of an understatement since Mathison said that the old training videos they had were still on VHS tapes that were broken and outdated.

“I think they dated back to the ‘70s,” Mathison said.

Mathison was excited about the new videos saying that they included “outlines, testings, and certifications so that both parties [the Boone County Council on Aging and the caregivers] have copies of the records.”

She said that the next step on the agenda for the grant money is to purchase new equipment to play the DVDs, to replace their all-in-one TV and VHS player.

The last bit of the grant would go to buying the 25 caregivers’ scrubs with their names and the council’s name embroidered on them so that everyone knows who they represent; especially since, the Boone County Council on Aging services 130 individuals in Boone County.

Mathison said all that they have now is a nametag on a lanyard that sometime gets in the way of their work.

“They’ll [the new scrubs] be more comfortable and easy to move around in,” Mathison said.

Both Fortmann and Mathison agreed that this grant money really comes in handy for their organization.

“We are a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit and we don’t have lots of money to invest, but we still need to be relevant and contemporary with care,” Fortmann said.

Fortmann gave all the credit to June Doty who found the grant and applied for it along with Mathison for finding the new training materials and the CFNIL for being kind enough to donate to the Boone County Council on Aging.

Mathison said the grant money will be helpful since organizations like theirs are “on the chopping block” due to the governor’s cuts.

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