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2016 Fall Fundraiser

Save the Date

Harlem Wizards vs. D205 ALL-STARS

September 29,2016

Details Coming Soon


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Interested in serving as a Foundation Director?

The District 205 Foundation for Educational Excellence is looking for a few good men and women who would like to help make a difference for all students in District 205. What better way to give back to the community in which you are raising your children than to work with like-minded individuals to raise funds for innovative and supportive programs?

Board members serve a three-year term with renewal options and work with other dedicated volunteers in supporting educational programs, including the annual Thiems Grants and the Study Skills Program in place at all K-8 schools.

Consider joining the Foundation Board! Click here for an application or call 630-617-2328 for more information.

Lisa Fanelli, 2015 NSFA Host Committee Member, with Gov Rauner, center, and Committee

NFSA Welcome Committee

Executive Director, Lisa Fanelli, poses with Governor Rauner and fellow Host Committee Members for the 2015  National School Foundation Association Conference held in Chicago. Individuals from thirty-two states and Canada attended the  conference. "It was an honor to serve as a team member on the Welcome Committee, and the conference was so informative and rewarding", said Lisa, "There is important work being done by K-12 educational foundations on a national level, and the ability to learn from and collaborate with experts in education, individuals that value this work and those dedicated to it was a great opportunity." 

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2016-2017 Thiems Grants Announced

Congratulations to the 2016 Thiems Grant Winners!

Twenty-nine grants worth $54,990 awarded

Every elementary, middle and high school impacted.

"It was great having the Foundation here to present the grants. We are very fortunate to have such a supportive community and we are very appreciative of these grants to support our students.Thank you!" 

Leslie Weber

Principal, Jefferson Elementary 

Click to learn more 

Top Pizza 2016 

   The Results Are In......


THANK YOU TO doshi orthodontics  

  AND SkyZone for their sponsorships and raffle prizes!


Local Pizza Participants included DiLeo's, Fratello's, Lou Malnati's, Mama Maria's Armands, Mod Pizza, Papa John's,  Roberto's, Sarpino's.  Desserts Donated by Lezza Bakery

Top Pizza Night - You Decide




Over $108,000 educational enhancements

funded for 2015-2016 academic year

All D205 K-12 Schools Benefit!


  • $58,000 for  Middle School and High School Chromebooks
  • Continued Study Skills funding and expansion 
  • 29 educational grants totaling  $54,990

visit Thiems Grant page for photos and list of grants

 This academic year (2015-16), students in District 205 will benefit from over $108,000 in funding from the Elmhurst District 205 Foundation.


Friday, May 6th, began as usual for students and staff of Elmhurst District 205 schools, until District 205 Foundation Board members began paying surprise visits to extraordinary teachers who were awarded the Thiems Educational Grants they had applied for last semester. Throughout the day, several teams of Foundation Directors visited York Community High School, as well as every elementary and middle school, with bells and balloons awarding grants to happy teachers and excited students.  A total of 29 grants worth $54,990 were awarded this year for implementation next academic year.

York High School will benefit from over $15,000 in funding which will provide new books for their library, support Science Olympiad, rowing machines for the Fitness Center, an orchestral musical workshop, and multiple media and technology hardware that students need in order to work effectively within the current educational environment.

Other grant highlights include Ozobot kits for Bryan, Churchville and Sandburg Middle Schools to encourage exploration of STEM education; standing desks and alternate seating options; supplemental  math materials to assist young learners; and carts of ukuleles that will be used at all the elementary schools to introduce this instrument into the music curriculum.

The grant program is named after former District 205 Superintendent Dr. Russell Thiems, who was instrumental in in the formation of the Foundation for Educational Excellence, which has provided over $1.4 million dollars in grants to District 205 since 1989.


Additionally, the Foundation for Educational Excellence is supporting the District’s Mobile Leaning Implementation (MLI) with total funding of $58,000, which purchased three Google Chromebook carts, each with 32 devices, for each of the three middle schools. 

And finally, with the help of a 2014 donation of $15,000 from the 100+ Women Who Care, the Foundation Board is continuing to fund the Study Skills Program for all K-8 schools, including an expansion of the program at three schools. Study Skills gives academic and organizational assistance to students outside the classroom and relies on reoccurring annual funding to survive.




Thank you to all the sponsors, donors and guests that helped make the gala a huge success!

Over $23,000 raised to specifically fund literacy in our district

Over $55,000 raised to support  additional Foundation Programs


Congratulations to the Winner's Choice Raffle Winners:

Tom & Mary Gnadt



Thanks to major sponsor

BMO Harris Bank

2016 Friend of the Foundation Award

Foundation honors Holly Kost with the 2016 Friend of the Foundation Award

The District 205 Foundation is proud to honor Holly Kost with the “Friend of the Foundation” award at the 2016 Gala.


Holly’s roots are planted in Elmhurst. She grew up here, raised her family here and absorbed all things volunteer here.  Her involvement began with tenure at Jackson Elementary School where her three children attended over the course of 10 years. Committee chair led to PTA President. She simultaneously served and worked with REACH PTA in various roles including President. A role she went on to hold for eight years.


A theme of appreciated leadership decorates her volunteer resume. No paychecks were exchanged for her hours further spent as founding member of York High School Academic Boosters and the York Distinguished Alumni Program, or her active roles in Music Boosters, Drama Boosters, and the York Advisory Team.Holly and her husband, Kelly, are loyal and generous supporters of the Foundation. Holly was a Thiems Grant recipient for the first Jr. Great Books Program, a literacy enrichment that has been absorbed into the fabric of most of our elementary schools.


This is only a meek excerpt of Holly’s decades of dedication to our schools and other community organizations. Her impact of greatness is immeasurable but devotion and the charity of time are consistent ripples felt through the tide pool of education. 

Thank you to Holly for sharing her talents with our community! 


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