National Philanthropy Day Celebration

On Nov. 15, The Community Foundation for McHenry County marked National Philanthropy Day by hosting “Community as Mosaic” at the Woodstock Opera House, which featured speaker Leslie Biggins Mollsen, CEO of American City Bureau, Inc.

“It was a special opportunity to celebrate the vital connections between philanthropists, charitable initiatives and a vibrant community,” said Deb Thielen, Executive Director, The Community Foundation for McHenry County.

Approximately 200 donors and representatives from area service organizations attended the event, during which cell phone flashlights were illuminated by the crowd to demonstrate how philanthropy changes darkness into light. Staff from the Community Foundation also shared updates on new grant funding opportunities. For information on the new grant opportunities visit

November 15 is National Philanthropy Day—a day set aside to celebrate the daily contributions individuals and organizations make to countless causes and missions across the world.

Locally, this day is of particular importance to the Community Foundation for McHenry County (CFMC), as it is our mission to philanthropically address the needs of McHenry County by providing leadership, granting resources, stewarding assets and fostering awareness.

Perhaps you’ve heard our tagline, “Connecting people who care with causes that matter.” When it comes down to it, that is what philanthropy is all about—connections. Neighbors helping neighbors. Community members joining hands as donors, volunteers, residents and families with a shared stake in McHenry County. These connections bridge socioeconomic divides and inspire us to envision a supportive and inclusive quality of life for everyone who calls McHenry County “home.”

Last year, the Community Foundation for McHenry County helped fuel 82 service organizations with over $2.2 million in grants. Our donors come from all walks of life but share the common hope that their contributions will make a positive impact in the lives of others.

At CFMC, we see the difference philanthropy makes every day—it’s an incredibly tangible thing that can be seen on faces and felt in the hearts of thousands of McHenry County residents who have a place to turn when they need it most. Shelter from the cold. Food for a hungry belly. Health care in times of illness. Or sometimes, a friendly face, open arms and a safe space that reminds us all, despite our surface differences and personal struggles, what the word “community” really means.

We hope you will join us in celebrating National Philanthropy Day and are inspired by the connections that make McHenry County the strong, vibrant and special place it is.

Steve Middaugh, Board President
The Community Foundation for McHenry County