Our Community’s Stories

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Breaking Down Barriers with Girl Power

The Community Foundation for McHenry County helps open doors to all girls

Those familiar with Girls on the Run (GOTR) know their program is about so much more than running.

“It’s the social-emotional learning that’s really making a difference in these girls’ lives,” explained Laurie Dayon, Executive Director of the Northwest Illinois chapter.

In recent years, Laurie and her team launched an adaptive program for GOTR.

“GOTR is meant for every girl who wants to participate,” she said, adding the adaptive program empowers girls with varying physical, emotional and developmental needs to benefit from the curriculum. The program offers specialized instruction for parents and volunteer coaches and includes helpful tools, from an alternate race course to a mobile sensory room.

Recently, The Community Foundation for McHenry County awarded GOTR with a $15,000 grant, which is helping their team fully integrate the adaptive program and update their marketing and images to showcase the remarkable and diverse group of girls who now take part in the program.

“We want everyone represented,” said Laurie.

This is not the first time The Community Foundation for McHenry County supported Girls on the Run

“The very first grant I ever wrote was to the Foundation,” Laurie said, adding they approved the grant. “That was validation that a group of people actually cared about what we were doing.”

Laurie is thankful to all the donors who support the Foundation in “connecting people who care with causes that matter.”


“Thank you so much for your generous gift of $2,000 from the Give360 program. The Family Health Partnership Clinic provides high quality health care to the uninsured and under insured of the McHenry County area. With a small staff and over 30 volunteer physicians, we are able to provide care to over 2,000 individuals throughout the year. We are so honored to be a part of this program and we congratulate The Community Foundation on having the foresight to craft a way to make everyone a philanthropist!”

Suzanne Hoban

Executive Director - Family Health Partnership Clinic


“The donation from GIVE360 was a BIG deal for our mentoring mission. It was an unexpected boost that allowed us to match more children with caring mentors. Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County is based on the power of one person making a difference."  

Leslie Blake

Become a philanthropist through the Foundation. Small amounts, given regularly create a sustainable fund for giving in the county. You can make a difference by "stepping into" the GIVE360 Circle.


“Our GIVE360 Grant was a wonderful surprise and came at the perfect time. We use the money to replenish our fund that provides financial assistance to clients enrolled in our therapeutic riding program. Nearly a third of the riders in our program lack the financial resources to pay even a nominal fee for our services."

Loriann Dowell

It's not to late to Step Into The Circle and join the GIVE360 program!