ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Area Community Foundation celebrated its 15th anniversary of operation in its 16th year on Monday with a golf outing at Fairways Golf Course.
The event, originally scheduled for last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, had to wait a year. 72 golfers took to the course that had tables with representatives from community nonprofits represented.
"On behalf of the foundation, we thank everyone for their participation,” RACF Board Vice President Dennis Berg said. “We were going to have one last year, but we had to postpone it. As you're playing, there's 10 nonprofits out there. Make sure you engage with them and thank them for what they do. Without them, we don't have the community we have. We appreciate all the work they do."
RACF Executive Director Emily Anaya said the outing was for more than just the foundation. It’s about the nonprofit partners that contribute to the community, she said.
“It's a way to honor them and represent them and show the collaboration between the good the donors do through the community foundation to the nonprofit partners,” Anaya said.
The event was not set up as a fundraiser, but Anaya said RACF received $6,000 in unsolicited donations alone stemming from the outing. The event was set up as a “friendraiser” to familiarize community members with nonprofit partners.
“This gives our partners the opportunity to come out here and educate those other community leaders that maybe don't know exactly what they do or where they're at or who to contact or why,” Anaya said. “It's another way for them to have outreach to communicate their mission and what they do for the people in Rochelle."
Anaya called the support for the event “amazing” and said the response to the event touched her heart. Slots for the event filled up fast, she said.
The lasting effects of the event will be seen by those in need in the community, Anaya said.
“Think of all the people who will be touched by this today,” Anaya said. “This could open up doors for the people who are supported by the nonprofits. The youth, people who are hungry, Serenity Hospice & Home, there's just so much more. The chain reaction from what today can bring."
Anaya, who came on board as executive director in recent months, said her board did a lot of the work on putting on the outing, which she called “amazing.”
“They got the information out and contacted partners,” Anaya said. “This was their idea to celebrate. For me, it shows our RACF board members are in it and want to see Rochelle grow and thrive.
“If people do have more interest in RACF and what we're doing, talk to a board member. Come and see me in the office. We're happy to talk to companies or donors. We want everyone to know how important RACF is and the impact the donors make. Let us know how we can help.”