Since 2011, the Foundation has sponsored an Annual Dinner which has been held at the Elmwood
Presbyterian Church in the fall of each year. The purpose of the event is to maintain contact with friends
and donors, keeping them abreast of the foundation’s activities during the previous year and plans for
Annually we invite prominent local citizens to speak about growing up in Elmwood. Examples include
Gerry Shaheen, a retired Caterpillar executive: Scott Cisel, former president of Ameren Illinois; and the
women who started the Annual Strawberry Festival. In 2017, the speakers included John Block, the
Secretary of Agriculture during the Reagan Administration and Colleen Callahan, former USDA Director
of Rural Illinois Development .
During most years, the ECF recognizes one or more outstanding citizens, either living or deceased, who
made important contributions to the community. Previous winners have included Robert Potts, L.
Richard Whitney, two local attorneys and in 2016, the current president of the ECF.
In short, the Annual Dinner is a social event to which the public is invited, serving the purpose of
keeping our friends and neighbors aware of what we are doing and recognizing individuals for their
contributions to the community.