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Hidden Event Pages

Heidi White Memorial Concert

This year's Annual Heidi White Memorial Concert will mark the 10th year since Heidi White died in 2004 at the age of 27 of complications after childbirth.  The concert will be held at 7:00PM, on Thursday, May 1, 2014, at the Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center.  Doors open at 6:30pm with coffee drinks and desserts by Eli's Coffee Shop.  Tickets may be purchased at the door for $10 ea. or a maximum of $25 for a family.

Heidi White loved music and she wanted kids to love music, too. She had a poster in her classroom at Jefferson School with the words, "Music Speaks What Cannot Be Expressed.  Soothes the mind and gives it rest.  Heals the heart and makes it whole.  And flows from heaven to the soul."  When she taught music at Jefferson Elementary School or directed the choir at Morton Junior High she fostered that love by bringing her enthusiasm to every production - full costumes and make-up, sound system improvements and ordering T-shirts to get kids excited about their upcoming show.

“You have to start with the kids and that is how she saw it,” Vicki Horn, a teacher at Jefferson School and Mrs. White’s mentor, said. “She was adamant about kids enjoying music.” Her life is celebrated each spring at the Heidi White Memorial Concert. Proceeds from the concert are used for music camp scholarships for students. The Heidi White Memorial Music Endowment Fund at the Morton Community Foundation is established and donors can give to this fund so children can continue to experience quality music instruction. Mrs. White’s life was about sharing music. Her legacy is a sweet song.

Proceeds from this concert will go to the Heidi White Memorial Music Scholarship Endowment Fund, a component fund of the Morton Community Foundation.  The proceeds of this fund will be used in District 709 Music programs for the purchase of equipment; defraying the costs of participating in music related activities, competitions, etc.; and other music related activities or purchases.  Priority is given to expenditures related to choral department activities, competitions, or purchases.

The Emcee for this year's concert will be Courtney Daniel (Former Heidi White Memorial Scholarship Recipient).  Performances will be featuring: Morton Elementary Choir, Courtney Daniel, Orchestra Prelude, MHS Chorale, B Naturals (MHS girls' acappella ensemble), Bum Bums (MHS boys' acappella ensemble), MJHS Jazz Band, MHS Jazz Band, and the Bradley University Jazz Ensemble. 


Craig Barley Announces Annual Support Partners Program

Craig Barley, MCF Board PresidentIn the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing more about ways you can be involved in helping the Morton Community Foundation continue its good work in Morton.
What a wonderful success story the Morton Community Foundation has been! Since our founding in 2000, many families, individuals and businesses have made donations enabling MCF to make grants to local not-for-profits totaling almost $250,000. Through the Foundation, donors have granted almost $50,000 in scholarships and another $1.5 million to help build community assets such as the new baseball field at Westwood Park, the Morton Aquatic Center, and the Idlewood Arts Pavilion. When we add in grants from Designated Funds and Donor Choice Funds, the impact of local giving is truly remarkable, and the Foundation is proud to serve as a conduit for local residents to fulfill their charitable dreams. And that’s just the start!
Yes, the Foundation has been growing and changing rapidly. From a modest beginning with four funds, we’ve now grown to over 40 funds. Our Grant Announcement open house, Oktoberfest and Christmas Tree-lighting ceremony have become eagerly-anticipated annual events on Morton’s social calendar. But it takes time and money to accomplish all this good work. To ensure that we are here “for Morton, for ever”, we will be contacting Morton residents to solicit their support – treasure, time and talents – so the Foundation can focus on its mission of improving the quality of life for our Morton-area residents. 
The Foundation has established a goal of 70 new Annual Support Partners in 2014.  An Annual Support Partner is an individual, family, or business that signs an intent form indicating their support of the operating fund of the Morton Community Foundation at any level for 3-5 years.  Look for more information on the Foundation’s Annual Support Partner campaign in the near future.

MJHS Help-athon Donates to Morton Helping Hands Fund

From left – Evan Pfeifer, Olivia Witzig, Scott Witzig, Executive Director of MCF, Nicole Leman, Aspen Gordon, and Kalahan Aberle. Pictured in back are Lee Hoffman, principal at MJHS, and Chris Carter, assistant principal at MJHS.

Top Fundraising students, as well as Administrators from Morton Junior High School presented a check for $540 to be placed in the Morton Helping Hands Fund, a component fund of the Morton Community Foundation.  The money is a portion of the money collected by MJHS students during their MJHS Helpathon fundraiser which raised a total of $22,000 for the Junior High as well as 4 local charities.  

On Wednesday, Oct. 9 the entire MJHS student body, faculty and staff went out into the community as part of this year’s fund-raiser.  Students were asked to seek donations to sponsor their involvement in a service project in the community.  The money raised from this new fundraiser will be used for projects around the school such as risers for the music program, digital lab equipment for the science department, wrestling mats, Scholastic Bowl materials, a Cross Country and Track timer, materials for the library, and a Softball fence.  In addition 10% of all money raised is being donated to four designated charities:

  • American Heart Association
  • Morton Helping Hands, a Component Fund of the Morton Community Foundation
  • Military families through the Family Readiness program
  • Children’s Hospital

CLICK HERE for photos taken during Helpathon.



Jake Garber Memorials to MHS Marching Band Endowment Fund


Obituary for Jacob A. Garber

Morton - Jacob Andrew Garber, 20, of Morton, was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, as a result of injuries sustained in a two-vehicle accident at College Avenue and Mitsubishi Motorway in Normal.

He was born Dec. 12, 1992, in Peoria, the son of Doug and Kay (Sanders) Garber.

Surviving are his parents of Morton; his brother and sister-in-law, Adam and Hadassah (Hawkins) Garber of Normal; little sister, Rebekah, who resides at home; his grandparents, Jim and Beverly Sanders of Morton and Robert and Dorothy Garber of Goodfield. Also surviving are many wonderful aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that he held close, especially Logan, Andrew, Caleb, Adam and Andrea.

Jacob loved music from a young age and was determined to become an exceptional percussionist at the age of seven. He earned his Amateur license at the age of 12 and made many friends with Ham Radio.

Besides music, he enjoyed playing Morton JFL Football, running track in junior high and high school and wrestling. Jacob attended Morton High School and graduated in 2011. He led the Morton High School drumline as captain for three of his four years in marching band. Jacob auditioned and was recognized as the section leader of the snare line for the Bands of America Honors Band which marched in the 2009 Rose Bowl Parade. He later received the honor of participation with the Morton High School Marching Band in the 2009 Inauguration of President Barrack Obama. He currently assisted as an instructor for the Dunlap High School drumline.

Jacob felt led to follow his brother's footsteps and serve his country. He joined the Army National Guard and attended boot camp in the fall of 2011. He graduated from Fort Sill, Okla., in October and acquired his 13 Foxtrot MOS as a forward observer. He served with the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 2nd Squadron 106th Cavalry in Kewanee, Ill. Jacob was recently promoted to the rank of Specialist and in June 2013, he received his Sliver Spurs by completing the "Spur-Ride Exercise." Jacob and 20 others completed the exercise out of 400 participants.

Jacob was completing his third semester as a Criminal Justice major at Illinois State University. His sites were set to be accepted one day into the Illinois State Police.

Jacob conducted himself humbly and was always encouraged to practice and perform his skills with precision in order to demonstrate his abilities rather than brag. He did so admirably.

The family encourages friends and family to join them in celebrating the life of their wonderful son rather than grieve his loss. He loved life and that is how he should be remembered.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, at Grace Church in Morton. Further visitation will be from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, followed by services at 10 a.m. at Rock Church, 1081 Upper Spring Bay Road, East Peoria, with Pastor Chuck Tate officiating. Burial will be at Stewart-Harmony Cemetery in Metamora, where military rites will be conducted by his Army National Guard Unit.

Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made in Jacob’s name to Morton Community Foundation for the Morton High School Marching Band Endowment Fund.


Hannah's Red Rocket Endowment Fund

Heather Walters Thompson grew up in Morton.  After having lived elsewhere for twenty years, Heather, her husband Michael and their five year-old daughter, Hannah, moved back to Central Illinois in August of 2007 when Michael accepted a position at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Michael, Heather and Hannah were all excited about this new chapter in their lives.   Soon after the family moved to Illinois, Hannah was diagnosed with an inoperable and untreatable brain tumor.  The only thing Hannah’s family could do was to pledge that Hannah’s remaining days would be happy ones, filled with love and laughter.

From the time she was a baby, one of Hannah’s very favorite things to do was to ride on a swing.  Once her condition progressed so that she could no longer use a traditional park swing, Hannah’s parents found a park near their home in Normal that had a large, red adaptive swing.  At first, Hannah was reluctant to use it, but with some encouragement from her friends, Hannah was soon swinging on the “Red Rocket”, as the swing was promptly nicknamed.  This simple thing, a red park swing, made all the difference to Hannah and her family over the next few months.  It meant that she could still play at the park with her friends; that she could still experience that soaring feeling she so loved.  Hannah rode in the “Red Rocket”  often throughout the fall of 2007. As Hannah’s condition worsened, her family decided to move from Normal to Morton, where they would be closer to the family support they needed.  There was no “Red Rocket” in a Morton park, and by spring of 2008, Hannah was no longer able to swing.  She passed away May 2, 2008, just seven months after her diagnosis.

Five years after her death, Hannah’s family have decided to honor the spirit of their brave and beautiful daughter by establishing “Hannah’s Red Rocket”, a designated endowment fund for providing adaptive swings and other adaptive playground equipment for Morton parks and school playgrounds.


Designate to Hannah's Red Rocket Fund.