Rockford Park District Foundation
     In order to secure philanthropic support to the Rockford Park District, the Foundation was founded in 1979 and at that time primarily worked to acquire needed land via donations or to sell donated land that was not needed for park space. Over the years, the Foundation’s focus changed to fit the needs of a rapidly growing Rockford Park District. The Foundation receives monetary, land, and various donations on behalf of the Park District, and administers the donations to ensure the donor’s intent is fulfilled. To date, more than $46 million dollars has been raised thanks to the generosity of friends and donors of the Rockford Park District Foundation.
     Donations received over the years have enabled the Foundation to achieve its mission of assisting the Rockford Park District in its pursuit of a quality park and recreation system in order to help people in our community enjoy life.
     Lori Berkes-Nelson has been the Foundation Director since August of 2014.  Her basic job is to fundraise for the Rockford Park District — to raise money to support the organization’s various projects. Berkes-Nelson is no stranger to fundraising — it’s been part of her career for nearly 15 years. In her previous life, she served as administrator of adolescent programs at Rosecrance, director of the Golden Apple Foundation of Rockford, and director of Econ Illinois, which builds programs that teach economics to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. 
     She loved her previous job at Econ Illinois, but her office was in DeKalb and her board met in Chicago. Long hours kept Berkes-Nelson away from her family here in Rockford. She says she also missed being able to have an impact on this community.     A colleague told her the Rockford Park District needed a new foundation director and administrators wanted someone who could establish relationships.  The rest is history.
     Lori will talk about the Foundation and how it supports the Park District.  This will be an informative program in which members can invite friends or prospective members to join us for our regular Thursday Zoom meeting.  You can do this by providing them with the Zoom meeting ID - 495 965 2706 and the password - D6420.  Beverly Broyles will introduce our presenter.