Our Donors

The Partnership has proudly been working to improve our students’ futures for the past two decades!  Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have invested nearly $700,000 in classroom mini-grants and in academic college scholarships. Thank you again for your support over the past 20+ years.

MAJOR Donors

A very special thank you to the following individuals and organizations.

The family of William Edward Schmidt, Sr. was The Partnership’s very first major donor in 1994.  Through the William E. Schmidt Charitable Foundation and later also the Lon D. and Lucille (Schmidt) Barton Charitable Foundation, John and Peg Schmidt of Arizona have made generous annual gifts to The Partnership for classroom mini-grants and scholarships. William Edward Schmidt, Sr., and his wife Florence raised five children in Gillespie.  He worked in a Gillespie bank for 20 years before joining the Columbia Quarry Company in 1932 and remained active with the firm until his death in 1987. Our most generous supporters, the two family foundations, have made major gifts annually for 20 years, entrusting The Partnership to carry out its investment in our children. 

The Employees’ Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing St. Louis has been a major contributor of funds for classroom mini-grants since 2003.  One of the largest employee-owned and -managed charitable funds of its kind in the world, ECF of The Boeing Company has been empowering employees to pool their tax-deductible donations for greater impact for more than 60 years. Employee advisory boards work to locally distribute combined employee donations, which are made through recurring payroll deductions or one-time gifts, to U.S.-based IRS 501(c)3 qualified charitable or educational nonprofits. Boeing pays all administrative costs so 100 percent of every employee dollar helps strengthen local communities.

The Carroll-Keupper Scholarship was established by the late Rosemary Keupper Valle and her sister Lillian Keupper in honor of their families who have been involved in medicine, world health, and banking/finance.  Their grandfather Anthony Carroll, a member of the Gillespie school board, initiated strong family support for the local school system and its students.    

The Dr. D. Ross and Mrs. Rosemary Billiter Scholarship is the result of our most recent gift.  “We are grateful to the people of this area who have supported my medical practice,” says Dr. Billiter, who retired recently after nearly 50 years as a general surgeon at St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield.  “This gift is an acknowledgment of our appreciation and an investment in the future of our area.”  The Billiters say that after they read of the 2013 record award of 26 Partnership scholarships, they contacted President John Fassero, Jr.   The combination of honoring and profiling donors as well as the scholarship recipients appealed to them.  “The Partnership has proven itself to be a good steward of donor’s funds for more than 20 years,” says Dr. Billiter.  “We hope that this gift will encourage others who are doing estate planning to include The Partnership and other academic programs in their plans.”

The Tebbe Family Foundation, established by Gillespie High School alum (GHS ‘79 ) Mark Tebbe, gave The Partnership a one-time grant as well as additional project-specific grants for computer technology.  Mark, after graduating from the University of Illinois in 1983, founded the Chicago-based technology consulting firm Lante Corporation.  Lante created more than 250 new businesses and built back-end infrastructure and web sites for established companies including Microsoft, Dell, American Airlines, American Express, and Charles Schwab.  Mark is now an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Carol-Enrico DeLucca Memorial Scholarship for the Top Girl Graduate was established by family and friends in memory of this Benld native who was a respected educator and counselor.  This daughter of Rose Enrico established a consulting business to help high school and college students pursue their goals through higher education. 

The Mike and Perina Verticchio Memorial Scholarship was established by family to recognize the dedication and years of service to the Gillespie school district by Mike and Perina Verticchio.  Perina was a beloved elementary teacher for many years and Mike was a teacher, coach, and administrator whose education career began as a literacy specialist during World War II.

The Bertetti Foundation was established in 1998 by John Bertetti to honor his older brother Frank, both Benld natives.  Frank financed his younger brother’s college and graduate education at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, allowing John to attain a PhD in chemical engineering.  The gift of an education “which made all the difference” was repaid by the founding of the Benld Public Library in Frank’s name.  In addition, John contributed the seed money for The Bertetti Foundation which annually makes generous donations to The Partnership as well as other area non-profit organizations. 

An additional generous gift ear marked for our strategic reserve has been received from the estate of Benld resident Lucille Dmytryk Adams.     


2014 Memorials and Gifts Honoring Loved Ones

Donations received through 15 November 2014

The following people have been honored or memorialized by the many generous supporters of The Partnership during 2014.

DONORS:  Barbara Schmid; Jennifer Peterson; James D. Chronister; Dorothy Anspaugh; Janice Garella; The Workplace Pub, Inc.; Dave and Donna Dopuch; Alan A. Pretnor; Village of East Gillespie; Paul and Joan Alexander; Taylor Tire & Auto, Inc.; Jim and Carolyn Pickett; Lindell Loveless; John and Janice Snopko; Valerie Blevins; Employee Community Fund (ECF) of Boeing St. Louis; R.F. Scheldt Enterprises, Inc./Gillespie Dairy Queen; Coal Country Chamber of Commerce; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Mueller; Lillian Keupper


Emil Borgini Memorial Scholarship by Anonymous; Lynn Borgini; Greg Sallas

Elinor Davies Memorial Nursing Scholarship by Mark Vortman; Mike and Sandy Davies; Larry Davies

Danny Griffel Memorial Agricultural Scholarship by faculty and staff of Ben-Gil Elementary School; Tracy Petersen; Frank Wargo; Jim Balzraine; John and Leanna Sawyer; Carl and Charlene Behme; Andy Bray family; Alan and Peg Barkley; Theresa and Jim Duncan; David Thomas; Lynn and Mary Loveless; Richard and Rita Spencer; Ken and Judy Cordum; Eugene Hildebrand; Wolff Oil Co.; Litchfield Farmers Grain; Charles Greff family; Miller Bros. Fertilizer; Jerry and Carolyn Grandone; Jim and Rosalie Sandretto; Jerry and Nancy Ross; Hank and Betty Allan and families; Reno and Kathy Calcari; Terry and Deb Wray; Frank and Nancy Ruyle; Lindell and Jean Loveless; Jim and Mary Jo Bunge; Buck and Sharon Obertino; Judy DeSart; Bob and Donna Prevedell; Nellie Smith; Pete and Louise Mull; John Menzie; Mike and Ann Cavanaugh; Roger and Vicki DeWitt; Opal Brown; Joe and Carol Rimar; Harold and Lynn Heyen; Larry and Sharon Heyen; Dan and Laura O’Brien; Florence Easton and John; John and Mary Hicks; Harold and Lori Valerio; Bob and Gina Gucciardo; Gail Burns; Dave and Carol Morse; Rick and Julie Spencer with Nicholas, Ryan, Jessica, and Lilly; Terry and Tracy Soots; Ann Easton; Millie Stewart; John and Marleen Morris; Mike and Lindsey Knes; Tom and Dona Hubert; Brenda and Mark Lowe; Francis and Rita Genetti; Florence Dane; Ron and Mary Ann Sheppard; Bill and Gina Riegert; Mary K. Fritz; Ralph and Rose Marie Tebbe; Bill and Lou Ann Heyen; John and Linda Fassero; Wayne Heyen; Kent and Joleen Tallman; Norman and Mary Engelke

Hicks- Ronald Family Scholarship by John and Mary Hicks

Julia Kravanya Memorial Scholarship by Florence Easton; Donna and Andy Easton; Gillespie-Benld Area Ambulance Service; Kevin and Judy Janulavich; Dennis and Sandy Tallman; Billi and Sean Caveny; George Frame and Gerilyn Smith; Layne and Sharon Cloud; Joe and Julie Burns; Betty Petroline; Lillian Keupper; Jerry and Carolyn Grandone; John and Nettie Saric; Willard and Carole Scheller; Tom and Ruth Garbin; Barney and Theresa Trabon; Ralph and Rose Marie Tebbe; Julia Kravanya’s families; Peggy and Kathy Zarr; Rich and Mary Ann Russell; Dora Berutti; Ann Easton; Mary Ann Pollo; Cecilia Pollo; Stephen Pollo; Gloria Keck; Harry and Jo Ann Daley; George and Terri Mize; Mike Rosetto family; Glen and Beverly Loflin; Judy Rosentreter; Violet and Mary Gucciardo; Bill and Andrea Duncan; Pete Duncan; Jan Weidner; Gerri Wright; Steve and Denise Boente; Willa Blandin; Paul and Janet Seketa; Terry and Toni Wargo; Linda Ronald; Ed and Karen Bates; Kathy McDaniel; Ed Becker family Evelyn Heien; Mike and Artie Herron; Emma Vlasich; Dan Vlasich; Jim Vlasich; Karen and Eugene Boliard; Lyle Krieger and Cathy; Charles Ruyle; Lesicko family; David Lienard; Donald Sigman and Margie Weiss; Rob and Pat Bloome; Mike and Tammie Hamman

Eileen and Joe Libbra Memorial Scholarship by Mary and Eric Koestner; Bob and Donna Prevedell

John and Mark Madden Memorial Scholarship  by Rose Eccardt; Bob and Donna Prevedell; David Madden

Henry J. Marcacci Memorial Scholarship by James Basso; John J. Granger

Jim Masterson Memorial Scholarship  by Ken and Judy Cordum; The Prudential Foundation Matching Gifts; Bob and Donna Prevedell; Gillespie High School Class of 1964

Denis McGrady, Sr., Memorial Scholarship by Mark and Margaret Enlow; Richard and Barbara Mathenia; Murray and Rebecca McGrady

Lana Odorizzi Memorial Scholarship by Rachael DeMartini; Nancy Ribes; Gayle Frizzo; Don and Laura O’Brien;

Rick Richards Memorial Agricultural Scholarship by Elizabeth Richards; Bob and Donna Prevedell; Helen Richards’ Estate

Ryan Roach Memorial Scholarship by Gary Roach

James Rosentreter Memorial Scholarship by Judy Rosentreter

Travis Semplowski Memorial Scholarship by Dona Rauzi and Bunco Group; H. Renee Fisko; Don and Toni Janus; Ashleigh Semplowski; Emily and Joshua Martin; Michelle Bryant; John and Peg Kahl; Karl and Diane Kozak; Lori and Harold Valerio; Dianna Hankins; Jesee Janes

Helen Tiburzi Memorial Scholarship by faculty and staff of Gillespie High School

Michael Valenti Memorial Scholarship by Xi Eta Alpha Sorority

Michael and Perina Verticchio Memorial Scholarship by Mike Verticchio

Lois Zanter Memorial Scholarship by Lyndal and Jan Cloud; Margaret Reeves; George and Barbara Sawyer; John and Jane Graham; Joyce Staggs; Ed and Cindy Saracco; Randy and Joanne Thomas; Lillian Keupper; Irmaline Balzraine; Mary Jane Kalvin; Frank Wargo; Patricia and M.D. Bundy; Marjorie Leefers; Orville and Bernean Franke; Robert and Megan Willhoit; Jim and Michelle Wilson; Paul and Donna Meyer; Andrew Myer; Lawrence Forehand; Virginia Forehand; Rachael DeMartini; Marsha Heyen; Sarah Church; Larry and Sharon Heyen; Frank and Shelley Barrett; John Tarro family: Nikki Katich and Robin Allan; Sam and Suzanne Stewart; Harold and Lynn Heyen and family; Tom and Dona Hubert; Mary Jane Kalvin; Peggy Bertagnolli Allan; Barry and Nancy Deist; Joe Quade; Maple Street teachers; Anastasia Henderson and Kiera Cherry; David and Donna Dopuch; Mickey and Emmlee Robinson; Jerry and Carolyn Grandone; Dorothy J. Cordes; Deanna Girardi; Jody Dunn; Emma Stotler; Pat and Lisa Daley; Sam and Marilyn Pastrovich; Mike and Artie Herron and family; Kent and Susan Tarro; Ken and Judy Cordum; David and Pam Zaksas; Harry and Mary Ann Pollitt; Dave and Bea Leonard; Bill and Gwen Berutti; Marian and Larry Mayfield; Don Throne; Cathy Shinagawa; Tracy Petersen


The 60th wedding anniversary of Harry and Betty Craddick by Rachael DeMartini; Ralph and Rose Marie Tebbe    

The 88th birthday of Louise Laird by Brian and Lisa Engelke

The marriage of Barbara Madden and George Sawyer by Harold and Mary Newman; Bob and Donna Prevedell


Gerald and Joan Anderson by Kathleen and Randall Jones

Ralph Baldridge by Buck and Sharon Obertino; Bob and Donna Prevedell; Willard and Carole Scheller

Cathy Jo Baldwin by Lillian Keupper

John and Mary Barbolino by John and Sharon Morgando

Louis E. Bausano by Pat Bausano

Gene Bednar by Tony and Marilyn Kravanya

John Bednar by Tony and Marilyn Kravanya

Tony Bellovich by Tracy Petersen

Mary Bertetti by David D. Bertetti

Bertetti Families by Bertetti Foundation

Mike Bertolino by Ken and Catherine Largio

Ellen Bishop by John and Pat Cooper; Lillian Keupper; Eugene Hildebrand

Roy Bodi by Willard and Carole Scheller

Nancy Boglino by Deanna Girardi; Sam and Suzanne Stewart; Ron and Joan Bertolino; Elizabeth McCarthy; Cris and Sheila Katich; Willard and Carole Scheller; Mike and Amy Reiniesch; Ralph and Rose Marie Tebbe; Lori Emmons; Dino and Heather DeLaurent; Ray and Lynda Gallo; Gusewelle family; Bill and Daisy Lancaster; Maribeth Moore; Andy and Pat Bray; Stephanie Bray; Bob and Donna Prevedell; Bob and Deana Boston; Patrick and Melanie Windbarner; Nancy Ribes; Mark and Brenda Albrecht and family; Harry and Joanne Daley; Tracy Petersen

Brian Brown by John and Linda Stewart; Richard and Denise Knoche; Cris and Sheila Katich; Tracy Petersen

Jonathan Bultema by Ken and Catherine Largio

Jean Bunn by Dennis and Cathy Nobbe; Sally Banner; Jack and Stephanie Kochinski; Betty Guerzoni and Carla; Betty Cerutti and family; Fran Salzman; Alan and Mag Rolando; Richard and Renee Katich; Rosemary Bunn; Bob and Donna Prevedell; Ray and Suzanne Caldieraro; John and Angela Luketich; Kay Knop; John and Judy Dona; Mike and Mary Lou Sarti; Kenny and Sandy Williams; Larry and Sharon Heyen; Brian and Jessi Luketich; Ron and Joan Bertolino

Bill Burns by Deanna Girardi; Sam and Suzanne Stewart; Frank Wargo; Nancy Ribes; Lillian Keupper; George and Barbara Sawyer

Joseph W. “Bill” Byots by Willard and Carole Scheller; Harry and Pat Cavanaugh; Tracy Petersen

George and Margaret Cavanaugh by Marti and Joe Tieman

Ray Chapman by Tracy Petersen

Don Cherry by Tracy Petersen

Arden Clemonds by Dennis and Sandy Tallman; Jennifer Peterson; Frank Wargo; Friends of the Gillespie Library; Bob and Donna Prevedell; Denise Wirth; Peggy and Tom Allan

Dorothy Cooper by Randy and Joanne Thomas; Sharon Schwab; Tracy Petersen; faculty and staff of Gillespie Middle School

Mike Courtney by Tracy Petersen

Harry Daley III by Denny and Susan Bruckert

Larry Davies by Deanna Girardi; Randy and Joanne Thomas; Sam and Suzanne Stewart; 

Joe DeMartini by Denny and Susan Bruckert

Andrew Easton, Sr. by Mr. & Mrs. Bill Easton; Marilyn Easton;

Mike Favre by Tracy Petersen

Bunzo Fraser by Tracy Petersen; Bob and Donna Prevedell

Marge Grandone by John and Shawna Tysse; Barbara Madden

John Halpin by Ken and Catherine Largio

Bernadette Hasquin by Dennis and Sandy Tallman; Christine Emery; Ron and Mary Kuruc; Brenda Brown; Jean and Joe Redolfi; John and Linda Brown; Cliff and Lori Hughes; Patti Page; Tom and Shelley Dewey

Betty Hendricks by Tracy Petersen

Harold and Helen Klekamp by Larry and Marian Mayfield

Agnes “Sis” Koschak by Lillian Keupper; Frank Wargo; Rev. Art and Mrs. Ella Mae Roemer; JoAnn Connell; Craig and Sue Bormann; Lois Canaday; Ron and Janet Roglis; Vicky Bickel for the estate of Agnes Koschak; George and Barbara Sawyer

Lonzerotti and Audo families by Mike Goldasich

Judy Lovall by George and Jean Holesko

Christina Biggam Lovasz by Lillian Keupper

Bill and Terry McCourt by Rose McCourt

Mavi Meno by Ken and Catherine Largio

Angie Morgando by John and Sharon Morgando

Barbara Mussatto by Lillian Keupper

James Mussatto by Tracy Petersen; Gayle Frizzo

Ray Pavichevich by Leslie Bertagnolli

Helen Richards by Elsie Baldridge; Elizabeth Richards

Frank Rocker by Heather Phillips and the Hotko family; Anna Mae Rocker

Bill Ruyle by Barbara Madden; George Sawyer; Tracy Petersen

Carole Cavitt Satterlee by Lillian M. Keupper; Janel Ramey; faculty and staff of Community Unit School District #7; Don and Cookie Dobrino; Joyce Staggs; Sam and Suzanne Stewart; Margaret Reeves; Peggy Bertagnolli Allan 

Krista Schaefer by George and Jean Holesko

Lester Schneider by Joanne Thomas; Sharon Heyen; faculty and staff of Ben-Gil Elementary School

Charlie Schuerman by Nikki and Scott Katich; Tracy Petersen; Ralph and Rose Tebbe; Rosemary and Brandi Bunn

Dan Tallman by Sid, Kathy and Dennis Stauffer; Don and Charlene Stewart; Harold and Mary Newman; Ralph and Rose Tebbe; Brandi Bunn; Jeff Drew; Elizabeth McCarthy; Kevin and Mary Sievers; George and Leeann Link; Pat and Rich Obertino; Dennis and Julie Zirkelbach; Ray and Lynda Gallo; Village of East Gillespie; United Community Bank Loan Servicing Department; Ray and Lynda Gallo; Ben and Diane Nurdin; Drew and Ashleigh Sterkel; Gary and Jamie Michalik; Mike and Artie Herron; Jim Balzraine; Brandon and Jessica Sams; Gina Gucciardo, CPA; Jim and Jo Ella Alderson; James and Barbara Mussatto; Mary Hooper; Frank Wargo; Harry and Joanne Daley; Zion Lutheran Church Willing Workers; Sam and Suzanne Stewart; Donna and Andrew Easton; Roy and Nanci Hertel; Sheldon and Sue Weinberg; Kevin and Elaine Gray; George and Barbara Sawyer; Tony and Marilyn Kravanya

Mary Lou Thomae by Tracy Petersen

Mark Veschak by Bob and Donna Prevedell; Tracy Petersen

Bertha Wirth by Frank Wargo; Tracy Petersen

Marcella Yercessen by Lillian Keupper