“It feels good to give back, it’s a very humbling experience.” These words were spoken by Dennis Berg, better known as “Bergy” here in the Rochelle community. You see, Dennis “Bergy” and Avis Berg, in partnership with Bob Burkholder, recently established the Berg-Burkhulder Family Fund here at the Rochelle Area Community Foundation (RACF). Bob and Bergy came together to create this fund in honor of Bob’s wife and Bergy’s sister, Donna, who passed away in March of 2014 due to ALS, and Bob and Donna’s two sons, Andrew and Jarrett, whose lives were also tragically cut short in a car accident 18 years ago.
The Berg-Burkholder Family Fund will focus on youth in the Rochelle area. Donna fueled her passion for youth by teaching Spanish in Aurora. Her vibrant personality commanded attention by those who were in her presence. Bob and Donna were blessed to have two wonderful sons who excelled in school. They were hardworking young men who had a bright future ahead of them. Despite the loss of their sons, Bob and Donna turned their heartache into something positive - they honored Andrew and Jarrett by providing scholarships to their classmates at Kaneland High School. After losing Donna, Bob began thinking of ways to honor all three of his lost loved ones.
As Donna’s brother and Andrew and Jarrett’s uncle, combining forces with his brother-in-law, Bob, to create this fund was the perfect way to celebrate the lives of Donna, Andrew, and Jarrett. Bergy and Avis are lifelong residents of Rochelle and are pillars in the community. They have always given an annual gift to RACF, but they felt compelled to do more. “Avis and I wanted to give back to the community that has blessed us over the years. We have been fortunate to have success and we want to share this with our community” said Bergy. “I have been on the Rochelle Area Community Foundation board for over four years and I have seen firsthand the difference this organization makes. Avis and I wanted to be a part of that legacy.”
The Berg-Burkholder Family Fund is a charitable donor advised fund where designated advisors will have the opportunity to annually recommend community needs grants to projects and programs that support youth.
If you would like to get involved in the community, learn more about the Rochelle Area Community Foundation or are interested in making a gift, please call Emily Anaya, Executive Director at 815-561-3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. RACF is here to offer those with a philanthropic heart a simple way to make a positive difference in the community.