The Arcola Foundation

Some Thoughts on the History of the Arcola Foundation

The Arcola Foundation, is a non profit organization excempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is now 47 years old and, due to the generosity of its benefactors, has grown to assets of more than $6.5 million.

The Arcola Foundation was formed in 1975 when two officers of the First National Bank of Arcola, currently known as Arcola First Bank, Jerry Stout, then vice president & trust officer, and Joe Monahan, president, were discussing ways to help the Arcola community.

The idea to establish a community foundation  was approved by The First National Bank of Arcola Board of Directors on May 27, 1975. The foundation received tax exempt status from the IRS on December 8 of that year.

The first fund created was the General Fund and a $25 donation was soon received. The Dr. E. S. Allen fund followed and 43 years later the Arcola foundation consists of 24 different funds which are administered “for the benefit of educational, charitable or benevolent enterprises” in Arcola.

Most funds within the foundation are set up so the principal will remain invested and only the interest income is disbursed unless otherwise spelled out when the fund is created. A pass through account, set up within the General Fund of the Arcola Foundation, can also be set up if the donation is to be used for specific interest or cause.

The Board of Governors consists of seven members. They meet on the third Wednesday of each month to review the monthly financials, and act on any request received on any given month.

The first Board met September 8, 1976. The first board consisted of Dr. E. S. Allen, Laurence Conlin, Jon Kibler, Robert Coombe, Dr. Smnith, Margaret Cuppy and Fred Shrader. The First National Bank of Arcola, now Arcola First Bank, served as Trustee and Jerry Stout served as Secretary.

In 1987, the foundation purchased 61 acres off I-57 for the development of the industrial park. Since that time, 28 all of the land has been deeded out by the foundation for the expansion of existing businesses or the creation of new businesses.

The largest individual donation came September 29, 1994 when former Arcolian, Eunice Collins Sourla, donated in excess of $3 million to the Arcola Foundation. The Collins Fund Interest is used for expenses and donations for the betterment of the Arcola Community.