KSO Receives 100+ Women Who Care Greatest Impact Award

The KSO Board of Directors is overjoyed and deeply grateful to announce that the KSO was selected as their February 2024 recipient of a generous grant from the incredible volunteer group, 100+ Women Who Care–DeKalb/Sycamore Area. “This contribution significantly bolstered our efforts and drives forward our mission, enabling us to make a more substantial impact in our community,” says Courtney Hanna-McNamara, KSO general manager.

100+ Women Who Care is renowned for its unique approach to philanthropy, pooling together resources from a large network of dedicated women to provide substantial financial support to local nonprofits. This model not only amplifies individual contributions but also fosters a spirit of collective giving and community engagement.

“Being chosen by this remarkable group is a testament to the importance and impact of our work,” says Deb Loitz, KSO Outreach chair. “The grant from 100+ Women Who Care has been pivotal in helping us achieve several key objectives.”

The group’s grant support benefited the following KSO programs:

Small Ensemble Outreach
Thanks to this grant, the KSO has been able to double its impact for DeKalb County school visits this year. The funding allowed the KSO to pay musicians a stipend for these performances, making it possible to bring live music to more students than ever before. This spring, the KSO Small Ensemble program conducted 25 visits, reaching many young listeners in elementary and middle schools across Sycamore and DeKalb. Learn more about our small ensemble outreach program here.

KID Project
Our KID (KSO Instrument Donation) Project has also seen remarkable success. During the KID Project Donation Day on April 6, plus additional drop-offs, nearly 50 instruments were donated including: 11 clarinets, 5 flutes, 1 oboe, 5 trumpets and 2 cornets, 2 French horns, 5 saxophones, 1 bass clarinet, 6 violins, and more! Learn more about the KID Project here.

The KSO continues to accept instrument donations. Funding from 100+ Women Who Care will go towards the necessary repairs for these instruments this summer. These instruments will be donated directly to DeKalb County music educators to loan to students with financial restraints by the end of summer 2024, ensuring that more children have the opportunity to explore and develop their musical talents.

Summer Lesson Scholarship
A new program made possible by the grant from 100+ Women Who Care is the KSO Summer Lesson Scholarship. Working in partnership with the NIU Community School the Arts, Music Connection, and music educators in DeKalb School District 428 and Sycamore School District 427, this program will provide 10 scholarships next summer.

The support from 100+ Women Who Care comes at a crucial time. “As we strive to meet increasing demands and tackle new challenges, their generosity provides not just financial aid, but also a boost of encouragement and validation,” says Kenneth Olson, outgoing KSO president. “It reminds us that our community believes in our mission and is willing to invest in our success. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to every member of 100+ Women Who Care. Thank you for believing in our vision and for helping us turn aspirations into reality.”

These outreach programs are partially supported by a grant from the Rockford Area Arts Council, which receives support from the City of Rockford, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, and its members. This program is also supported in part by a grant from the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation. To learn more about 100+ Women Who Care–DeKalb/Sycamore Area, visit 100plusdekalbsycamorewomenwhocare.com.