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Champaign Parks Foundation

The Champaign Parks Foundation:
Your Opportunity to Leave a Legacy

The mission of the Champaign Parks Foundation is to provide philanthropic support for the Champaign Park District.

Your donations matter. Get information on how you can make an impact.


What We Do

At the Champaign Parks Foundation, we’re the official sponsor of childhood memories and the keepers of quality sites for family time.  From a picnic in the park to a visit to Prairie Farm, playing tennis at the Dodds Tennis Center to taking a stroll down a beautiful tree-lined path, concerts at the Virginia Theatre to art displays at the Springer Cultural Center, swimming at the Sholem Aquatic Center to day camp at the Douglass Community Center, a trip to the indoor playground at the Leonhard Recreation Center or a game of bridge at the Hays Recreation Center – we sponsor all this and more!

Children On Playground

Help Us Preserve This Legacy for the Future

The Champaign Parks Foundation was created in 2005 to develop philanthropic support for the Champaign Park District, and we need your help to keep our mission alive. Donations to the Foundation and the Youth Scholarship Program will ensure that childhood memories and cherished family experiences will be available to Champaign residents for many years to come. Your tax deductible contribution may be in the form of: land, cash, charitable trusts, stocks or life insurance bequests.  You may designate your gift for specific parks or programs, or offer an unrestricted donation to be used in those areas of greatest need. However you get involved, your donation is a beautiful way to leave a meaningful and lasting legacy.


Ways to Give:

  • Donate Online
    Click here to make your donation!>>
  • Donate by Mail
    Make checks payable to the Champaign Parks Foundation and mail your tax-deductible contribution to:
    706 Kenwood Road
    Champaign, IL 61821
  • Donate by Phone
    Call (217) 398-2550 and offer your donation over the phone using Visa or Mastercard.
  • Donate by Planned Gift
    Call the Development Director at (217) 819-3839 if you are interested in leaving a legacy through a future gift of insurance or estate planning.
  • Donate Land >>
    Land donation provides the Park District the opportunity to preserve green space in an ever-growing and expanding community.
  • Plant a Tree >>
    The Champaign Park District currently plants over 100 trees per year, many of which have been donated to celebrate the birth of a child, honor the passing of a loved one or simply to recognize a special life moment. With nearly 10,000 trees in our inventory, donations play a vital role in keeping our parks beautiful. 

Photo: Park scene with text. Donations are the cornerstone on which the Champaign Park District was built. With over 300 acres of land donated since 1854, the generosity of our community can be seen from nearly every street corner.

Other Ways You Can Help

Have your name cast in stone at Leonhard Recreation Center
Support the Champaign Park District’s Leonhard Recreation Center and see your name cast in stone! As thousands of annual visitors walk up to our exciting facility, they will see your donated brick with inscription – and what they see is up to you!

LRC donor bricksDedicate your piece of the walkway to someone special, thank a person that made an impact in your life, or make a lasting impression with your name that people will view for years to come. The bricks (available in two sizes) are placed on either side of the entry walkway to ensure they endure many fun seasons at the Leonhard Recreation Center.

The Leonhard Recreation Center is located on the corner of Sangamon and Kenwood. The 39,000 square foot facility contains an indoor track, two gyms, an indoor playground, a workout room, and party and meeting space. Leonhard is home to some of the District’s most popular and beloved programs – and thousands of Champaign families are already annual members! Click here to download and fill out the Donor Brick Form. Please mail or present in-person to the Bresnan Meeting Center, 706 Kenwood Rd., Champaign, IL 61821.

dreamstime_4057885Can You Swing It?

Can you swing an extra $5 to help another child be able to enjoy the same quality programs you and your family are enjoying? All it takes is this one little gift to make a huge difference in the life of a  child who might not otherwise be able to experience day camps, sports programs, swim or dance instruction or arts programs due to economic hardship.  Simply indicate your donation on your  program registration form when registering your child, or click here to MAKE A DONATION. It’s easy! Donate today to the Youth Scholarship Program and make a difference in a child’s life!

West Side Park Bandstand. Smaller roofed pavilion with decorative white molding. Click for more information about West Side ParkView of Virginia Theatre audience from the stage. Click image for Virginia Theatre informationWhat We’ve Accomplished

Since its inception in 2005, residents park visitors and friends have demonstrated a huge commitment to the future of the Champaign Park District. With over $10 million dollars donated since the  Foundation was formed, the Park District has been able to accomplish many projects that otherwise would still merely be a vision.  Those projects include the near complete restoration of the historic Virginia Theatre, the construction of an innovative new recreation/community center in North Champaign, the addition of a band shell in West Side Park that replicates the one originally in place in the late 1800’s, thousands of dollars in scholarships dedicated to ensure disadvantaged youth in our community get the same opportunity to participate in quality programs, thousands of trees planted in the parks to help beautify the community and much more! Donations are the foundation on which the Park District was built.

To learn more about giving opportunities, please contact: Laura Auteberry, Champaign Park District at 217-819-3839 or at laura.auteberry@champaignparks.org




Champaign Parks Foundation Board of Directors

The role of the Champaign Parks Foundation is to secure financial support from private donors, businesses and other entities, to help support the unmet needs of the Champaign Park District-needs tax dollars alone cannot fulfill. Parks Foundation board members provide the “building blocks” to carry out that work and are a critical link to connect members of the community who are interested in supporting the mission of the Park District.

Joining the Champaign Parks Foundation Board of Directors demonstrates your interest to continue to build on the excellence of the parks and recreation programs in Champaign – and we are always seeking new members to help with our cause! Board members contribute by sharing the activities, needs, and goals of the Foundation and District to their community circles; working with the staff to identify potential donors to support the annual and long-term initiatives of the Foundation; and, where comfortable, directly assist staff in the cultivation of individual donors, community organizations, private funders, etc. in support of the Parks Foundation’s initiatives.

Want to ensure a legacy for generations to come? Consider becoming a board member with the Champaign Parks Foundation and lend your talents to support an award-winning park district! For more information contact Laura Auteberry, Development Director at laura.auteberry@champaignparks.org.

Board of Directors

Brian Holding

Brian Holding

Ryan Heiser

Ryan Heiser
(Vice Chair)

Kathy Aquino

Kathy Aquino
(Assistant Secretary)

Emily Corum

Emily M. Corum

Patrick Harrington .

Patrick E. Harrington

Cathy A. Rector

Cathy A. Rector

Amy Roady

Amy Roady

Sarah Sandquist(CPD Executive Director)

Sarah Sandquist
(CPD Executive Director)

Jarrod Scheunemann (CPD Board Appointee)

Jarrod Scheunemann
(CPD Board Appointee)

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