PANA, Ill. (WCIA) — “If somebody’s in need, we help ’em out,” explained Joe Coleman, a supporter of the Terra Marie Henschen Kasch Foundation.
There may be no better way to describe the foundation’s mission: from scholarships to trade schools, to a gazebo, to a summer meals program for kids, it steps up when it sees a need in Pana.
“My good friend, Joe Coleman, his mom, had always done a lot of stuff like that,” said Brett Henschen, Terra’s brother. “She started the Toys for Tots years ago, and always believed in doing stuff for the community and wanted to do something in the honor of my sister.”
Terra Marie Henschen Kasch died about 11 years ago from a brain tumor.
Since the foundation got its start, it’s been identifying needs and filling holes.
“The goal was to support the community in various ways and we wanted to run some scholarships and we wanted it to be for people going to trade schools,” explained Henschen.
They’ve gone the extra mile for people of all ages.
“I know we’ve given $25,000 or $30,000 worth of scholarships out,” said Henschen.
They’ve also donated a trailer to a band, built a gazebo in Kitchell Park, worked with churches and food banks and this summer — for the second year in a row — are helping feed nearly 100 kids.
“They thought that there was a void with children in our community getting a meal during that interim of school being out,” said Carol Chandler, the director of business development at Pana Community Hospital.
The foundation works with the hospital to drop off meals three times a week to families who applied for help. The first deliveries went out this week.
“We just try to identify things that would be helpful to the community and we just have a huge support system,” explained Henschen.
Each May the foundation hosts a 200-ticket fundraiser with a high-class meal, music, magician and raffle. Our the course of a year, the foundation raises $15-20,000.