Excellence Foundation

In 1991, the LaSalle Excellence Foundation was created to enhance the education of LaSalle Public Elementary School students. The foundation supplements normal school funding through donations, bequests, an annual fundraising event, and an ongoing scrip (gift card) sales program, thus providing the students with additional learning opportunities above and beyond the normal scope of education. To date, the foundation has funded over $230,000 in programs.

Board of Directors

The Foundation’s current board of directors is composed of members from the school district, educators, area business leaders and parents. The commitment by the board members, school administrators, faculty and community make for a successful partnership dedicated to helping educate our community’s future.


The Foundation was begun by Dr. Harold Banser, then superintendent of the LaSalle Schools, and Chuck Sheaff, then a member of the board of education, to provide privately-funded assistance to students during their years as students in the LaSalle Schools. Although a number of other school districts have similar foundations, the LaSalle Excellence Foundation is one of very few to support an elementary school system.

The foundation is very fortunate to have the generous support of a number of businesses and individuals in the community including its major benefactors Eureka Savings Bank, Hometown National Bank, LaSalle State Bank and Illinois Cement. The Foundation’s goal is to create a substantial endowment fund which will ensure its continuing ability to support school programs. To that end, at least 75% of the programs it funds are paid for by an annual fundraising event and by an ongoing scrip (gift card) program. All remaining donations and bequests are put directly into the endowment fund.

Fundraising Efforts

The foundation hosts a trivia night as its major fundraiser. The success of this event hinges on the generosity of the local businesses which purchase table sponsor-ships, donate merchandise, provide other goods or services, and purchase event tickets.


The other fundraising activity for the foundation is an ongoing scrip program. In this case, scrip is either paper certificates or plastic cards with specific monetary values that may be used in a particular merchant’s store. The foundation purchases scrip at a discount, either directly from the merchant’s store or from the merchant’s scrip company, then sells it at its face value. Scrip is an easy way to channel shopping dollars into a means of benefiting school programs. In calendar year 2011, the LaSalle Excellence Foundation raised over $7,600 by selling scrip.