Foundation Annual Awards


Crystal Swan

Rich Hartke, Teutopolis, received the Crystal Swan Award which is awarded annually to an outstanding board member. The Crystal Swan Award was created in 1993 as a way to recognize foundation board members who have gone above and beyond in their leadership and service to the Lake Land College Foundation during their tenure.

Outstanding Philanthropist

Willie Podestá Young, received recognition as the Outstanding Philanthropist for the year. Young’s connection to Lake Land dates back to the beginning of the college with a portion of the college sitting on land obtained from the Podestá family. Her parents, the late Dr. William and Margaret Podestá, were recently honored with a park on campus in their name: The Dr. William L. and Margaret Podestá Park.

“The park on Lake Land’s main campus, was the vision of Mrs. Young. She approached the College with an idea that would enhance the campus while creating a lasting legacy that memorialized her parents,” Hartke said. “The Dr. William L. and Margaret Podestá Park is the main focal point as guests exit the new addition and main entrance to the Luther Student Center.”

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

Debbie Kirts Thomason, Lake Land College director of dental hygiene/dental hygiene instructor, received the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award. 

“Debbie worked tirelessly to facilitate the Heartland Dental Dental Hygiene Lab renovation,” Hartke said. “She is a great volunteer fundraiser as she continues to regularly network with Heartland staff to help build the relationship and the program. Personally, Debbie is a Power Laker with over 10 years of continued giving to the foundation and a member of the Faculty Club giving society for her lifetime giving.”

Outstanding Philanthropic Organization

The Leona Stanford Vollintine Trust, represented by Roger Hickman, trustee, received the Outstanding Philanthropic Organization Award. The Leona Stanford Vollintine Trust, established in 2000, is a charitable trust established by Mrs. Leona Stanford Vollintine. Mrs. Vollintine was an avid traveler, philanthropist and supporter of education.

“To date, the Leona Stanford Vollintine Trust has awarded over 100 scholarships to Lake Land students totaling $193,000. That is the Foundation Effect in motion!” Hartke said. “Lake Land College is just one of several educational institutions benefitting from Mrs. Vollintine’s generosity that includes public and private colleges and universities in Illinois and Colorado. The trust gives approximately $20,000 annually for scholarships in Mrs. Vollintine’s name at Lake Land College, making the trust a member of the President’s Silver Council Society for lifetime giving.”



This award is bestowed upon corporations, small businesses, industry, community organizations and private Foundations who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the overall educational experience of Lake Land College students by providing sustaining financial support through a pattern of reoccurring gifts and pledges making a significant difference at Lake Land College.

2017 – Heartland Dental & Farm Credit Illinois
2018 – Agri-Fab
2018 – Hydro-Gear
2019 – The Leona Stanford Vollintine Trust


This award is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated dedication and commitment to the overall educational experience of Lake Land College students by providing sustaining financial support through
lifetime contributions, and pledges or planned gifts, as well as service to the college and the community.

2017 – Gerald R. Forsythe
2018 – Wayne & Clara Borgic
2018 – Tom Grunloh
2019 – Willie Podestá Young


This award is bestowed upon an individual who has given gifts of time and talent on behalf of Lake Land College students in securing private funding. The efforts of this individual serve as an example to others in making a difference in the lives of our students.

2016 – Doris Reynolds
2017 – John Livesay
2018 – Dr. Roger Dettro
2019 – Debbie Kirts Thomason


The Crystal Swan Award is awarded to a Lake Land College Foundation Board Member who has gone above and beyond.

1993 – Consuello Luttrell
1994 – Dale Adams
1995 – Charlie White
1996 – Jim Bennett
1997 – Bill Rowland
1998 – Susan Leach
1999 – Mel Lockard
2000 – Dr. Peter Bonutti
2001 – Ann Bacon
2002 – Anne Kabbes
2003 – Dr. Roger Dettro
2004 – James Zimmer
2005 – Dr. Robert K. Luther
2006 – Bob Willenborg
2007 – John Livesay
2008 – Preston Smith
2009 – Debbie Benefiel
2010 – Bob Pancoast
2011 – Randal Miller
2012 – Pat Monahan
2013 – Paul Glenney
2014 – No recipient
2015 – Tom Wright
2016 – Dr. Nanci Huels
2017 – Chad Thompson
2018 – Tom Grunloh
2019 – Rich Hartke