Foundation Annual Awards


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.

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.”

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.”

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

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