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Good-bye to a great philanthropist

Posted on Nov 17, 2017, by

During this week designated to celebrating philanthropy, the Fox Valley is saying good-bye to one of its most remarkable philanthropists.

Doug Salmon and his wife, Carla, have invested heavily in scholarships for students with financial need — particularly single parents, first-generation college students and others with significant barriers to completing their education. Their Doug and Carla Salmon Foundation, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation established in 2002, is best known for scholarships that help young people reach their potential, but it also has been an advocate for strengthening nonprofits through endowments.

Doug died Nov. 4 at age 77 after battling Parkinson’s Disease and Lewy Body Disease. Friends and family are celebrating his life this morning at memorial services.

Doug had been a banker, a physician and a businessman, but he will be remembered most fondly as a philanthropist.

The Salmons’ scholarship program is approaching 900 students assisted. They have changed the lives of countless young mothers who found themselves ill-equipped to participate fully in the workforce and unsupported in the need to care for their children, while balancing work and school. The result is measurable increases in earning power and lots of stories of finding a better life. Some of those were presented in our 2011 annual report.

The Salmons also have had a strong desire to help charitable organizations in the Fox Valley — particularly through capital campaigns and the development of administrative endowments. They eagerly participated in a matching grant program to build endowments that the Community Foundation organized in 2003 and 2005. They received the Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award at the 2005 Celebrating Our Volunteers banquet.

Many have experienced their generosity. The most personal example of their giving was Gabriela Mondino, who came to them as a high school exchange student from Argentina in 1988. They helped her earn a college degree at Lawrence University and go on to a master’s degree in business administration and a successful marketing career. She is listed among the survivors in his obituary.

In lieu of flowers, Doug’s family has selected three causes within the Community Foundation that were important to him.

  1. Doug and Carla Salmon Foundation 
  2. LEAVEN – Salmon Endowment Fund
  3. Salmon Foundation Fund for the Community Foundation    

Go to our memorial online giving page for information on how to donate.

People like Doug Salmon make a measurable difference in their community. That’s why we celebrate them as part of Philanthropy Day this past Wednesday and Community Foundation Week. While we lose the individuals like Doug, and their valuable leadership, their legacy continues through the work they’ve done and the charitable programs and organizations they leave behind.

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