Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Foundation
To assist present and future business leaders by providing financial and educational resources to support the Chamber and strengthen the area’s business community.
To be the preeminent foundation that provides funds, education, resources and training that inspires, connects and supports new opportunities for community, leadership and commerce.
One has to go back to the 1940’s to find the deep roots of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce. It was then that a group of local business leaders first chartered the organization. In 1950 the Chamber was reconstituted as a not for profit corporation and since that time the Chamber has served its members and the community with a remarkable variety of events, programs and activities. The result is a healthy and thriving business community in a beautiful and vibrant city.
The Chamber office has been located in the “old pump house” (and sometimes jail) in McCormick Park on West Virginia Street since 1966. Although the pump house was small and cramped, the location was perfect and everyone who passed on Route 14 could see the Chamber office. As the community grew the Chamber grew with it, and eventually the need to expand the office space was clear. In 1969 the Northeast addition was built giving the Chamber much needed space to accommodate a growing staff and membership. Then again in 1987, with the city and the business community still growing, a second expansion was added to the southwest end of the old pump house. This new space accommodated the Chamber Board Room, in which the Chamber Board of Directors has met since 1987, and a lower level conference room for committee and event meetings. For over 25 years the Board Room has been available to all Chamber members as a member benefit and was the location of hundreds, if not thousands of meetings, large and small. Add to that the 75+ charitable and church groups who have used the Board Room when they needed a place to meet and come together, and one has a very busy venue, well worth the investment back in 1987.
Since the 1987 expansion, the Chamber continued to grow, so in 2005 we had about 1,000 business members. This was an extraordinary number of members and we recognized the crucial importance of the Chamber having a modern functional office home from which to best serve the members. It had been nearly 25 years since the last expansion and remodeling of the Chamber office and many repairs and updates were needed. The Board of Directors set out what needed to be done. After initial discussions and laying out some plans, we formed the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Foundation for the purpose of funding the renovation of the building. So by late 2007 we had a working Board, plans drawn up, and began the serious business of raising money for the project. As everyone knows, we fell into some very difficult economic times in the past several years but the vision and generosity of the Chamber members and the community prevailed and we raised over $120,000 in donations and pledges for the renovation. With additional money borrowed by the Chamber, we broke ground in August 2009 and completed the project in December 2009.
Without the generosity, enthusiasm and commitments from our members and donors the project would not have been possible. We thank each and every one of them and look forward to the next, new era in the history of our Chamber.
The period to submit scholarship applications has passed – stay tuned for information regarding 2021 applications!
Bob Blazier Scholarship for Leadership
Created in May of 2013 and named in recognition of Bob Blazier who has been a leader for the Crystal Lake Chamber and in the community since the early 1960’s. The Bob Blazier Scholarship for Leadership recipient is awarded $500 to help provide financial support to applicants pursuing a major in education.
Mark A. Elmore Architect Scholarship
Created in May of 2012 and named in recognition of Mark Elmore, a local architect, who has been a leader for the Crystal Lake Chamber and prior to that provided similar leadership for the Crystal Lake Jaycees. Mark has always viewed his community service and professional life with the attitude best described as “What needs to be done and what do you need me to do to make it happen?” Mark is an individual who has always put “service before self”. The Mark A. Elmore Architect Scholarship recipient is awarded $500 to help provide financial support to applicants pursuing a four-year architectural degree.
Baxter & Woodman (Civil Engineering) Scholarship
The Baxter & Woodman Engineering Scholarship was created in 2020 to help provide financial support to applicants pursuing a civil engineering degree. There are two $1,000 scholarships available each year to all high school seniors who attend Crystal Lake Community School District 155, Faith Lutheran High School or Marian Central Catholic High School and are majoring in Civil Engineering.
Leaders in Action Scholarship
For over 40 years, Leaders in Action has offered business professionals a credible space to explore new concepts and gain necessary skills. This 9-week course is speaker led with breakout sessions where they can engage and discuss concepts with their peers.
Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Foundation announces 2020 Scholarships Recipients
Foundation awards inaugural Baxter & Woodman Civil Engineering Scholarship, as well as the Bob Blazier Scholarships
The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Foundation has announced its recipients for the Bob Blazier Scholarship (BBSL) for Leadership the newly created Baxter & Woodman Civil Engineering Scholarship. Applicants for the foundation scholarships were required to fill out the application which included an essay section. Applications should be graduating from Community High School District 155, Faith Lutheran High School or Marian Central Catholic High School. Members of the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board and awarding companies were present to honor the scholarship recipients. The scholarships were awarded in front of the Blazier Center for Community, Leadership, and Commerce building. The building, as well as the Foundation’s first scholarship, are dedicated to Bob Blazier, former Superintendent of District 47, and an icon of the Crystal Lake community.
Hannah Schuetzle was selected as one of two recipients for the Bob Blazier Scholarship for Leadership. Hannah is a twin who aspires to become an elementary education teacher. She will be attending McHenry County College in the fall to complete her general education! Congratulations Hannah!
Abigail Enck was selected as the second recipient of the Bob Blazier Scholarship for Leadership. Abigail will be attending Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin where she will be pursuing her dream of being a High School Special Education teacher! Congratulations Abigail!
The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Foundation was proud to be approached by Mr. Ambrose, CEO and President of Baxter & Woodman to found the Baxter & Woodman Civil Engineering Scholarship this past year. Mr. Ambrose created and funded this scholarship to offer more opportunities for those seeking to pursue a Civil Engineering Degree. These inaugural awards were given to Emily Bromley and Charlie Gruen. Emily transferred to the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee so that she could concentrate on a Civil Engineering degree in hopes of making a difference in the environment. Charlie will be attending the Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he’ll also be wrestling! Congratulations Emily and Charlie!
The Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a 501(c) 3 organization, works with the Crystal Lake Chamber of Commerce and meets monthly at the Bob Blazier Center. The Foundation’s mission to assist present and future business leaders by providing financial and educational resources to support the Chamber and strengthen the area’s business community. The Foundation hosts its annual fundraiser, The GEMS Luncheon each year in February as a way to honor two generous, enthusiastic, and motivated leaders in the Crystal Lake Community. Funds raised from the luncheon go to support the Foundation’s Leaders in Action Scholarships, the Bob Blazier Scholarship for Leadership, the Mark A. Elmore Architect Scholarship, and the new Baxter & Woodman Civil Engineering Scholarship.
For more information about the Crystal Lake Chamber Foundation, please visit their website at www.clchamberfoundation.org where you can learn more about their work in the community and make a donation to the scholarship funds. You can also call the Chamber office at 815.459.1300.