Scout Cantrell would often say that she wanted to make the world "a little bit better place."
The 9-year-old Wasco Elementary School student did that in many ways in her short life, including rescuing animals and working at the Northern Illinois Food Bank with her older sister, Katie. Scout, who was also an competitive swimmer on the St. Charles Swim Team, died in October 2014 of complications from an asthma attack.
To honor the life and legacy of Scout, the Cantrell family created the For Scout Foundation in 2015 in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. The fourth annual Social For Scout will take place from 2 to 6 p.m. April 28 at Old Towne Pub & Eatery, 40W290 La Fox Road, Campton Hills.
"Even at 9, she wanted to make the world a little bit better place," said her mother, Felicity Cantrell.
The event will include music by the band Back Country Roads, food, a silent auction and a raffle. Old Towne Pub was one of Scout's favorite restaurants,
"We have a great group of generous donors," she said. "This year, it looks like we're going to have 120 silent auction items and about 50 raffle items."
Therapy dogs from Anderson Animal Shelter will also be part of the event. The Scout Foundation supports the American Asthma Foundation, Anderson Animal Shelter, arts and reading programs for the local schools, and the Scout Cantrell Learn to Swim program, which offers free swim lessons to those children in our community who could not otherwise afford to learn to swim.
The causes reflect what Scout loved to do, Cantrell said.
"She volunteered for Anderson Animal Shelter and held food and supply drives for Anderson while she was alive," she said. "Our pets were rescue pets from Anderson. She loved playing viola in her orchestra and she went to music camp. We donate to every single D303 arts and music program. In the last four years, we've given D303 $132,000, which is pretty staggering, when you consider that this is a very grassroots foundation."
Cantrell said she is happy to see the For Scout Foundation is making an impact.
"We feel very humbly in our own little way that we're helping carry on Scout's legacy by making the world a little bit better place with these things," she said. "The most rewarding part is when we get a letter from a teacher at a school who says that she was able to buy new instruments for her classroom because of our grant. I had a mother bring me flowers because we paid for her son to take swim lessons and it changed his confidence. It's about the door that opens for a child who might find something out about themselves they might not have known before."