Centralia Foundation, Charitable Foundation, Foundation Park, Carillon, Centralia Illinois Recreation Complex

History of The Foundation

The Centralia Foundation was started over sixty years ago. It became the mission of Verne Joy, the local publisher of the newspaper. Joy originally oversaw the formation and development of the Foundation Park located on the East side of Centralia.

Mr. Joy made a contribution of 73 acres to the park, now know as Joy Fields. His gift was joined by Dr. Carl Hall, who gave a tract of land, which lay to the North and East of the property. Also contributing to the project was Caroline M. Robnett who donated her 40 acre family farm.

Today the park has expanded to approximately 300 acres and has been maintained in a state of natural serene beauty since its inception. Those founding fathers also established an organization to oversee the funds and Park System in the form of the Centralia Foundation. Seven unpaid trustees sit on the board and direct the operation of the multi-million dollar system. The system also includes the world's sixth largest carillon and a world class recreation complex, which houses an Olympic size swimming pool.

Operational funds have grown through the generosity of local donors in and around the Centralia Area. Through the ongoing expansion of the Foundation, scholarships have been established to provide an important source of revenue to many students each year.

The Centralia Foundation, through operational agreements between the Jaycee Foundation and the Centralia Rotary Clubs Foundation also owns Jaycee Park/Sprehe Field and Rotary Park. It is involved in a host of other projects, all with the same basic interest of improving the lifestyle of our community.

Centralia Foundation
115 East Second Street
Centralia, IL 62801
(618) 532-7424