Hannah’s Reading Garden Endowment Fund

This Designated Fund was started in October of 2018 by Lynne & Dan Walters. The purpose of the fund is to make annual distributions to the Morton Public Library to assist in the improvement, upkeep, maintenance, and expansion of Hannah’s Reading Garden.  The purpose of the Fund shall be accomplished, by way of illustration and not by limitation, by supporting the purchase of additional amenities, defraying the costs of maintenance, replanting and planting of landscape plants, etc.; and other costs related to Hannah’s Reading Garden.

This story starts many years ago, and spans 4 generations. A long-time Morton Library Board member and President sent her then junior high daughter to the store one day to buy some poster board and stickers. Her mom had a passion for the library and how children can learn through a love of reading. So, with her snazzy posters and stickers, the mom and daughter advertised the first summer reading program.  A handful of youngsters signed up that first summer.  Now, all these years later, the Summer Reading Program has over 1250 registered students. This program, including the year-end swim party, is funded through an endowment at the Morton Community Foundation.   Read more about The Bernice L. Oberlander/Lynne R. Walters Library Children's Summer Reading Fund HERE.

Lynne and Dan Walters were able to take the dream of Lynne’s mother Bernice Oberlander and turn it into a permanent legacy for generations to come. This family has also carried on a legacy at the library through their granddaughter, Hannah Thompson, who died at the age of 6 from a brain tumor. In Hannah’s memory, the Walters’ funded the construction of Hannah’s Reading Garden, an outdoor space to be used for performances that are a part of the Summer Reading Program, as well as for other performances scheduled by the library. The Hannah’s Reading Garden Endowment Fund provides upkeep, maintenance and improvements to this beautiful outdoor space at the Morton Public Library.

Hannah’s parents – Heather and Michael Thompson also started the Hannah’s Red Rocket Fund at the foundation, which provides grants for purchasing accessible recreational equipment for public spaces in our town. Read more about the Hannah’s Red Rocket Fund HERE.

Connected between four generations, this family is leaving a powerful and permanent legacy in our community. That’s the mission of the Morton Community Foundation.

If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to Hannah’s Reading Garden endowment fund, please click the button below for online donations.  Or, you can mail a check to 105 E. Jefferson Street, Morton, IL 61550.