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About the Foundation

putting your support to work

The Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation receives regular financial support from Denny's friends and family. For that we are grateful and pleased that we can use those funds to help causes near Denny's heart.

The Legacy Foundation helps open the doors to Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, Illinois to students who may not otherwise be able to attend due to financial reasons. Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded over $400,000 in scholarships to students at Bishop McNamara. These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated their commitment to community service and leadership. The Foundation has also awarded over $50,000 in scholarships to Kankakee Community College students. The Legacy Foundation has also worked closely with and regularly financially supports the Les Turner Foundation, which is committed to ALS research and helping the families of ALS patients.

caring for the community award

In 2008 the Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation created the Caring for the Community Award to recognize people who serve the greater Kankakee County area with dignity and selflessness. Past recipients of this award are listed below.

2008 | Dr. Naresh Chandan

2009 | James Frogge

2010 | Jackie Haas

2011 | Fr. Don Lewandowski

2012 | Cory Blanchette, posthumously

2013 | The Vernon and Leone Ruder Family

2014 | Bill Yohnka

2015 | Steven J. Hunter

2016 | Rich Zinanni


Bishop McNamara Catholic High School |

Kankakee Community College |

Les Turner ALS Foundation |

Visit Kankakee County

Kankakee Country Convention and Visitors Bureau |

Village of Manteno |

Frank Lloyd Wright House in Kankakee |


Recent Awards

Dennis J. Smith Posthumously Presented St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Award by National Catholic Education Association

Recent Awards


For more information about the Dennis J. Legacy Foundation, please contact Mike O'Brien at

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