Erin Stuedemann’s Giving Initiative Funds help to provide critical trauma kits for Seneca’s police cars

Funds goal is to enhance quality of life, foster community development in Marseilles, Seneca

(From left) Erin Stuedemann donates funds to Seneca Police Chief Scott Cruz, along with Starved Rock Country Community Foundation Board Member Norma Cotner.

Erin Stuedemann, a Realtor since 2003 with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group, supports her fund, The Giving Initiative, with every home she sells.

The Giving Initiative, formed through Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, is an effort aimed at enhancing the quality of life and fostering community development in Marseilles and Seneca.

The Giving Initiative serves as a central fund, uniting donors to address the unique needs of the community. At the heart of The Giving Initiative lies Stuedemann’s belief that a strong community is an essential component of every family’s home. Through this program, Stuedemann aims to embed the spirit of giving into the fabric of local neighborhoods, ensuring that residents not only have a place to live but also thrive in a supportive environment.

Recently, The Giving Initiative fund was able to support a community need in Seneca. One significant development is the provision of emergency trauma kits for Seneca Police Department patrol cars. These kits, financed by the SRCCF COVID Relief Funds and a gift from Erin Stuedemann’s Giving Initiative, were facilitated by the SRCCF grant committee and Board member Norma Cotner. These funds were used to meet a pressing need identified by the local police department.

“Collaborating to provide these trauma kits has been a deeply rewarding experience,” said Norma Cotner, SRCCF Board Member. “This project reflects our commitment to addressing critical community needs and ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents. The partnership with The Giving Initiative demonstrates the power of collective effort in making a tangible difference.”

Seneca Police Chief Scott Cruz expressed a critical need for trauma kits for Seneca’s patrol cars to facilitate emergency situations. These kits are to include essential medical supplies and equipment, enabling officers to provide immediate aid to individuals involved in accidents or other traumatic incidents until professional medical help arrives. The availability of these kits is expected to enhance the department’s ability to respond effectively to emergencies, potentially saving lives and improving outcomes for community members in distress.

“Having these trauma kits in our patrol cars is a game-changer for us,” said Seneca Police Chief Scott Cruz. “They will enable our officers to provide potential life-saving measures to our community when a traumatic incident occurs, ensuring immediate aid is available until professional medical help arrives. This support from Starved Rock Country Community Foundation and The Giving Initiative is invaluable to our mission of protecting and serving our community.”

“I have had the privilege of serving this area, rich in abundant, natural beauty for more than 20 years, I want to make a positive impact and give back to this community,” Stuedemann said. “My vision was to provide a platform for individuals to come together and make a tangible difference in the lives of our neighbors. By leveraging our collective resources, we can naturally enhance the quality of life for all residents.”

Stuedemann’s dedication to community development and her innovative approach to philanthropy extend beyond real estate transactions. Together with her husband Dave, they are investing in the community through their renovation of the historic Graves Lumberyard building in Seneca. They aim to revitalize the area by providing essential services, including retail spaces, a coffee shop, meeting and business spaces and a community arts room with a goal of bringing the arts to Seneca, the SRCCF said in a news release.

To learn more about The Giving Initiative fund, go to

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