Sandwich grad wins Wehrli Custom Fabrication Scholarship

Elijah Somlock of Sandwich High School, right, was awarded the Wehrli Custom Fabrication Scholarship in May 2023.

The DeKalb County Community Foundation is excited to announce the Wehrli Custom Fabrication Scholarship Fund. The Wehrli company created the scholarship to aid students interested in pursuing a career in the trades.

Wehrli Custom Fabrication was founded in 2010 by Jason Wehrli. At that time, Jason and his brothers worked on trucks in their parent’s two-truck garage in Sandwich. From a young age, the Wehrli brothers learned the importance of hard work alongside their father, John, an experienced carpenter. As they grew older, their skills expanded to include repairing machines and trucks, and they soon discovered their own areas of expertise.

In September 2022, Wehrli hosted an open house event at their DeKalb location. They included activities to raise support for students interested in trade-related fields. Their fundraising resulted in $20,000 in generous backing, which they used to create the Wehrli Custom Fabrication Scholarship Fund.

The Fund supports two annual scholarships. The first is for a student attending a trade school or 2-year college, and the second benefits a student attending a 4-year college or university. Eligible areas of study include welding, machine tooling, auto mechanics, auto body, business management, and mechanical, industrial, manufacturing or agricultural engineering.

“In addition to showing the community our shop and what we do, this was a great opportunity to partner with customers, many of which work in the trades themselves, to give back and support lifelong skills for the next generation,” Jason Wehrli said in a news release.

The Wehrli Custom Fabrication Scholarship distributed its inaugural awards in May. Congratulations to recipients Elijah Somlock of Sandwich High School and Reagan Vander-Bleek of DeKalb High School.

“We are grateful to Wehrli Custom Fabrication for their generosity as a locally owned company that is investing in the future of DeKalb County high school graduates by partnering with us to support their education,” Foundation Executive Director Dan Templin said.

Donations to any Fund at the Community Foundation, including the Wehrli Custom Fabrication Scholarship Fund, can be made online at or by mail to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178. For questions or additional information on funds, contact Templin at 815-748-5383 or