After creating a seasonal-accurate Starved Rock and Matthiessen State Park calendar, local Entrepreneur and Photographer Matthew Klein was able to present a donation of $3,375 to the Starved Rock Historical and Educational Foundation.
The Starved Rock Historical and Education Foundation is a volunteer-run nonprofit that was founded in 1992.
Klein set out with a goal of creating a calendar that took the work of twelve different photographers to create a truly one-of-a-kind piece of work.
The calendar was put up for sale at various locations around the Illinois Valley, as Klein intended to donate the proceeds to an organization whose goal is to support the parks that he has grown up to love.
“We’re very thankful for the large donation and to all the individuals who purchased a calendar and to (Klein) for his extraordinary efforts in bringing this project together,” Starved Rock Historical and Education Foundation President Pam Grivetti said.
Klein organized the work of twelve contributors who were happy to contribute to the overall goal of the project. These photographers included Andrew Kenning, Tom Tarner, Steve Stout, Joe Howard, Kathy Casstevens, Kyle Petersen, Connor Broderick, Nicholas Albert, Tea Lamboley, Paula Gutilla, Jacob Etzenbach and Klein himself.
Klein wanted to create a piece of artwork that exemplifies what these parks mean to visitors and those who grew up in the area.
“I believe these parks offer some of the most pristine, unique and beautiful areas in the Midwest,” Klein said. “The idea of creating a calendar to benefit the places we love exploring came naturally.”
Klein mentioned that the donation was made possible by the generosity of those who purchased a calendar as well as the local businesses that housed the calendars such as the Starved Rock Visitor Center Foundation Store, Bruce & Ollies in Utica and Stage 212 in La Salle.
“It was great to see local businesses and organizations supporting the fundraiser and I can’t thank them enough,” Klein said.