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welcome

In memory of Carl Alan Vuillaume, the mission of The Gift of Carl Foundation is to provide awareness and educational opportunities in the areas that provided Carl the greatest joy:

Theater Arts, Literacy, Music, and the Environment.

The Gift of Carl Foundation (GofC) was incorporated in 2005. Since then, the GofC continues to support program in Carl’s hometown of Darien, IL and surrounding suburbs.
 

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Theater ArTS

As a freshman in the fall of 2003, Carl joined the Hinsdale South High School drama club and began to audition for roles in their stage productions. Over the next two years Carl performed in eight different plays, some with multiple roles. Going into his junior year, Carl was selected to be a drama club officer.

Acting was fun for Carl and the drama club provided a positive social outlet to interact with other talented and creative peers. Most of the roles Carl played embodied his fun-loving spirit.  Every performance made you smile, and Carl was smiling right along with you.

Each year, the GofC awards Carl Vuillaume Thespian Scholarships to graduating thespians from Hinsdale South High School. If you are a graduating senior at Hinsdale South and wish to apply for the Carl Vuillaume Thespian Scholarship, please download the application form and submit your completed application to the Hinsdale South Guidance Office.

The GofC regularly awards financial grants to local community organizations dedicated to youth theater arts education. For more information on grant availability or to recommend an organization, contact us.

 

 

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Literacy

Reading and writing were frequent outlets of fun for Carl. He read many books and often reread the stories he liked most. Carl wrote numerous short stories and began writing several books. With his friends, he created an extensive adventure saga that remains unfinished. Carl also left behind notes and sketches of video games he hoped to produce someday.

The GofC regularly partners with literacy organizations to provide local youth with opportunities to encourage reading and creative writing. Each fall, the GofC sponsors the Indian Prairie Public Library’s annual teen Write-On! Literary Festival, a combination of writing workshops, writing contests, and young adult author visits.

The GofC regularly awards financial grants to local community organizations dedicated to youth literacy. For more information on grant availability or to recommend an organization, contact us.

 

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Music

In 2nd grade Carl started taking piano lessons, and continued to do so throughout every school year thereafter. Carl also participated in the Darien District 61 band program for five years, playing the cornet. Although Carl became good enough to play for two years in the prestigious Eisenhower Jr. High jazz band, he would tell you that his main reason for joining the band program was to go on the annual out-of-state trip for a band contest; it was the social event of the year for the band members.

Music was an integral part of Carl’s life and the GofC hopes to provide other children with the opportunity to pursue music. The GofC annually provides sponsorship for local students to take private instrument lessons and sponsors the Indian Prairie Public Library’s annual The Sound music festival for teens.  The GofC also operates a permanent Instrument Recycling Program in partnership with PM Music Center in Aurora, IL. Musical instruments that are no longer used can be donated to the Foundation, refurbished by PM Music Center, and redistributed to school band programs in need. PM Music Center is a permanent drop-off site for instrument donations, which are tax deductible (use this form).

If you are a band director and would like to inquire about available instruments for your program, please check our Instrument Inventory to see what refurbished instruments we have available and contact us below. If you have a qualified student, please complete an instrument scholarship form for him or her.

The GofC regularly awards financial grants to local community organizations dedicated to youth music education. For more information on grant availability or to recommend an organization, contact us.

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environmental education

Carl and his friends always found ways to have fun playing outdoors in any kind of weather. Carl enjoyed participating in games, both formal sport contests and those made up on the spot in the backyard or in the woods. Being outside allowed Carl to expand his imagination, and he learned to see the world as a place to cherish and nurture.

If we all do little things every day to take care of mother nature, everyone can find ways to enjoy the outdoors like Carl did. In order to preserve the natural world and protect our environment, the GofC is committed to programs supporting environmental education for youth. Each year, the GofC sponsors the Darien Arbor Day Celebration. Memorial trees are planted in Darien public spaces to honor lost community members, and local school children are taught lessons in environmental conservation.

The GofC regularly awards financial grants to local community organizations dedicated to youth environmental education. For more information on grant availability or to recommend an organization, contact us.

 

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Contact/Donate

Please feel free to write or email us with ideas, suggestions, comments, and questions about the GofC and our efforts. You can also volunteer your time, talents, and resources to help our causes.

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To make a monetary donation, donate below through PayPal or send a check (click here) made payable to The Gift of Carl Foundation, Inc., to PO Box 1161, Westmont, IL 60559.

Click for the Chirstmas in July form.

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The life of Carl Vuillaume was truly a gift to all those who came in contact with him. To keep on giving in his memory, The Gift of Carl Foundation has been started.
 

The life of Carl Vuillaume was truly a gift to all those who came in contact with him. "If the entire world would speak their mind, but still listen to what people say, then heaven on earth would be created. Everyday I live life the way I want to live it, carpe diem." — Carl Vuillaume