In Memorial: Lori Wootten (1961-2018)

Care to Learn St. Charles

By Ellen Heitzig, Co-Chapter Liaison Care to Learn – St. Charles

March 05, 2019

Lori Wootten began her remarkable volunteer role as Co-Liaison with Care to Learn-St. Charles after retiring from the City of St. Charles School District as a high school guidance counselor. Over the course of 29 years in the St. Charles School District, Lori also served as a music teacher, coach, sponsor to various clubs, and served a 20-year role as the St. Charles Education Association President.

The City of St. Charles School District became a Care to Learn Chapter in 2014 and Lori eagerly jumped in to help. From the beginning, Lori was determined to raise a large amount of financial resources to meet our students' health, hunger and hygiene needs-- and she did just that.

She envisioned one fundraiser, an annual gala that brought together district staff, families, and the community. Since 2014, Care to Learn-St. Charles has raised over $360,000. Those funds have helped thousands of students over the years and will continue to provide for them. Lori also created the Care to Learn-St. Charles Advisory Council. She was uniquely talented to bring together and inspire the community, as well as school district staff. Lori had an innate ability for connecting with people and forming relationships quickly. Lori also helped create an annual district event that Care to Learn- St. Charles sponsors, the Family Festival. At this Festival, under-resourced students and families can access community resources, receive food items, free haircuts, hygiene kits, and build excitement for the upcoming school year. 

Lori also served on additional boards throughout the community. She served as an active member for We Love St. Charles, an organization that helps children and families within the St. Charles community. She was also a passionate contributor to her church, serving with the youth and adult choir.

Lori's zest for life, huge heart, and determination was the driving force behind the success of Care to Learn- St. Charles. Lori cared for the students in the St. Charles School District as if they were her own family. She never took no for an answer and pushed when ideas needed prodding-- all with a servant's heart. Her commitment to the organization, the school district and the people she loved, showed through her philanthropic mindset. 

Lori will be truly missed, not just for her role with the Care to Learn-St. Charles Chapter, but for her infectious smile, personality, and heart of gold. Her impact on the community will be felt for years to come and although we are heartbroken, we know her legacy will live on forever. 

Gifts can be made in Lori’s honor to the Care to Learn – St. Charles Chapter at: www.caretolearn.org/stcharles

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