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September 28, 2020

Celebrating the 17th Anniversary of our founding!

Funds donated since our establishment...

Father, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather, Verner H. Thelen, passed away on 28th of September, 2003.
Just hours before he passed, we, his children, created The Vern & Bunny Thelen Family Foundation, to honor Vern's long time teachings for us to help our local communities. His motto:

Don't Just Take, Give Some Back

remains as our mission today. Over the years, we have donated to many causes, the majority of them local to our family.
This year, 2020, we've already donated $35,000 to local community food pantries to help our neighbors in need during the Covid-19 health and economic crisis. We sincerely appreciate our donors' generosity throughout 17 years to help us reach our total giving of $711,799.
Thank you, all, for your continued support of our work to help those in need.


2019 Fundraiser
American Brain Tumor
2018 Fundraiser
Blessings in a Backpack
2nd Gen
Second Gen

About Our Foundation

Vern & Bunny Thelen instilled in their 9 children the blessing of giving. Vern started his business, Thelen Sand & Gravel, because his parents (John and Agatha Thelen) needed someone to build roads for their farm that would become Pistakee Highlands in Illinois. Vern’s brother, Ray, later joined him in the business. Bunny, who went to high school with Ray, was the only child of Jake and Tillie Stoffel. Vern moonlighted as a skate guard at the McHenry skating rink and Bunny decided the best way to meet him was to fall down...a lot... so Vern would have to go and pick her up. Bunny & Vern married on October 21, 1948, and started their family: (the late) John “Jack” (Debbie), Mary Beth (Bob), Sue (Warren), Tom (Paige), Pete (Terry), Steve (Diana), Ann (the late Mark), Barb (Mark), and Peg (Tom). Of course, the family grew from there. Jack & Debbie had John (Tami), Jessica, & Jennifer (Pat); Mary Beth & Bob had Mike (Nichole) & Peggy (Dan); Sue & Warren had Roger & Ben; Tom & Paige had Drew (Samantha) & Taryn (Eric); Steve & Diana had Matt (Michelle) & Erin (Patrick); Ann’s step-son Jason (Hilary) is also an integral part of the family; Barb & Mark had Matilda, Samantha, & Rachel; Peg & Tom had Jacob (Emily), Lexi (Bryan), & Annie.
The great-grandchildren are John & Tami’s: Taylor, Jake, & Kylie; Jennifer & Pat's: Grace & Annabelle; Peggy & Dan’s: Vincent & Michael; Mike & Nichole's: Petra & Stevie; Drew & Samantha's Sawyer & Bryce; Taryn & Eric's Hadley & Piper; Matt & Michelle's Mason, Charley, & Riley; Erin & Patrick's Daphne & Wesley; Jason & Hillary's Addison & Bryson; Jacob & Emily’s Shannon.

Volunteer Board 2020-2021




Third Generation, son of Steve & Di



Vice President

Third Generation, husband to Erin, daughter of Steve & Di




Third Generation, wife to Drew, son of Tom & Paige




Second Generation, daughter of Vern & Bunny




Third Generation, son of Peg


Don't just take, Give some back

US Tax-ID 20-0260049 a 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 2003

Vern & Bunny Thelen Family Foundation, P.O. Box 501, Spring Grove, IL 60081, +1 (847) 838-8863