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Welcome to the Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation

We, the nieces and nephews of Dennis J. Smith, established this Foundation as a tribute to Denny - a man of keen intellect, gentle humor and extraordinary character. Through the work of this Foundation we aim to emulate the values Uncle Denny has exhibited throughout his life - a commitment to the communities in which we live, supporting education and demonstrating generosity for the less fortunate and dignity in the face of difficult circumstances.

We dedicate ourselves to following his example. We further hope that through this Foundation, Uncle Denny's faith in God, his love of family and his unshakeable courage will continue to inspire those whose lives he has touched.

With profound respect and the deepest love and gratitude, Molly Smith-Molloy, Danny Smith, Kelly Smith-Haley, Dennis O'Brien, Mike O'Brien, Michael
Smith, Pam Smith and Bill Smith.

Uncle Den, we love you!

About the Foundation

Putting your support to work

The Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation receives regular financial support from Denny's friends and family. For that we are grateful and pleased that we can use those funds to help causes near Denny's heart.

The Legacy Foundation helps open the doors to Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee, Illinois to students who may not otherwise be able to attend due to financial reasons. Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded over $400,000 in scholarships to students at Bishop McNamara. These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated their commitment to community service and leadership. The Foundation has also awarded over $50,000 in scholarships to Kankakee Community College students. The Legacy Foundation has also worked closely with and regularly financially supports the Les Turner Foundation, which is committed to ALS research and helping the families of ALS patients.

2017 Scholarship Application

Caring for the Community Award

In 2008 the Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation created the Caring for the Community Award to recognize people who serve the greater Kankakee County area with dignity and selflessness. Past recipients of this award are listed below.

  • 2008: Dr. Naresh Chandan
  • 2009: James Frogge
  • 2010: Jackie Haas
  • 2011: Fr. Don Lewandowski
  • 2012: Cory Blanchette, posthumously
  • 2013: The Vernon and Leone Ruder family
  • 2014: Bill Yohnka
  • 2015: Steven J. Hunter
  • 2016: Rich Zinanni


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Contact Us

For information about the Dennis J. Smith Legacy Foundation please contact Mike O'Brien at