Donor Spotlight
Bob and Lucy Lindsay Smith

Bob and Lucy Smith with their beloved pets

The Lindsay family’s unwavering support of initiatives in education has been especially strong for many years.

Philanthropy Interests: Various

Our roots are deep here. If everyone does just a little something, it makes our community better. - Lucy Lindsay Smith

“Our roots are deep here,” says Lucy Lindsay Smith of Decatur about the commitment she and her husband, Bob, have toward the place they have called home all their lives. “If everyone does just a little something, it makes our community better.”

The couple’s living legacy of generously supporting their community takes inspiration in part from these lines of poetry, which were published by Lucy’s great-grandfather, John Lindsay, in the Decatur Labor Bulletin, a newspaper he owned and predecessor to the Decatur Herald and Review.

“For the cause that lacks assistance, For the wrong that needs resistance, For the future in the distance, And the good that I can do.”

Excerpt from “What I Live For” by George Linnaeus Banks (1821–1881)

The quote was framed and passed down through Lucy’s grandfather and father and now sits on her desk. It exemplifies a family philosophy of commitment and philanthropy that extends through four generations and has greatly improved the quality of life for Decatur area residents—from Lake Decatur to the community’s newspaper to WSOY radio to improving healthcare and education and much, much more.

“My father always felt that Decatur was good to our family,” Lucy says. “He always felt that it was important to give back however we could.”

Both her father, Merrill Lindsay, and his father, Frank, along with their wives, set an example of commitment in their lifetimes that Lucy and Bob strive to exemplify in their own support of the community.

To name just a few examples: Lucy’s grandfather, Frank, was publisher of what is now known as the Decatur Herald and Review and was active in leading civic affairs for more than half a century, including raising $1 million for construction of Lake Decatur in 1922. He also was instrumental in starting Decatur’s United Way. Her father, Merrill, also led the newspaper, helped start and staff WSOY radio, established Millikin’s Frank M. Lindsay Field in honor of his father, and served on numerous community boards, including boards at Millikin and Decatur Memorial Hospital. Among their support of DMH, Merrill and Sis funded a facility for the Auxiliary’s Thrift Shop that continues to provide ongoing financial support for needed equipment and services at the hospital.

In addition, the Lindsay family’s unwavering support of initiatives in education has been especially strong for many years. Lucy, her father and her late sister, Katherine “Kitty” Lindsay, principal of South Shores Elementary School, served on the Millikin University board of directors in addition to several other community boards. Kitty also served on the Foundation board of Richland Community College (RCC). Lucy and Bob, both MU graduates along with Kitty, served on the university’s alumni board, are charter members of the Millikin Investors Society and have established an annual nursing scholarship. And the entire family established Millikin and Richland scholarship funds in Kitty’s memory after her 1992 death, also providing significant funding for the Learning Resources Center at RCC (now known as the Kitty Lindsay Learning Resources Center).

To ensure that their charitable giving has lasting, positive impact on the community they love, Bob and Lucy use a donor-advised fund they established at the Community Foundation of Macon County. Through the fund, they work with the Foundation’s professional staff to identify the best ways to address the issues and needs closest to their hearts.

“They make it so easy,” says Lucy, who retired several years ago after a 33-year career with the Illinois Department of Human Services. “The previous Foundation presidents, Wegi Stewart and Lucy Murphy, were so knowledgeable, and I look forward to working with Natalie Beck, the new president.

“I especially have enjoyed working on our fund with Missy Batman (Vice President of Finance and Foundation Services). She is one of a kind.”

Lucy and Bob see a positive future for the Decatur area. Lucy finds it easy to count off the names of several individuals, many of them at the early stages of their careers, who are making a difference by serving in key employee and volunteer roles for the community.

“It’s nice to know that young people are stepping up,” she says. “I hope there will always be those in future generations supporting this community with their time, talents and treasures. Decatur is a good place with good people doing good things.”

Fundholder since 2013