Mission  |  Objectives  |  Current Board of Directors  |  Foundation Committees  |
Foundation Service Positions  |  Foundation Financial Information


The Emma L. Wilson King Foundation (herein referred to as The Foundation) is a civic and educational foundation dedicated to the enhancement of the neighborhoods and community of East St. Louis, Illinois. The Foundation is a non-profit organization and is created to improving key elements of East St. Louis such as public parks, gardens, buildings, neighborhood organizations, educational enhancement of both young and old through schools (scholarships) and community centers.

The Foundation is part of a living legacy in memory of Mrs. Emma L. Wilson King, which is formed out of her strong yet simple sense of caring and giving. You need not be wealthy to give. You can teach the concept in others, and thus create a torrent of compassion is the method through which Mrs. King created relationships with those both young and old.

The Foundation has secured its tax exempt status with the IRS as a 501 (C) (3) organization. The Foundation is also securing an accountability standard for charities from the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois.


The first goal of The Foundation is to raise $300,000 for the restoration of the Jones Park Fountain which will be renamed the Emma L. Wilson King Memorial Fountain at Jones Park Lagoon. This effort will begin through fund raisers such as dinner sales, raffles, corporate sponsorship and the purchase of bricks through contributions from the general public.

The late Mrs. Emma L. Wilson King was an East St. Louis resident and mother of twelve children who deeply cared about her community and the outdoors and displayed this in her love of gardening. The fundamentals of a solid education for her children and giving to ones community were also important aspects of Mrs. King’s life. It is for this reason The Foundation has chosen the historic Municipal Fountain in the Lansdowne neighborhood as an inaugural Foundation project. The large fountain is nearly one hundred years old and its concrete base is solid but in need of major repair along with its entire lead pipe system. The electrical light system will also require a total overhaul and the fountain’s area grounds redesigned.

The East St. Louis Park District faces continual budget constraints and does not have in place monetary plans for this project. Upon securing adequate funds for the fountain’s restoration, The Foundation will put in place through it auspices a basic maintenance and operation plan for the continued upkeep of the fountain. The Foundation will in essence be adopting the fountain from the Park District but leaving it intact and fully restored for the general public to fully enjoy for years to come.

This new partnership in community revitalization plans to have the restoration of this project completed by 2010. The Foundation will in turn identify other community efforts that will reflect the life and synergy of the Emma L. Wilson King Foundation.

The Jones Park Fountain will serve as the lead signature project for the Emma L. Wilson King Foundation. This project will in turn become the “trademark” identifier for The Foundation in all of its ongoing and future marketing. As an adopted project, The Foundation will collaborate with the East St. Louis Park District to secure primary rights for the fountain’s restoration. The Foundation will also work with the University of Illinois and its School of Landscape Architecture to ensure a design plan is put in place for the full restoration of the fountain. The Foundation will also partner with the East St. Louis Action Research Project which has demonstrated past interest in restoring the fountain.

The Foundation will work with the St. Louis firm of Hydro Dramatics, Fountain Division of Missouri Machinery & Engineering Company to oversee fountain design plans to ensure all aspects of the fountain’s system are designed, engineered and restored to industry standards. Hydro Dramatics were responsible for design of the 630-foot Gateway Geyser on the East St. Louis Riverfront. The is the nation’s tallest fountain.

The Foundation will negotiate with the East St. Louis School District 189 to secure the flagpole at the former Lincoln Sr. High School and relocate it to the grounds of the fountain. Lincoln Middle School will close at 12ll Bond Avenue in January 2005. The future use of the building is unclear. Because of the flagpole’s height, durability and its historical significance with education of area students, the flagpole addition to the fountain sight will serve to enhance the fountain and park grounds. It will be illuminated at night year round with the American flag as part of a permanent display on the plaza grounds of the fountain.

The Foundation will also secure a general contractor following a competitive bid review by Foundation Officers and the Board of Directors. This is to ensure the overall construction phase of the project best reflects The Foundation and East St. Louis Park District needs as the general contractor also becomes a partner in the project. A minimum of three contractors for the general construction work will be reviewed before a final bid on the fountain restoration project is awarded.

From the fountain project the Foundation will serve as a vital anchor in Jones Park to spark community interest in maintaining other vital aspects of this 130-acre jewel. This is the largest municipal park in East St. Louis and the local tax base has not had adequate funding to revive the once thriving 19th century boat house, floral gardens, lawn & tennis courts, lagoon, trees and trails. The Foundation hopes to serve as a catalyst with this project which will enlist other civic and private entities to take up the cause for the eventual full restoration of all venues at Jones Park. Similar to the Forest Park Forever campaign in the City of St. Louis, MO, The Foundation will assume management for the fountain to ensure this community treasure is maintained. The fountain is located on the Parks eastside and it’s improvement will complement the progress made on the Hall-Jones Park’s western buffer with the MetroLink Station, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center and the Edgar Renterria baseball fields.

Current Board of Directors


Board of Directors
(3 year volunteer appointments)
15 – 21 Representatives: Meet 3 times per year
(Chair of The Board elected April)

Honorable Carl E. Officer – Chairman of the Board
Willa King Allen
Barbara Billops Curtis
Rev. Fred Dixon Sr. or Susie Taylor (Honorary)
Edna Farmer
Katherine Frazier
Willie Harris
Ron Hemphill
Jennifer Jordan
David King
Jerome King
Archie Lawrence
Linda Lawson
Percy McKinney
Ingrid Mosley
M. Bernadette Officer
Frank Smith
Virgia Watkins
James E Williams, Jr.
(2 year terms) Meets monthly

President – Willa King Allen
Vice President- David Wilson King
Executive Administrator/Secretary – Jerome King
Treasurer -Ingrid Mosley
Attorney Advisor – Archie Lawrence

General Associates of the ELWK Foundation

King Family
Taylor Family
Jordan Family
Dixon Family
Philips Family
Wilson Family
Jolly Angels
Rev. John H. Rouse
Friends, Neighborhood Organizations (i.e. Concerned Citizens of Precinct 12), Corporations


Foundation Committees
Civic Committee
    (a) Parks & Gardens- Provides technical, financial support to enhancing public gardens in East St. Louis.
    (b) Neighborhood Organizations- Provides support to organizations whose emphasis is on strengthening and improving the community block by block.
    (c) Buildings – Provides support to identifying, registering on the National Registry for Historic Places, East St, Louis landmarks and preserving the historical character of those structures in East St. Louis.

Educational Committee:

    (a) Scholarships- Provides college scholarship awards annually to 5 area high school graduates. Goal is to eventually award $10,000 annually @ $2K per student. Designed to encourage the youth of the community to a higher level of excellence.
    (b) Adopt a New Winter Coat Award – each year new winter coats are awarded to the elementary schools in district 189 and Love Joy school district 188.

Finance / Fund Raising Committee:

    (a) Plazas, Meditation Garden & Brick campaign- This is an ongoing component of the ELWK Foundation. Commemorative bricks are marketed to the public at $100.00 and $200.00 per brick. All commemorative bricks will be placed on the three plazas surrounding the Emma L. Wilson King Memorial Fountain located at Hall-Jones Park. 1,000 commemorative bricks will constitute each plaza. The plazas will be designated by a sponsoring corporate donor for each plaza’s construction. Individuals or groups will in turn purchase commemorative bricks. A flower/rose meditation garden will be constructed on the east side of the fountain also via corporate sponsorship.
    (b) Corporate Support- Ongoing component of the ELWK Foundation will seek corporate sponsors annually to provide added capital for ongoing Foundation programs.


Foundation Service Offices


The Emma L. Wilson King Foundation of East St. Louis, Illinois is a not-for-profit organization whose fiscal operating year runs from August 1 through July 31. The Foundation is funded largely through charitable donations from private contributions and through grants provided by public and private foundations. The financial operations of the Foundation, are carried out by the Treasurer and Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary. The incumbents of these positions both serve as members of the Foundation Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. The Treasurer and Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary have the following respective responsibilities and obligations. All offices including the Board of Directors of the Foundation are lead by volunteers.

  • The officers of the Foundation shall be a President, Vice President, Treasurer, Executive Administrator/Financial Secretary and an Attorney Advisor. The Board of Directors may also elect a Chairman of the Board and may elect or appoint such other officers as it may determine. At least two persons of blood line to Mrs. Emma L. Wilson King must be a member of the Board of Directors and the Foundation Officers.
  • The President of the Foundation shall preside at all meetings of the Associates and represent the Foundation at the quarterly Board of Directors meetings. The terms will run for two years.
  • The President can also execute legal and financial documents of the Foundation with the consultation of the Treasurer and Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary.
  • Delegate authority and responsibility for the implementation of the Foundation Committee Management Programs and tasks to officers, board members, committee chairpersons, and associates.
  • Implement programs and policies recommended by the Board of Directors.
  • The President’s term will run for two years.
  • The Vice President shall serve in the absence or disability of the president, perform the duties and exercise the powers of the President, and shall generally assist the President and perform such other duties as the Board of Directors may prescribe. The term will run for two years.


Term of Office

  • The Treasurer is elected in May of every other year, by the general associate membership of the Foundation to a term of two-years. The incumbent’s term shall run from August 1 through July 31.

Primary Responsibilities

  • The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining control of all the Foundation checkbooks, and savings/investments accounts.
  • The Treasurer shall be responsible for paying all bills of the Foundation and making approved disbursements to Committees.
  • The Treasurer shall establish and maintain communications with financial representatives of organizations with which the Foundation does business.
  • The Treasurer shall serve as chair of the Finance / Fund Raising Committee.
  • The Treasurer in consultation with the Board of Directors shall be responsible for hiring an independent auditor.
  • In the absence of the Executive Administrator/Financial Secretary, the Treasurer shall perform the duties of Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary

Executive Administrator/Financial Secretary

Term of Office

  • The Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary shall be elected, in May, by the general associate membership of the Foundation to a term of two-years. The incumbent’s term shall run from August 1 through July 31.

Primary Responsibilities

  • The Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary shall maintain and keep current the financial records of the Foundation. Those records shall primarily include: 1) Balance Sheet (assets, liabilities, and Net Equity); 2) Statement of Income and Expenses; and 3) Foundation and Committee budgets.
  • In order to comply with the preceding requirement, the Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary must:
      • keep current the computerized financial accounting record keeping system by posting all outstanding transactions on at least a bi-weekly basis;
      • obtain and maintain a copy of all periodic account statements for all Foundation bank and investment accounts
      • perform, at least quarterly, reconcilements of all periodic account statements
      • generate quarterly reports
      • at least quarterly, provide all Committee chairs with a year-to-date comparative report of budget vs. actual revenue and expense
      • in the absence of the Treasurer, the Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary shall perform the duties of Treasurer.
      • The Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary shall be responsible for depositing, within seven days of receipt, all monetary proceeds into the appropriate Foundation bank or investment account. If the Executive Administrator/Financial Secretary is unable to make such deposit (s) within the appropriate time period, the organization Treasurer shall make the deposit (s).
      • The Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary shall be responsible for developing the annual Foundation budget of revenues and expenses. In order to complete this requirement the incumbent must:
        • By July 1 of each year, provide all Committee Chairs with a copy of the current year’s budget, and a request for their proposed budget for the forthcoming fiscal year. Proposed budget requests should be submitted to the Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary from Committee Chairs no later than June 1st.
        • Upon receipt of the proposed budgets the Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary in conjunction with the Treasurer shall develop the Foundation budget for the coming fiscal year. The proposed budget should be reviewed and approved by the Finance Fund Rasing Committee no later than June 15th. Approval by the Board of Directors should then be sought at the summer meeting preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
      • The Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary shall be responsible for submitting the financial records of his/her term to the Foundation auditor no later than the subsequent October 18th, and instruct the auditor to complete both an IRS form 990 and an audit for the most recently completed fiscal year. The Executive Administrator/Financial Secretary is responsible for ensuring that the completed Form 990 and audit report (s) are delivered to the Foundation office. The Form 990 must be mailed to the appropriate IRS office by January 31 of the year following the close of the fiscal year covered by the Form 990.
        • All bills are to be forwarded to the Foundation offices. Any Committee Chair who enters into a transaction causing the Foundation liability must ensure that the vendor/creditor forwards the bill to the Foundation office.
        • Upon receipt, the Executive Administrator/Financial Secretary will record all bills onto the computerized accounting record.
        • Each individual unpaid bill from Foundation creditors and vendors, and each request for disbursement by an Associate, will be held in a common file, labeled “Unpaid Bills”, until the bill has been paid by the Treasurer.
        • At least monthly (more frequently, as volume dictates), the Foundation Treasurer will review the bills received and identify those bills that are to be paid.
        • Upon payment of each bill by the Treasurer, the Foundation copy of the bill shall be stamped “PAID” and filed into that vendor’s file folder.
      • At least once each month the Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary will review the computerized accounting record and prepare current and correct monthly reports.

 Revenue Receipts

  • All checks made payable to the Foundation that are received at the Foundation mailing address will be photocopied and held for the Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary.
  • All on-line contributions to the Foundation (i.e. MasterCard, Visa or other credit card vendor) will be recorded and posted at the financial institution where Foundation funds are held.
  • Deposits shall be made by the Executive Administrator / Financial Secretary on a weekly basis, or as frequent as volume dictates. Whenever the Executive Administrator/Financial Secretary is unavailable to make deposits, the Treasure shall make the deposits.
  • Foundation funds shall be held initially at a financial institution which has its corporate headquarters in the City of East St. Louis, Illinois.

Board of Directors

  • The Board of Directors shall be composed of the Foundation Officers, Committee Chairpersons and fifteen representatives who are engaged in government, educational, volunteer, and community service whose mission is aimed at enhancing the quality of life for the residents of East St. Louis, Illinois. Two members of the Board of Directors shall be persons of blood line to Mrs. Emma L. Wilson King. The Board of Directors shall supervise, manage and control the overall activities and operations of the Foundation and may put and update policies through its Officers.
  • The Board of Directors may elect among its representatives a person to serve as Chairman of the Board and as such have authority to appoint committee chairpersons to head the Committee Management Programs in consultation with the Foundation President.
  • The Board of Directors for tax purposes and for Foundation fund raising shall require an annual audit by a “Certified Public Accountant.”
  • Term of Office: The Board of Directors for the Foundation shall serve in their capacity as volunteers for three year stagger term appointments. The appointments will expire at the end of the Foundation fiscal year for the year in which the term expires, he/she resigns, or the Board of Directors decides that he/she is unfit to continue to serve effectively in that capacity. The first staggered term for eight members of the inaugural Board will expire in 2010 which is the Foundation “Project Goal Year” for the Municipal Fountain’s restoration.


  • Adults who are willing to invest in improving the environment and quality of life for the residents of East St. Louis, Illinois through his/her time and money without seeking any personal and/or monetary gains and agreeing to comply and abide by the Financial Operating Procedures & ByLaws of the Emma L. Wilson King Foundation now in operation and holding oneself amendable to such regulations, as may hereafter be adopted: may make an application to serve as an Associate.
  • Corporations who are willing to invest in improving the environment and quality of life of the residents of East St. Louis, Illinois through the Foundation by financial support of Foundation project goals and activities are hereafter granted Associate status by its “Official Representative.”

Non-Profit Corporation

  • Charitable Purpose: The Foundation is organized exclusively for civic and educational charitable purposes as such purposes are defined by section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States of America. No part of the net earnings of the Foundation shall inure to benefit of, or be distributable to, its Associates, Board of directors, Officers, or other private persons, except that the Foundation may pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of its corporate purposes. No substantial part of the activities of the Foundation shall consist of carrying on propaganda or otherwise attempting to influence legislation; nor shall the Foundation participate or intervene in (including the publication or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf or any candidate for public office.
  • Permissible Mergers & Consolidations: Any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the Foundation may not merger or consolidate with any corporation which is not an exempt organization as defined in section 501 (c) (3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code, or their successor provisions.
  • Dissolution: In the event the Foundation is dissolved and liquidated, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provisions for payment of all the liabilities of the Foundation, distribute the Foundation property (trusteeships) and assets to such organization or organizations as in their judgment have purposes most closely allied to those of the Emma L. Wilson King Foundation, provided, however, that the transferee organization or organization shall then be a qualified tax-exempt charitable organization within the meaning of section 501 (c) (3) of the Federal Internal Revenue Code or their successor provisions, and shall have be in existence and so describe for a continuous period of at least 24 calendar months.


Foundation Financial Information

The State of Illinois: A copy of the latest Financial Report and Official Registration filed by the Emma L. Wilson King Foundation may be obtained by contacting:

The Emma L. Wilson King Foundation
P.O. Box 457
East St. Louis, Illinois, 62202-0457

OR, by contacting:

Secretary of State for the State of Illinois
Department of Business Services
Springfield, Illinois 62756