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    Kewanee Schools


For over twenty years, the mission of the Foundation has been to strengthen the education and extra-curricular opportunities of district students by generating financial support and leadership through our alumni and community.

Since 1990, the Foundation has supported its mission by providing financial resources for:

  • new facilities,
  • educational materials,
  •   teacher training,
  • college scholarships,
  • community cultural events,
  •  landscaping and other projects that enhance the beauty and learning atmosphere of the district’s schools.

Please click HERE to access the "How You Can Help" section to find out the wide variety of ways in which you can be part of this very important mission!


Yastrow brings ‘Bad Lies’ back to his hometown

Releases 3rd novel, this one centered around golf

By Sarah Arnold

For The Star Courier

From small town boy to general counsel and executive vice president of McDonald’s corporation, author Shelby Yastrow has reached a level of career success that many only strive to achieve.

A graduate of Northwestern University Law School, early in his long law career, Yastrow found himself working in a large Chicago law firm where he represented McDonald’s in a major lawsuit against a competing burger chain called Sandy’s.

It wasn’t until later in the case that he realized he had caddied for the owners of Sandy’s back when, as a child, he worked at Kewanee Dunes, then a nine-hole course called Midland.

That case helped him build a relationship with McDonald’s where he was later hired on and from where he eventually retired. Since retiring, Yastrow hasn’t slowed down.

He quickly turned his down-time hobby into a new career, writing, so far, three novels and a non-fiction business book, and he attributes much of his success and drive to his upbringing here in Kewanee.

Having been raised by a working family, he learned to be independent and fend for himself. Yastrow says he never felt disadvantaged when faced with college and law school classmates who had attended private prep schools as they had “never built a treehouse, or caught catfish, or swam across the Illinois-Mississippi Drainage Canal.”

His hometown education was “solid” and he can still remember all of his teachers from Central Elementary School through Kewanee High School, but gives special recognition to his Senior English teacher, Katherine Johnson, who he says “paid special attention to [his] writing.” She helped and encouraged him to continue. He made sure to tell her how impactful she was when she asked him to sign his first novel for her.

Now on his third novel, and fourth book, Bad Lies, Yastrow teamed up with professional golfer Tony Jacklin to write a novel that blends his two loves, law and golf.

The pair met quite serendipitously shortly after Yastrow had come up with his golf-centered courtroom thriller. Serving on the board of directors for a Minneapolis-based company, Yastrow visited the 7th Hole chalet where the company had hired Jacklin to be a host for the week. They quickly became friends, and Yastrow decided to ask Jacklin for assistance on his book.

Together they authored Bad Lies which centers on a successful professional golfer, who while at the top of his career is suddenly struck with accusations of cheating. While the title itself is a play on words, using the dual meaning associated with lie as a golf term for determining how a ball is sitting before it’s struck and lie


                                                                     Shelby Yastrow

as the basis for a defamation lawsuit like the one at the heart of the story.

Yastrow notes that neither knowledge of the courtroom or golf isn’t needed to enjoy the novel.

“In short,” Yastrow says, “the book offers a peek at how the First Amendment to the Constitution can be used as a sword as well as a shield.”



As part of the 40th reunion for the Kewanee High School’s Class of 1978, they decided to create a class gift. They, in fact, ended up with four class gifts, with each one supporting a local Kewanee or Henry County charity that works to improve the lives of the local kids. The 40th reunion was organized by Steve Mitchell and Jeff Fortman, while Marla (Millman) Roth coordinated the class gift.

Using Facebook, classmates were asked to identify the charities they should support. The four charities chosen were the Kewanee Schools Foundation, Kewanee Park District, Henry County Mental Health Alliance and the Sunshine Community Services Center.

Classmates were asked to write a check to the charity or charities they wanted to support and forward it to the gift coordinator who sorted and bundled the donations. These gifts were then presented to the charities at the KHS's class of 1978's 40th class reunion on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Windmont Park.

“Our classmates were very generous.  Altogether, we raised $4,238. Individual donations ranged from $20 to $300.

Many contributed to two different charities with the largest donation from one person in the amount of $500 that was split equally between two charities,” Roth said.

The funds were distributed as follows:

■ $1,498 given to the Kewanee Schools Foundation (represented by Bruce Dennison)

■ $1,245 given to the Kewanee Park District (represented by Brian Johnson)

■ $1,145 given to the Henry CountyMental Health Alliance (represented by Lisa Nordstrom)

■ $350 given to Sunshine Community Services Center (represented by EttaLaFlora) 

“All four charities have special meaning to our classmates and benefit kids in our hometown. This was our chance to give back to the town that helped us become successful, and our chance to help a younger generation who may be repeating similar experiences to ours from 40 years ago. We want to improve the quality of life for youth in Kewanee and make things a little better for them,” stated Roth.

The reunion organizers and gift coordinator expressed their appreciation to each of the charities for sending a representative to the reunion to receive their gifts; and were honored to present the oversized ceremonial checks totaling the amount raised for the respective charities.


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