Our Mission

The mission of the Mary Lou & Arthur F. Mahone Fund is to provide educational opportunities for economically and academically deserving youth and to support healthy lifestyles initiatives in communities of color.

The Mahone Fund is a component of the Kenosha Community Foundation.

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The Mary Lou and Arthur F. Mahone Fund was created in 1999 to perpetuate the legacy of two dynamic change agents. While possessing different leadership styles, both Mary Lou and Arthur were the most influential couple advocating for social justice in Kenosha. They were married 51 years and raised nine children.

Mary Lou Mahone, a native Kenoshan, was a bridge-builder, joining disparate sectors of the community to challenge racial discrimination and to create equal opportunity in education, healthcare, housing and labor. The first black PTA president in 1962, she was later appointed to the mayor's committee, Concerned Citizens for Fair Housing, and the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights. These efforts led to the city's desegregation of housing and schools, as well as an increase in black teachers, police officers and civil servants.

A lifelong member, she served as president of the Racine-Kenosha NAACP chapter and held the office of state treasurer. She volunteered as president of Church Women United; chairman of the Interfaith Network for the Shalom Center Women's Shelter; and charter board member of the Boys and Girls Club. A lifetime member at Second Baptist Church, she served on countless committees, including director of education.

Her employment with the Lincoln Neighborhood Center, the Urban League, and Community Action Agency enabled her to alleviate the suffering of people facing poverty by creating health and wellness, and Alcohol and Drug abuse intervention programs. In her later years, she developed the civic support group, Ethnic Elders, and served on the founding board of the Kenosha Community Health Center. In 2002, the Kenosha Unified School District named the newly built public school in her honor, the Mary Lou Mahone Middle School.

Arthur Freeman Mahone retired from Gateway Technical College as a Welding Instructor. He mentored young men from all walks of life through martial arts, teaching physical and mental discipline as a foundation to prepare for life's challenges. He studied the Japanese language and became proficient in writing and speaking. Over the years, he participated in a variety of roundtable discussions on race and inclusion and volunteered on the Kenosha Unified School District Student Achievement Advisory committee. He was a member of the NAACP Kenosha branch.

Today their philanthropic legacy lives on in the work of the Mary Lou and Arthur F. Mahone Fund, under the leadership of their children.

The Fund offers the Career Exploration Organization (CEO) initiative which is designed to match low- to moderate-income youth with a business mentor in order to create a pathway for career success, and thereby establishing a pipeline for our college scholarship program. To date, we have awarded over 230 college scholarships.

In addition to the scholarships, we honor local humanitarians with the Living Legend and Signature awards for their transformational and sustainable support to the overall mission and success of the Mahone Fund. The annual Reaching for Rainbows "Pursuit of Excellence" gala and the HarborPark Jazz, Rhythm and Blues festival are the main fundraising activities.

Our community outreach efforts include the following educational and cultural programs for children and families: POWER UP – Plug into Your Future College Scholarship & Resource Fair, Dream Girls, an afterschool, multicultural program for girls at Lincoln Middle School, African American Male Initiative a partnership with the Kenosha Unified School District, Kingfish Summer Baseball Clinics, a collaboration to restore interest in baseball in the Central City, and Lincoln Park Live music series in the Lincoln Park Flower Gardens, just to name a few.