The Ellis Family
|Kathy Lyn Ellis Adriance
The Ellis Foundation began awarding scholarships to honor the memory of an inspirational teacher, Kathy Lyn Ellis Adriance, daughter of Danny and Willa Ellis. A graduate of Fort Scott High School, she was a lifelong teacher who impacted the lives of her students in and out of the classroom. When she died of breast cancer in 1997, she was a teacher in the Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas. She inspired others with her love of life and learning, and she is the reason the Ellis family began offering scholarships.
|Chris Ellis, President
Chris Ellis, brother of Kathy Lyn Ellis Adriance, is President of The Ellis Foundation, and continues the charitable vision of his parents as a memorial to his sister. In 2002, he set aside his successful business ventures and devoted his energy to philanthropy. He brings passion and vision to the work of the foundation, and under his direction the foundation has cultivated corporate sponsorships, expanded the mentoring program, and developed new technologies to scale the program to a national audience. He is joined in his work by his wife, Cathy Ellis.
|Danny and Willa Ellis, Founders
Danny and Willa grew up in Rich Hill, Missouri. These high school sweethearts have spent the last 60 years as successful business partners and have applied their entrepreneurial expertise to their non-profit work.
Danny and Willa Ellis were profoundly impacted by their daughter’s influence on her students. During the year after Kathy’s passing, they offered three scholarships in Fort Scott, Kansas, in her memory. They immediately saw a tremendous need for scholarship assistance, as well as a mentoring program directed towards results.
Danny and Willa retired from active work with the foundation in 2011, but they continue to serve on the Board of Directors. They continue to provide endowment support for the foundation and scholarship assistance to students in Fort Scott, Kansas and Rich Hill, Missouri.