Allamakee County nonprofits awarded nearly $150,000


From outdoor recreation to emergency services, local towns and nonprofits will receive much needed support for community-enhancing projects thanks to the Allamakee County Community Foundation. The Foundation awarded $148,825 in grants to area nonprofits during an April celebration in Harpers Ferry. 

The Foundation board also bid farewell to three outgoing members who together represent 28 years of service: Jarrod Olson, Pat Cota and Sheryl Evanson. Leah Benzing of Harpers Ferry has joined the board, and two vacancies remain for a Waterville representative and an at-large member. 

For the first time in the Foundation’s competitive grant cycle, a project was awarded funding thanks to a donor’s endowment. The Foundation’s grants are historically made possible because of funds received each year from the State of Iowa County Endowment Program. This year, the first distribution from the new Jim & Margo Sweeney Family Foundation for Allamakee Forever fully supported a grant to Northeast Iowa Community College. 

The Sweeney fund was launched as part of the board’s Small-town Dreams Initiative fundraising challenge to ultimately add $450,000 to its endowment over three years. The board is just $55,000 away from this goal, which will benefit nonprofits and community projects for generations to come. 

“It’s an amazing feeling to be in the room with people all trying to make Allamakee County a better place to live,” said George Beardmore upon receiving a grant for the Allamakee County Historical Society for Genealogy Research Center.

Grants were awarded to: 

  • Allamakee County Historical Society for Genealogy Research Center - $15,000
  • NE Iowa Wellness & Rec Center for Postville City Ball Field Score Board - $5,925
  • Harpers Ferry EMS Association, Inc. for Defibrillator for Ambulance - $16,500
  • NE Iowa Area Agency on Aging for Allamakee County Congregate & Home Meals Program - $10,000
  • Lansing Fire Department for Vehicle Extrication Tools - $15,000
  • City of Postville for Swimming Pool Heater Project - $10,000
  • Waukon EMS Association Inc. for CPR Device Replacement - $15,000
  • Waterville Fire Department Squad for Auto Extrication Equipment - $15,000
  • St Paul Lutheran Church for Meals on Wheels in Postville - $7,500
  • Harpers Ferry Volunteer Fire Department for Personal Firefighter Protection Equipment - $3,900
  • City of Lansing for Generator Wall Street Lift Station - $10,000
  • Harpers Ferry Boosters, Inc. for Electronic Messaging Sign - $15,000
  • New Albin Improvement League for Enhancing New Albin Community Park - $7,000
  • Northeast Iowa Community College Foundation for NICC Waukon Center Summer Camps - $3,000 (funded by the Jim & Margo Sweeney Family Foundation for Allamakee Forever)

Donors who give to endowments by June 1, 2023, may benefit from the Endow Iowa 25% State Tax Credit in addition to federal charitable income tax deductions. For more information about giving to support local needs, contact Foundation Coordinator Betty Steege at 563-586-2046 or

To learn more about how you can make an impact on your Allamakee County community, visit