Allamakee nonprofits awarded $129,000

Preserving local history, teaching mental health first aid, providing child care – these are a few of the projects local towns and nonprofits will be able to take on thanks to the Allamakee County Community Foundation, which awarded $129,175 in grants during an April celebration in Waukon. 

The Foundation’s grants are historically made possible because of funds received each year from the State of Iowa County Endowment Program. In addition, two projects this year were awarded funding thanks to the Jim & Margo Sweeney Family Foundation for Allamakee Forever. The Sweeney family launched the fund as part of the Foundation board’s Small-town Dreams Initiative, a fundraising challenge to capture a $100,000 match and add $450,000 to its endowment over three years. Thanks to donors like the Sweeneys, the board celebrated the successful completion of this campaign at the event. 

“Allamakee Forever will touch every resident in some way,” said MJ Smith, who coaches this initiative as senior affiliate advisor at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. “That is the mission we share – to leave the people and places we love just a little brighter than how we found them.”

Grants were awarded to: 

  • Boy Scouts of America, Northeast Iowa Council #178 for scouting-based after school programs
  • City of Postville for police officer safety body/mobile cameras
  • City of Waterville for energy efficiency improvements at the community center
  • Harpers Ferry Area Heritage Society for phase one of the Harpers Museum
  • The Learning Tree Childcare Center for a before- and after-school program
  • New Albin Charities, Inc., for an electric message center
  • Northeast Iowa Community College Foundation for Waukon summer camps and youth makerspace classes
  • Northeast Iowa Wellness & Recreation Center for community mental health first aid training
  • Postville Childcare Center for building infrastructure
  • Reviving of the Fields 
  • Veterans Memorial Hospital for ambulance communication enhancements
  • Waukon Fire Department Association for a slide in unit replacement

The Foundation board also bid farewell to two outgoing members who together represent 19 years of service: Erin Iverson and Diana Johnson. Connie Bulman of Dorchester and Fern Rissman, representing the county at large, have joined the board.

As the Community Foundation nears its 20th anniversary next year, many support staff from the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, of which the Allamakee foundation is an affiliate, attended the event to help celebrate.

President and CEO Nancy Van Milligen reflected on the Foundation’s history:

“Early leaders from your communities gathered and talked about the future. They asked, ‘What if you could reduce hunger? Teach someone to read? Leave a legacy for generations to come? Mentor a child? Choose how you give? Share the joy of the arts? Help neighborhoods be a good place for children to grow? What if there was an organization that brought together people, ideas, and resources to make our community a better place to live?’ 

“The affirmative answer to these important questions has indeed been answered over nearly two decades by the Allamakee County Community Foundation.” 

The Community Foundation offers many opportunities to improve quality of life by addressing an array of local issues. To learn more about how you can establish a fund or make a gift that impacts your community, contact Executive Director Betty Steege at 563-586-2046