Building a strong foundation for Clinton


Carol Machael remembers the days when she and other residents decided to lead the way toward a strong future for Clinton and Camanche. Nearly 20 years later, the story of how the River Bluff Community Foundation began continues to inspire leaders and generous people to make a positive difference. 

“David Helscher, Bill Zickau and I began talking about starting a community foundation in 2004,” she recalls. “We met with other community foundations, and David began making regular gifts to build our fund.”

Carol served on the board until 2019 and is proud of her community’s generosity. “Local support has made a significant impact,” she says. “The Pillers family allows us to use their offices, which has helped build trust in the community. Jon Thoms is an excellent board member with creative ideas. Dave Sivright became a very committed board member and donor, making gifts to hire a staff person to move our work forward.” 

Today, she’s happy to see the Foundation working to understand and meet community needs. “I always felt we should study issues in the community so we could take a substantial, long-term leadership role,” she says. 

Like the Foundation, Carol and her husband, Gene, were committed to the area, opting to remain rooted in the community they loved. After Gene died, Carol felt it was important carry on his memory by giving back in the community where he made a difference. 

The Machaels’ estate plan includes their family, their community, and a gift to the Community Foundation itself. “I want to let the board decide what to do with the funds as much as possible, because the people in the community know the local needs best.”