Dream Bellevue launches fundraising campaign


A group of Bellevue leaders has been approved for a $90,000 challenge grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s Small-town Dreams Initiative. The initiative will help the group, Dream Bellevue, build its endowment to $450,000 – providing an annual payout that will support grants for community needs. 

“Our residents have always come together to address important community needs including the education, recreation, faith, health and safety of our youth and families. We now intend to build on these accomplishments and build a permanent fund which will jumpstart signature projects annually – forever,” says Dream Bellevue chair Molly Ploessl.

The Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque has launched the Small-town Dreams Initiative in six communities across its seven-county affiliate region, which includes Jackson County. In partnership with an anonymous donor, the initiative has been structured to provide a cash match both for endowment-building and immediate local grantmaking:

  • In the first phase of the campaign, Dream Bellevue committee reached out to community leaders to raise $150,000 for the endowment as part of a two-to-one challenge.
  • With that milestone met, Dream Bellevue was awarded $85,000:
    • $75,000 for the endowment, bringing its total to $225,000.
    • $10,000 for its first grants ­– a community-wide bicycle rental program and a library of life jackets and fishing poles for the public to borrow. 
  • As the committee continues building the endowment, it will receive an additional $5,000 for more grantmaking.

At a celebration last week, Dream Bellevue launched the second, or public, phase of the campaign to raise an additional $225,000 to meet the challenge grant goal of $450,000. 

When the challenged is completed, the endowment fund will pay out an estimated $20,000 annually for grants that will help create a more vibrant Bellevue for generations to come. Dream Bellevue leaders will build on projects such as recent park improvements, trail expansion and revitalization of the downtown.

Dream Bellevue is led by Abbey Skrivseth, Allen Ernst, Bob Ploessl, Lyn Medinger, Molly Ploessl, Tim Daugherty, Lucy Zeimet and Wade Bormann, with support from Community Foundation of Jackson County Executive Director Lori Loch. The initiative is supported by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s Senior Affiliate Advisor, MJ Smith, with funding support from a successful entrepreneur who grew up in a small town in eastern Iowa.

“We intend to grow this place we call home even stronger and better for our children and grandchildren,” says Ploessl. “Together, we are building a thriving future for the hometown we all love.”