Endowment payout supports Allamakee Forever


Each year, payouts from endowment funds held by the Allamakee County Community Foundation support organizations’ missions and improve quality of life in local communities. One of those funds is a new endowment started by the Sweeney family of Waukon, which will support the Foundation’s own efforts to address our county’s greatest needs for generations to come. 

Margo Sweeney and her late husband, Jim, are Waukon natives who returned to the community to raise their four children. “After a decade of living away, it felt good to return to our hometown,” she recalls. “We enjoyed living there for 40 years, working and raising our family.”

When Jim died, Margo began looking for a way to honor him and leave a legacy in Allamakee County. A conversation with Foundation Coordinator Betty Steege piqued her interest in the Allamakee Forever Fund. The Foundation is working to build the fund, which will continue growing and providing flexible dollars to help address critical and emerging needs for generations to come. 

“After learning about the important work the Foundation is doing, I talked it over with my family, and we decided to form an endowment fund from our family to Allamakee County,” Margo says.

The Jim and Margo Sweeney Family Endowment for Allamakee Forever provides an annual payout that goes directly into the Forever Fund. It will support the Foundation’s work to address some of the community needs Margo and her family care about most, particularly youth, recreation and health care, where Margo spent her career. “I worked at Waukon Hospital in the surgery department and have seen the wonderful benefit of our hospital for our family and families across the county,” she says. 

Jim and Margo’s four children and 13 grandchildren, ages 1 through 23, will take a role in enhancing the future of Allamakee County through the family fund. “It’s a way for them to remember their grandparents and to see the impact of giving back as they grow up,” Margo explains. All of her children have returned to Eastern Iowa to start their own families. “I think Allamakee is a wonderful place to raise children and a wonderful place to enjoy life.”

The Foundation holds funds for many nonprofits as well as individuals and families with charitable goals. In 2022, the Foundation’s family of funds distributed $130,000 to community projects in Allamakee County. 

“The Foundation connects donors with the greatest needs in our community,” says Steege, the Foundation’s coordinator. “We offer 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 Steege at 563-586-2046 or email steebo@acegroup.cc.