Forever in Monticello: A place to call home

Ask Monticello residents what they love about their community, and you might hear similar words of praise from everyone. That’s certainly the case with Angie McDough and Deb Bowman. 

“I truly love this community and its spirit,” says Angie, Give to Grow Monticello team member. “The people support each other in times of need and heartbreak, but also celebrate successes and joys together.” 

“We understand one another and have compassion for our neighbors,” says Deb, president of Monticello Main Street. 

These two leaders joined forces through the work of Give to Grow Monticello, an effort to bridge local generosity with local pride to create a thriving community for generations to come. After learning about Main Street’s goals, Give to Grow stepped up as a funding partner. 

The initiative began when Monticello was selected to leverage a $100,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor through the Community Foundation’s Small-town Dreams Initiative. The program is helping towns across Eastern Iowa build capacity to address future challenges and opportunities by raising $450,000 in an endowment that will pay out every year to support community building efforts. In the process, local leaders gain the skills to organize a successful capital campaign and learn how to understand and respond to local needs. 

Through Small-town Dreams, leaders like Angie and Deb channel their passion for their towns to create vitality and achieve what is important to them. In Monticello, the Give to Grow team is focusing on connection, helping the many organizations working to strengthen the community build relationships with one another to achieve common goals. Support from the first Give to Grow grant is being used for Main Street’s downtown mural that reflects the architecture and culture of Monticello. The partnership with Main Street is the first of many the group hopes to build. 

“I believe that to bring a small town to its full potential, you have to jump in feet first and give what you have to offer to make an effort a success,” says Angie. “My wish for Monticello is to bring out the wonderful assets our community offers to all who live here. We want people to decide this a place they want to call home and grow with us.”