Foundation honors local leaders, awards $36,000


The LincolnWay Community Foundation’s annual award celebration on November 7 was focused on honoring the hard work of local leaders. In honoring those leaders and building excitement around the Forever LincolnWay Fund, the Community Foundation offered a vision of how rural Clinton County is building strong communities for today, tomorrow and forever.

Retired executive director Pat Henricksen received a standing ovation for 35 years of work with the Foundation. In recognizing Henricksen, board member Roger Hill recalled a phrase his father used to describe those he respected: “That is someone you’d do well to pattern after.”

Nancy Van Milligen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, shared her excitement around the success of the Forever LincolnWay fundraising effort and highlighted how the fund will help support the organization’s work for generations to come. The fund is being built in partnership with local leaders and an anonymous donor, who has pledged $75,000 toward the $450,000 goal through the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s Small-town Dreams Initiative. 

The LincolnWay Community Foundation’s limited operating expenses are funded by donations and earnings from a small fund held at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, which the LincolnWay Community Foundation affiliated with in 2016. The board’s goal for 2022 was to hire a paid director following the retirement of Henricksen, who held the role as a volunteer and now serves on the board. 

With that goal in sight, fundraising continues so that endowment earnings will cover operations and the fund will continue to grow, supporting the Foundation’s efforts to strengthen local nonprofits. Thanks to gifts from community members, businesses and organizations, over $270,000 has been secured for the Forever Fund. 

During last week’s event, Greg Gannon, president of DeWitt Bank & Trust Co., received a 2022 Spotlight Award for his support of the campaign. He personally visited leaders in 11 communities to invite them to join the effort. The Spotlight Award recognizes an individual for their exceptional contributions and efforts in Foundation work and in the community.

Other Spotlight Awards went to Lost Nation Hometown Pride for its work on Rustic Park, Cal-Wheat Hometown Pride for organizing a joint Fun Days celebration, and Delmar Development for its community projects. 

Nonprofit of the Year awards of $500 each were given to Central Community Historical Society and Museum, Clinton County Conservation Foundation and Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Clinton County. Nonprofit Peoples’ Choice awards of $250 each were given to Central Community Historical Society and Museum and the Charlotte Fire Department. Following the presentation, a local leader offered to match the gift so that each Peoples’ Choice award winner received $500. 

Grant Recipients

Twenty-two nonprofits serving rural Clinton County received awards through the Foundation’s annual competitive grant cycle, totaling $34,000. 

  • Andover Community Ambulance
  • Andover Fire Department
  • Charlotte Firefighters Association
  • Charlotte/Goose Lake First Responders
  • City of Calamus
  • City of Goose Lake Fire Department
  • City of Grand Mound
  • City of Welton
  • Concerned Citizens of DeWitt
  • Delmar Development
  • DeWitt Community Hospital Foundation – Bike Helmet Project
  • DeWitt Theater Company
  • DeWitt Volunteer Fire Department
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Clinton County
  • Grand Mound Fire & Rescue
  • Fieldstone by Wellspire
  • Friends of the DeWitt Library
  • Low Moor Hometown Pride
  • Northeast Elementary PTO
  • St. Joseph School, DeWitt
  • Summer Lunch Box Program
  • Welton Volunteer Fire Company

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 Amanda Willimack at 563-212-2812 or email To learn more or make a gift to the Forever LincolnWay fund, visit