Leaders launch Dream Bellevue campaign


Envisioning a thriving Bellevue for generations to come

With matching funds from the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, leaders in Bellevue have begun a campaign for the Dream Bellevue Endowment. When the campaign goals are reached, the new $450,000 endowment will provide over $20,000 annually, forever, to award grants to local organizations building a thriving future for the community.

Bellevue was approved for a Small-town Dreams Initiative Challenge Grant through the Community Foundation, which hosts the Community Foundation of Jackson County. The initiative is funded by an anonymous donor and successful entrepreneur who grew up in a small town in eastern Iowa. Bellevue is the fourth successful applicant for the program which is targeted for high-performing self-determined communities.

The first quiet phase of the program began in November of 2021 and has been completed. The quiet phase was a two-to-one challenge to local leaders which raised $150,000 and allows Bellevue to capture $75,000 in matching funds. In the second public phase of the program which is beginning now, businesses, organizations and families will be challenged to match the leaders’ and donor’s gifts of $225,000. This community phase will complete the $450,000 goal. The Small-town Dreams Initiative also includes current cash grants to spark projects that would not otherwise be possible today.

“The support we have seen from our visits has been strong,” said Bob Ploessl, a local volunteer committed to the campaign. “We know the endowment will be a permanent legacy for this hometown we all love.”

Abbey Skrivseth, a leadership team volunteer, said, “We envision that annual payouts will foster park improvements, downtown amenities, and support local childcare so families can thrive.” Dream Bellevue grant applications will be announced annually and be awarded by a grant committee.

Tim Daugherty, Molly Ploessl, Lucy Zeimet, Allen Ernst, Dave Heiar, Wade Bormann and Lyn Medinger round out the leadership team for the new initiative. Tim Daugherty said, “I am involved because I know this annual cash payout will be a great help to project planners and also leverage state and federal grants for Bellevue to continue to do great things.”

The first activity for the community to support Dream Bellevue will be May 18, Great Give Day, which is a 24 hour online giving event hosted by the community foundation at www.GreatGiveDay.org

To learn more or make a charitable gift to the Dream Bellevue Endowment, visit dbqfoundation.org/dreambellevueor contact any of the leadership team members. Gifts can be made with cash, check or credit card. Complex gifts like grain, appreciated stock, life insurance, real estate, and individual retirement account charitable rollovers can also be accepted. Gifts of $50 or more are eligible for the 25% Endow Iowa State Tax Credit which taken together with the federal deduction lower the net cost of the gift for some donors who itemize their deductions to 50 cents on the dollar. 

“The community foundation is here to inspire giving and build a stronger Bellevue,” says Community Foundation of Jackson County Executive Director Lori Loch. “We are so excited to be a Small-Town Dreams community and capture these matching dollars for our amazing future.”