A Legacy of Leadership

Harry and Elle Blobaum have developed a map of connections throughout Clayton County that begins with Elle’s childhood and continues today. Elle grew up less than a mile from Ewalu Camp and Retreat Center, where she and her husband worked as summer camp counselors. When the couple returned to her family farm after retirement, they rejoined the effort to help the camp succeed.

The Blobaums gave one of the first gifts to Ewalu’s endowment fund, which started with the Clayton County Foundation for the Future in 2005. The couple participated in a pilot program for endowment-building through the foundation, and Harry felt inspired to join the foundation’s advisory board.

This year, Harry and Elle will sell the family farm and relocate to Waverly, a place they knew well as Wartburg students. Harry retires from the Clayton County foundation after serving multiple terms as board chair.

“Harry really rolled up his sleeves in leading the Clayton County Foundation for the Future,” says MJ Smith, director of affiliate foundations at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. “He led by example, and both he and Elle will be missed.”

Harry’s most memorable moments of the past decade are the connections the foundation made with nonprofits through its grant program. The ingenuity and passion of Clayton County’s nonprofit leaders, along with the projects they accomplished, made a lasting impression. “There are people doing marvelous things for nonprofits,” he reflects.

Harry represented Clayton County on the board of the Northeast Iowa Funders Network. Through that work he helped found the Clayton County Energy District, which supports retaining local wealth through energy savings. He also helped shape the foundation’s progress by advocating for the hiring of a paid coordinator to assist the board. Since the position was created two years ago, an endowment fund has been established that will support the position permanently.

Though Harry and Elle are moving on, they leave a lasting legacy in the county they call home. The couple has given generously of their own time, talents and treasure, and their gifts to endowment funds will support the causes they care about forever through perpetual annual payouts.

To make your own gift to a Clayton County cause you care about, visit dbqfoundation.org/ccff, or contact Emily Sadewasser, foundation coordinator.