Foundation has awarded $60,000 in grants
The Community Foundation of Washington has given out $60,000 in grants since it was founded in 2005. The foundation is in custody of 13 endowments totaling $600,000.
The foundation obtained a new director to oversee those endowments this summer when it hired Millie Youngquist. Youngquist was the choir director at WACO for 34 years. It was through her connections with the choir that she learned of the foundation’s work.
In November 2010, renowned opera singer and Iowa native Simon Estes performed a concert with local choir students, including Youngquist’s class. That event was made possible by a grant from the foundation.
Youngquist found out the organization was looking for a part-time director after she retired earlier this year, and she jumped at the chance to serve the foundation that had served her students. She became the foundation’s director July 1.
Youngquist organizes the monthly board meetings. She helps train the board members, and train herself by reading educational materials about endowments.
Youngquist is excited about the possibilities of large endowments coming to the foundation in the next few years. She said a lot of wealth is expected to change hands over the next decade, $904 million in Washington County alone.
“If we could capture just a portion of that, even 5 percent, we could give out $2 million in grants every year,” she said.
The organizations that benefit from the Community Foundation’s grants include Camp Reece, which is a camp for disabled people. The Foundation also serves HACAP, PAWS & More, the Kalona Historical Society, the Washington Betterment Foundation, the Parkside Activities Center, the Leo and Martha Hall Fund and the John and Phyllis Jackson music scholarship.
The Leo and Martha Hall Fund is used to purchase flags for the cemetery in Wellman. John and Phyllis Jackson donated $175,000 to the bandstand in Washington’s Central Park. John was a charter member of the Washington Municipal Band when it started in 1932.
The Community Foundation was created in the wake of a program called Endow Iowa, which the Iowa Legislature approved in 2004. Endow Iowa allows Iowans to make a permanent endowment to a certified foundation and receive a 25 percent tax credit.
As an example, if a person donated $10,000 to a certified foundation in the form of a permanent endowment, the person would receive a tax receipt for $2,500 from the Iowa Department of Economic Development to deduct from their taxes.
The Washington Betterment Foundation became interested in Endow Iowa after it was created. Steve Olson was the treasurer on the Washington Betterment Foundation, at the time, and realized that a separate organization needed to be created to take full advantage of Endow Iowa’s tax credit program. That new organization became the Community Foundation of Washington County.
The Community Foundation will hold a “chef cook-off” fundraiser Nov. 13 at the Holy Trinity Parish Life Center in Richmond. Two people will cook a meal and then the attendees will judge which meal they liked better. The two cooks are Stacia Bontrager and Jaron Rosien.