WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Significant Endowment for NLC Foundation

Jul 15, 2013

The Community Foundation of North Lee County says it has plenty of room to grow, even after receiving a significant contribution.

Foundation Vice President Steve Koellner says the foundation's endowment sits at more than $6-million after just eight years of existence.

We are improving the lives of all north Lee County residents

He says it got its start as an effort to raise money to improve signage in Fort Madison.

"I formed a foundation basically for that," says Koellner, "and from the welcome signs, it sprung to (this)."

The foundation eventually expanded to the northern half of Lee County.

"We are improving the lives of all north Lee County residents by doing this," says Koellner.

The foundation recently received a $2.5-million endowment from the estate of Rosie Menke of Fort Madison, who passed away one year ago.

"It's an endowment that goes to two entities," says Koellner, "the Holy Trinity School System and the Holy Family Parish, which is based in Fort Madison."

Koellner says local organizations have received more than $800,000 from the foundation over the last eight years.

The money does not come from the endowment, but rather, from the money earned through the investment of the endowment.

Koellner says the foundation will focus on marketing in the coming months and years to make sure everyone in north Lee County is fully aware of its existence.