Local projects funded by Clayton County Foundation

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Clayton County Foundation for the Future awarded nearly $9,000 to 11 organizations in the county in support of various projects. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Three Guttenberg projects were funded by grants from the Clayton County Foundation for the Future (CCFF) during the annual grant celebration on Thursday, April 6. Representing Guttenberg organizations were Jamie Blume, City of Guttenberg; Sadie Hefel and Emily Sadewasser, Chamber of Commerce; and Molly Moser, Guttenberg Gallery & Creativity Center.

CCFF awarded nearly $8,896 to 11 organizations during the event at the Backwoods Bar and Grill in McGregor. “These grants were made possible by local donors who believe in the future of our communities,” said Cheryl Meyer, donor connections coordinator. “The CCFF was created with the intention of establishing a perpetual endowment fund that would meet the needs of all of Clayton County and the 19 communities within the county.”

The Clayton County Foundation holds between 50 and 60 funds, representing a total of about $4 million in assets. This grant year, CCFF will be paying out roughly $130,000 overall – funded wholly by interest from endowments. 

CCFF board members Harold McMillin and Andy Reimer represent the community of Guttenberg, and other board members come from Monona, Elkport, Marquette, Littleport and Elkader.

During the April 6 ceremony, CCFF Board Chair Harry Blobaum presented grants in support of a variety of causes. The City of Guttenberg received $1,000 for its ongoing public art project, which is progressing with help from a committee of local volunteers and coordinator Mallory Marlatt of Northeast Iowa Resource Conservation & Development. 

The committee is in the process of selecting an Iowa artist to fabricate the public art piece, and is still working to meet their fundraising goal for the project. The Byways of Iowa Foundation is a major partner for the entire statewide project and has pledged to raise a portion of the funds needed; however, local funds still need to be secured. Those interested in contributing to the project financially can contact Mallory Marlatt, Emily Sadewasser, or Juanita Loven.

The Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce received $500 in funding for information stations in downtown Guttenberg that will direct visitors to local attractions, businesses, and events. 

“With the help of this grant from Clayton County Foundation for the Future, we will be able to get started with a project to purchase and place an information station in Guttenberg; the goal being to eventually be able to purchase and place more of these message board kiosks in key locations in Guttenberg. Our intention with this project is to show Guttenberg’s residents and visitors the many events and activities they can take part in and to encourage supporting local businesses. The message board will include a monthly calendar of activities, event flyers, business directory and map, and brochures and calendars that viewers can pick up,” said Chamber Director Emily Sadewasser. The project also received support from  Dr. Andy and MJ Smith.

Guttenberg Gallery and Creativity Center was awarded $500 to support the June 3 Art by the River Fine Art Festival & Workshop. The free event in Ingleside Park will showcase the work of area artists and will offer workshops, live music and food all day long. White tents will line the sidewalk along the Mississippi River as artists from around the region display their work from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering demonstrations throughout the day.

Youth art activities will be offered at no cost from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the gazebo. Workshops for adults include watercolor, river chimes, zentangles and wheel pottery. Live music starts at 10 a.m. with performances by Sophia Landis, Jon Stravers, Carpe Diem, and Darrell & The Georges. Art by the River Fine Art Festival & Workshop is provided at no charge to attendees thanks to sponsors Alpine Communications, Clayton County Foundation for the Future, Fidelity Bank & Trust, Kwik Trip, Peoples State Bank, and Umbrella Arts, as well as hospitality sponsors Eagle Ridge Independent & Assisted Living and Kaffee 1858.

  Guttenberg resident MJ Smith, coordinator of affiliate foundations with the Greater Dubuque Community Foundation, described her experience working with CCFF. “We are really one big family when it comes to Clayton County and the good things that the Foundation has encouraged,” Smith said during the award ceremony. “It is very central to my heart that we should find room for community with our time, our talents, and certainly with our treasure.” 

Other grantees included Motor Mill Foundation, the Cities of Strawberry Point and Elkader, Froelich Foundation,  Upper Explorerland Regional Planning, Volga City Opera House, and Monona Chamber & Economic Development.

“Continue the work you’re doing to help build our communities, and spread the word about CCFF,” Blobaum concluded. 

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