community SUMMER 2018
Close-Knit Neighborhood Memorialized The flood of 2008 will be remembered by all Linn County residents who experienced it, yet the disaster had a particularly devastating impact on the Time Check and west side neighborhoods. Historic buildings and homes were destroyed, and many neighbors were unable to return to their old residences. While the devastation and blight that followed the flood were significant, many longtime residents chose to stay and fight for the revitalization of the neighborhood they love. Ten years after the flood, a monument has been raised to honor the resiliency of those who live in the impacted neighborhoods. The Northwest Area Neighborhood Association received financial support from a variety of community stakeholders including individuals, organizations and small businesses to fund the project. Al Pierson, owner of Pierson’s Flower Shop and Greenhouses and President of the Neighborhood Association, has deep ties to the close-knit community. He rebuilt his flower shop after the 2008 flood devastated the area as a way to support the neighborhood. “After the flood, hundreds of houses were torn down. This had been a blue-collar, working-class neighborhood,” he explains. “Some of these homes had been in a family’s possession for generations. They worked in area warehouses and plants. Those industries may have left over the years, but the community stayed.” Al says that after his flower shop was rebuilt, people from the neighborhood would regularly stop in just to talk. 2 COMMUNITY
“There was a real sense of loss,” he explains. “There was a sense of ownership in this little community within our city and that was gone, and people wanted to do something to honor that and to honor the resiliency of those who chose to stay and rebuild.” Eventually, the idea of creating a monument began circulating. The Neighborhood Association decided to raise funds to make the concept a reality. They established a fund at the Community Foundation and started fundraising. In addition to $5 and $10 donations received, the Neighborhood Association reached out to area foundations, businesses and community leaders in their fundraising efforts. Most people were eager to help make the monument idea a reality.
“People wanted to do something to honor the resiliency of those who chose to stay and rebuild.” — Al Pierson Gary Ficken, Founder and President of Bimm Ridder, identifies his business as a flood victim. “Our business was destroyed,” he says. “Our building had to be torn down, and we took a million dollar loss.” As a result, Gary felt
compelled to do something to memorialize the loss. “Often, unless you’re a victim, something like this is just a news story.”
Save the Date: Celebration of Community Event
Lu Barron, who was serving as a Linn County Supervisor in 2008, also supported the memorial fundraiser. “One thing I always noticed was that a lot of the people in the northwest neighborhood lived there for their entire lives,” she explains. “Some people lived in homes that had been built by their grandparents.” Lu says that because of the longevity of so many of the residents’ families, it is a very close-knit neighborhood. The purpose of the West Side Rising monument is to celebrate the history and culture of the hard-working people of the historic Time Check neighborhood of the northwest side of Cedar Rapids. Supporters saw a need for art to beautify the area, to encourage future development and for the public to enjoy. West Side Rising is a tall and beautiful piece of art designed by Novak Design. The memorial stands 25 feet tall with a 30 foot print. It is positioned at O Avenue and 6th Street NW on the dry side of the future river wall. The monument is part of a plaza with benches and brick pavers. Supporters and funders hope the plaza will be an area for reflection and gathering for the community. The monument was unveiled in a ceremony honoring the ten year anniversary of the devastating flood. “It’s lovely,” says Lu, reflecting on her first viewing of the monument. “It’s a gateway; it captures the river and the houses that are no longer.” Gary agrees and hopes the monument will be meaningful, even to those who didn’t experience the flood. “It’s a good reminder for future generations that something terrible happened,” he says, “and we came back from it.”
The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation will host its sixth annual Celebration of Community event on Wednesday, November 14 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the African American Museum of Iowa. This event celebrates the impact of philanthropy and nonprofits in Linn County. This year, we will share stories of how people, ideas and philanthropy are making a positive impact on our communities. The event is open to the public. The Community Foundation will also present two nonprofit excellence awards at the event. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, September 12, 2018. For more information, visit www.gcrcf.org/celebrationcommunity.
Match Available for Donations to DonorsChoose.org
The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation has partnered again with DonorsChoose.org to match donations to classroom projects in grades K-12 in Linn County public schools. The match began on August 1, 2018. Last year, 68 teachers participated from 25 schools. Eighty-one projects were funded – reaching 5,880 students. The Community Foundation has $25,000 available to match donations for the 2018-2019 school year. For more information, visit www.gcrcf.org/teachersstudents or contact Rochelle Naylor, Program Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319.774.2373.
SUMMER 2018 3
Celebrating Those Who Ensure the Future of Our Community William Quarton Heritage Society Luncheon The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation hosted a luncheon for 120 members of its William Quarton Heritage Society on June 19, 2018. The luncheon is an annual event held to recognize and celebrate members who have made a philanthropic commitment to the future of our community. The event was held at the Cedar Rapids Country Club. Brent Cobb, current chair of the Board of Directors, welcomed attendees and shared highlights from the Community Foundation throughout the past year. Les Garner, President & CEO of the Community Foundation, shared examples of the many ways families approach philanthropy. A video was shared about how the Community Foundation can assist families in their philanthropic planning, including testimonials from several donors. To view the video and more photos from the event, visit www.gcrcf.org/william-quarton-heritage-society-luncheon.
HUD and Council on Foundations Recognize Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation in Washington D.C. On Monday, July 16, 2018, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation was recognized as a 2018 recipient of the Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships. This award, presented by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council on Foundations, honors partnerships between foundations and public entities that have been monumental in transforming communities and improving lives. The Community Foundation was recognized for its role in the community’s collaborative MICRO loan program. Secretary Ben Carson presented the award to Les Garner, President & CEO and Jean Brenneman, Chief Financial Officer at HUD headquarters in Washington D.C. Carson said, “I’m pleased to recognize these award winners for the important work they do to serve the housing, health, safety, and educational needs of their fellow Americans.” The MICRO loan program offers entrepreneurs and small businesses within Cedar Rapids the opportunity to borrow up to $10,000 for 3 years at 4 percent interest. MICRO is a City of Cedar Rapids program, administered by the East Central Iowa Council of Governments. Other partners include the Cedar Rapids Public Library, SCORE and the Kirkwood Small Business Development Center. Since the program began in 2015, eleven loans have been made that have saved or created over 50 jobs. “This was a home-grown, grass roots partnership that began from a conversation with a donor and turned into a unique public-private collaboration,” says Garner. “MICRO has provided opportunities for people in our community to launch their ideas. We hope for the fund to continue to grow so more entrepreneurs can be served by paying it back and paying it forward.” To learn more about the award, visit https://www.huduser.gov/secaward/cof. To learn more about MICRO, visit https://www.gcrcf.org/about/community-leadership/micro-loan-program/
Community Foundation Welcomes Dahlia Latif
Dahlia Latif has joined the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation team as Executive Assistant / Donor Relations Officer. In this role, she will provide support to the President & CEO and the Board of Directors. She will also coordinate donor stewardship for corporate and family fund holders.
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Grantmaking These camps are more fun than school.You’re learning in these camps, but there’s more space to work on your own and with your friends. I think other kids should try to do them because they’re worth it. – Dahlia, Imagination Iowa Summer Camp Participant
A Program Fund grant helped NewBoCo offer scholarships for students to attend the Imagination Iowa Summer Camp in 2017.Thanks to that initial introduction, many children chose to participate again this summer. Imagination Iowa Summer Camps are a STEAM program focused on 21st-century skills, including in-depth coding, computer hardware, robotics, entrepreneurship, problem-solving and more. This summer Dahlia is participating in multiple Imagination Iowa Summer Camps. She began attending last year, thanks to a scholarship.
iJAG is like a second home and a family at school to help guide you.They helped me get out of my comfort zone and provided me with the support I wouldn’t have otherwise. – Infinity, iJAG student For students facing multiple barriers to success, Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG) can make the difference between surviving and thriving by helping students achieve a high school education – the foundation of economic potential, and the gateway to a lifetime of self-sufficiency.Through the provisions of counseling, mentoring, tutoring, career exploration, and post-secondary planning, iJAG assists Cedar Rapids students in graduating from high school and transitioning to the world of work. In 2017, thanks to program funding from supporters across the state, iJAG participants in Cedar Rapids graduated at a rate of 96%. Lil’ Drug Store Products and McGrath Automotive Group supported this program through their Competitive Donor-Advised Funds held at the Community Foundation. Infinity, a senior at Jefferson High School, has participated in her school’s iJAG program since her freshman year. Her older sisters also participated, and while she was initially apprehensive, she feels that iJAG has kept her on-track.The program has helped her get a job and take Advanced Placement courses. 6 COMMUNITY
Financial Institutions and Individual Donors Help Sustain MICRO On June 27, 2018, over 30 donors, partners and recipients of the MICRO loan program gathered at the Cedar Rapids Public Library for a donor recognition event. Two MICRO recipients, Modteets Williams, Jr., owner of Mod’s Market, and Matthew Rooda, co-owner of SwineTech, shared how the MICRO loan they received helped their businesses. The program was facilitated by Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation and Brad Hart, Mayor of Cedar Rapids. So far in 2018, eleven financial institutions pledging their support to help sustain the MICRO loan program. Over $350,000 is now available for revolving loans to help support entrepreneurs and small businesses. The following donors have helped make the MICRO program possible and sustainable in our community:
Other supporters: City of Cedar Rapids Gilda and Barry Boyer Scott and Cathy Dahm Patricia and Patrick DePalma Jonathan Dusek and Dina Igram Dusek
Les and Katrina Garner Ravi Patel / Hawkeye Hospitality Management Phillip and Christine Rezin
Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation: • Community Investment Fund • CRST International Donor-Advised Fund • GreatAmerica Financial Services Corporation Donor-Advised Fund
To learn more about MICRO and how to apply for a loan, visit www.ecicog.org/micro. To contribute to the MICRO fund, visit www.gcrcf.org. SUMMER 2018 7
324 3rd St. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401-1841 319.366.2862 / gcrcf.org
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UPCOMING EVENTS OCTOBER GRANT DEADLINE
CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY
Friday, October 12, 2018, by 4:30 p.m. CST Visit www.gcrcf.org/grants for more information.
Wednesday, November 14, 4-6 p.m. Program 4 â€“ 4:30 p.m.; Reception to follow African American Museum of Iowa Visit www.gcrcf.org/celebration-community for more information.
QUARTERLY INVESTMENT UPDATE
Wednesday, October 24, 2018, 2-3 p.m. Community Foundation To RSVP, call 319.366.2862 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018 Join the global day of giving and make a gift to a nonprofit organization you care about!
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regular news, updates and stories about the impact of giving and grantmaking in our community.