The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October recognizes Elizabeth Hansen of Grinnell as the first Spirit of Giving awardee. Liz was nominated for this honor for her lifetime of mentorship for students, thespians, and fellow educators. Among her many gifts to our community, Liz has had a profound influence on theatre and the arts and created opportunities for students to learn the importance of giving back through programs such as Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat. As the Executive Director of Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation and through her Americorps service, Liz continues to inspire future leaders through her compassion, guidance, and boundless enthusiasm. Thank you, Liz! We truly appreciate your Spirit of Giving!
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October recognizes Tom and Dianne Latimer. In addition to being respected business leaders in the Grinnell community, Tom and Diane lead through philanthropy. They have been generous contributors to campaigns for projects such as Drake Community Library, the Grinnell Mutual Aquatic Center, Grinnell Area Mental Health Consortium JPK Fund, the GHS expansion campaign, and many more. They donated their time, business expertise, and contagious enthusiasm for Grinnell to co-chair a successful campaign to renovate Central Park to benefit generations to come. Thank you, Tom and Dianne, for helping grow community through giving!
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October recognizes Joan Ahrens and Marg McVay with Three Sisters Fabrics and Fashion in Montezuma. Joan and Marg combined their sewing expertise, business connections, and concern for the health and welfare of the community to provide much-needed PPE for health workers early in the pandemic. By sourcing scarce materials, coaching seasoned and rookie sewing volunteers, and serving as a distribution and drop-off point for kits and finished materials, Three Sisters helped provide more than 900 isolation gowns for local use. GPCF appreciates our business leaders that make our cities vibrant and help build community through giving!
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October goes toSarah Smith. Sarah is known and appreciated throughout the community as a coach, volunteer board member, and leader. When the derecho toppled trees and left many county residents without power for weeks, Sarah gave many hours of her time to match willing volunteers with residents in need to remove trees, empty spoiling freezers, patch up homes, and help with clean-up. The act of connecting people in need with people who can help is simple yet so powerful. Sarah's gift of time and organization helped countless community members when help was needed most. We appreciate Sarah's dedication to the success of our community and the welfare of all our neighbors. Thank you, Sarah!
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October goes to Paul Chalupsky and the Brooklyn Grocery. Paul has partnered with volunteers in the community to support BGM Bear Bags, a program that supports children and families in need in BGM schools. Paul understands the importance of serving children in need in a seamless, dignified way. His cooperation with community volunteers helps keep BGM Bear Bags operating smoothly so the program can meet its mission of serving kids. Thank you, Paul!
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October recognizes Bill Kostow for his generous Spirit of Giving through volunteerism, leadership, and dedication to the youth in our community. Bill has donated his time and talent on many boards including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Grinnell Booster Club, Grinnell Little League, and the Poweshiek Leadership Program. In addition to his board work, he volunteers his time as a coach, a mentor, and event chair. Bill is an enthusiastic cheerleader for every child, organization, or cause to which he chooses to give his time and energy. GPCF is grateful for all the volunteers that do amazing work to build successful citizens from youth to adulthood. The impact truly lasts a lifetime!
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October recognizes siblings Michael and Elizabeth DeJong for their ingenuity, volunteerism, and concern for their community. In March and April, Michael and Elizabeth realized that caregivers in Montezuma and beyond were struggling to safely serve their communities due to a lack of PPE. Using a 3D printer, a Cricut, design skills, and creativity, Michael and Elizabeth delivered their first face shields by the end of March. Over time they perfected their process and with financial and other support from their community, they produced more than 900 shields for essential workers in hospitals, senior care facilities, and schools. GPCF appreciates our young leaders that are already contributing in big ways to the success of our county and its residents. Thank you, Michael and Elizabeth!
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October honors Dodi Reilly for her generous Spirit of Giving. When Dodi arrived in Grinnell nine years ago, she knew no one but she quickly became part of the fabric of the community. Dodi has given her time to many causes including Imagine Grinnell, Grinnell Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, Shults and Company, and the Community Foundation, to name a few. All of Dodi’s efforts, big and small, have helped our community grow, improve, and thrive. Dodi has been a creative force working behind the scenes to keep many events and organizations moving forward, encouraging others to join her along the way. When the community was still digging out from the derecho, it was Dodi who helped organize and execute a community-wide meal on a Friday evening. Dodi is quick to recognize opportunities to serve and does not hesitate to fill a need. For this and many other reasons, we’ll miss Dodi as she and Dennis move to Florida for a much-deserved retirement lifestyle. Thank you for giving of your time so generously! Dodi is pictured here with her daughter, Katy. Not pictured is Katy's awesome dog, Skjei, who plays a mean game of fetch.
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation Spirit of Giving recognition during October honors Dr. JR Paulson. Our final Spirit of Giving award winner, he has made a habit of giving back to our community. He led the Grinnell Hospice program for more than 30 years, providing compassionate end-of-life care to patients while always seeking to improve services through innovative programs like music therapy. He is a tireless advocate for normalizing mental health challenges. He created an innovative fund, the Grinnell Mental Health Consortium-JPK, which allows any person to seek mental health assistance regardless of his or her ability to pay, and he continues to lead a group of committed community members to ensure our community is offering the best mental health resources to any and all individuals. He has given his time and expertise to training new hospice caregivers, the SEED and Bucket Course programs, giving mental health presentations, and the hallmark Maturation Talk for 5th grade boys. Dr. Paulson’s Spirit of Giving has touched many lives and his leadership, compassion, and commitment will continue to impact generations to come. Thank you, Dr. Paulson!