Community Foundation honors local donors at 14th Annual Luncheon

Allamakee County Community Foundation Coordinator Betty Steege is pictured above with Waukon native Dr. Richard Hermeier at the 14th annual donor luncheon hosted by the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque September 29. Dr. Hermeier was among several leaders recognized at the luncheon for their endowment contributions to rural affiliates of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. Submitted photo.

Director of Affiliates MJ Smith recognized local leader Dr. Richard Hermeier at the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque's (CFGD) 14th annual donor luncheon held Thursday, September 29 at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club. Dr. Hermeier was among several recognized leaders from the Foundation's rural affiliate foundations and was featured in the 2016 Allamakee County Community Foundation (ACCF) annual report.

As shared in the report, Dr. Hermeier created an endowment that annually supports both Waukon Athletics and the Waukon Wellness Center, a place where families and residents of all ages enjoy exercise and fellowship. As a 1955 graduate of Waukon Senior High, Dr. Hermeier wanted to give back to the community in which he grew up.

"The school and the community have given so much to our whole family," he said. "This is just a small token of our appreciation for all that Waukon has given me, athletically, and in many other ways."

According to Brian Hilsabeck, Waukon High School Assistant Principal and Activities Director, "Dr. Hermeier's endowment has led to many facility improvements. This includes storage buildings, new ticket booths, upgrades at the track, an irrigation system and a scoreboard at the softball field, as well as new bleachers and a press box at the football field."

The annual financial support from the endowment has been critical to Waukon's athletic success in an era of declining school enrollment.

"Dr. Hermeier's endowment makes a real difference to Waukon area kids and families every day," said Smith. "This is just one of many stories of generosity that we hear on a daily basis from our rural affiliate foundations. In 2004, the Community Foundation envisioned a regional strategy to encourage local giving and local responsibility for the long-term welfare of rural communities."

CFGD supports eight rural affiliate foundations in Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, Jackson and Jones Counties and in the Clinton, Dewitt, and Dyersville areas. Together, CFGD affiliate foundations support 303 funds totaling more than $19 million, which benefit rural libraries, hospitals, scholarship programs and other vital causes throughout the region.

Community foundations are charitable organizations that administer funds to benefit their communities and improve the lives of people in their geographic region. Nonprofit organizations and community members can create endowment funds at CFGD to benefit charitable causes. These funds are invested and pay out five percent annually to the designated nonprofits, providing a reliable source of income to sustain organizations' operations forever.

Gifts to endowment funds at the Community Foundation are eligible for the Endow Iowa 25 Percent State Tax Credit. Community members can contribute to nearly 600 endowment funds established for nonprofits throughout Northeast Iowa, which provide sustainable sources of income for these essential community service organizations.

To learn more about the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, visit To read the 2016 ACCF Annual Report, visit

The Allamakee County Community Foundation (ACCF) was formed in 2005 as an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. The founding members of the organization had a vision to ensure that charitable programs in the local community were supported now, and in the future. ACCF works together with many individuals, families, businesses and organizations to establish endowment funds that will provide grant awards for years to come. Visit or more information.