It all began in 2005, with an idea of investing money to allow contributors greater tax advantages while also giving greater and consistent support to civic organizations and causes.
This, spearheaded by Merlin Hellman and Joe Kowzan, became the Community Foundation of North Lee County. Using the Foundation's multiple endowment and funding options, contributors can support their favorite causes and gain additional tax advantages.
Once established, the list of endowment funds, grants and benefactors continued to grow. This, along with a partnership with the Quad Cities-based Great River Bend Foundation, generated more revenue for local causes.
In 2009, the first distribution of these funds took place. On Wednesday, the Foundation made its second annual grant distribution - awarding a total of $109,976 to 22 local groups and causes.
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