The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce has received a significant financial donation that will help establish a program to ensure the viability of its Fourth of July Fireworks for years to come.
Clear Lake resident Arlene Hughes, who was a generous supporter of the fireworks each year, passed away last September. In her memory, her sister, Jeanette White, recently made a $50,000 donation to the Chamber. White stipulated that one-half of the donation be used toward fireworks related expenses and the remainder could be used for whatever programs the Chamber Board of Directors deemed appropriate.
“We were shocked, yet very excited, to receive such a generous gift from Mrs. White,” said Chamber Executive Director Gary Bright. “Arlene was most generous each year in helping support the July 4th fireworks. In 2004 she donated $14,000 for the construction of a new fireworks barge that bears the name, SS Arlene B. Hughes.”
Bright said the Chamber has, for some time, been looking at establishing an endowment fund to ensure that the fireworks display continues to be the centerpiece of the annual Fourth of July celebration for the long term future. The Chamber Board of Directors has decided to establish the endowment fund and contribute the full $50,000 donation as the initial gift.
The fund will be managed through the Cerro Gordo County Community Foundation which is affiliated with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa.
“The establishment of this endowment will make sure that the long range financial needs of presenting the fireworks program are met,” Bright said. By establishing the fund with a qualified Community Foundation, donors to the fund will be eligible to receive a 25 percent state tax credit in addition to current federal deductions for charitable giving.
“We are very fortunate to be able to set up an endowment with this most unexpected gift,” said Mark Ebeling, Chamber of Commerce Board president. “If not for the large donations we have received over the past 15 years for the fireworks from John Pappajohn, the Hanson Foundation and Arlene, we wouldn’t be able to create what will become a lasting funding source for the best Fourth of July celebration in the Midwest,” Ebeling said.
Chamber officials noted the North Iowa community has been most generous with their contributions to the Chamber in - Read More Via e-Edition