Endowment Update (as of March 2011):
The LeClaire Library Endowment: Phase
Two is underway. Consider library bequests as you plan your estate, and
that donations to the Library Endowment through the Community Foundation
may be eligible for an Iowa 20% Tax Credit. For more information, see
To make a donation or for additional
information you may contact Sue Mannix at 563-289-4242 extension #4.
BACKGROUND OF THE ENDOWMENT
In partnership with the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend,
the Library created this endowment for the benefit of the entire community.
Not only will it strengthen the Library, it will provide a source of
stability and allow for enhancement of programs and services provided to
those who use and enjoy the Library today, and those who will use and enjoy
our wonderful Library for many generations to come.
Phase One - July 2007: We did it! On July 2nd the library’s post office box
contained checks totaling $770 that allowed us to reach the fundraising goal
set by the Community Foundation just over a year before. We received over
100 individual gifts as our Endowment Committee members struggled to raise
$20,000 so that we would receive a $10,000 match from an anonymous donor.
And with your generosity and kind support, we did it! The library now
has a “nest egg” that can begin to grow. We will continue to add to this
Endowment fund on a regular basis in the months and years ahead. In 2009, we
unveiedl a refurbished piece of LeClaire’s historic “Green Tree” in the
library, using it to acknowledge each of our Endowment donors.
And now onto Phase Two....read on to learn more...
Endow Iowa Tax Credit. Iowa residents, who
make gifts to endowment funds held by
Community Foundations for Iowa-based nonprofits, qualify for the 20% Endow
tax credit. That tax credit is in addition to any income tax deductions
received for the gift.
That means that donors can significantly save in taxes by making a gift to
HOW TO GIVE:
There are several ways to make a gift to the Friends of the LeClaire
To learn more about each of these options,
click here to download a document in Adobe PDF
Format. To download the Adobe PDF Reader, click here. You may also contact
Foundation of the Great River Bend at: 563-326-2840 or
The Friends of the LeClaire Community Library
Endowment Committee encourages you to consider
taking part in the endowment and the many unique opportunities it offers for
you, and for the
community. To make a donation or for additional information you may
contact Sue Mannix at 563-289-4242 extension #4.
Together, we can succeed in meeting these wonderful challenges!
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
The Story of how the LeClaire Community
Library Came to Be
The creation of the LeClaire Community Library is an interesting story.
It is a story of generosity,
dedication to a cause and community spirit. The story begins with a very
Merle and Adeline Barkhuff, who recognized the need for a library in
LeClaire. They were not
residents of LeClaire, but were very close to Dan and Mary Ritter and their
four boys who live
near LeClaire. In their will they left over $500,000 to the city of LeClaire
for the purpose
of building a library. They stipulated in their will that matching funds
would have to be raised
within five years of receiving the gift. If not, another organization would
receive their gift.
Three years later Doug Peterson, who was a city council member at the time,
existence of the Barkhuffs bequest. Doug recognized that this was an
opportunity for LeClaire
that should not be passed up. His dedication to this cause was the stimulus
behind what became
a community effort to build a city library.
Doug recruited other residents, who recognized the significance of this
opportunity. They in
turn rallied the citizens of LeClaire, who in November 1999 overwhelmingly
passed a referendum
to withdraw from the Scott County Library System and fund their own city
At this point, they had only fifteen months to raise the matching $500,000
July 2, 2001. Doug and his committee of very dedicated people appealed to
the citizens of LeClaire,
who did not disappoint them. They were not only able to raise the matching
funds by the deadline,
they also raised an additional $440,000 by July 2004, which helped to cover
the additional costs of
building the library.
The generosity of two people inspired a community-wide effort. This
community support still exists
today. The library celebrated its 5th anniversary in July 2009 and continues
to receive generous
support through donations and volunteerism. In 2008 an individual challenged
the LeClaire citizens
to match a gift to start an endowment fund for the library at the Community
Foundation for the
Great River Bend. An endowment committee was formed, and they once again
appealed to the
LeClaire citizens. $20,000 was raised to match the $10,000 gift.
The second phase of the endowment campaign will begin this year, 2010. The
library would like
to see the endowment fund continue to grow. The annual income from this fund
will help the library
thrive rather than just survive. However, the fund needs to grow in order
for the income to be a
meaningful source of funding. The library has access to approximately 4% of
the fund total annually.
So once again we are asking the LeClaire citizens for their help. Please
keep the library’s endowment
fund in mind when you are preparing your will, choosing a benefactor of a
memorial or making a
donation to an organization. There are substantial tax benefits that go
along with investing in the
library’s endowment fund. The state of Iowa has a program in place called
Endow Iowa. 20% of
the value of your gift can be credited to your Iowa tax bill. This is in
addition to your normal state
and federal income tax deductions. For more information, contact the
LeClaire Community Library
or the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend,
The Story of Merle and Adeline Barkuff by
Mary & Dan Ritter and Sons
A Little about Merle and Adeline…
We met Merle and Adeline in 1973 when we moved into our first home in
Bettendorf. They lived three houses down the street from us. One of the
we first noticed was their love for children and how much they both enjoyed
being around children. Merle had a little chuckle that often accompanied dry
humor, and Adeline had a jolly laugh that made you want to laugh with her.
Merle and Adeline soon became surrogate grandparents for our four sons as
well as most of the neighborhood children. They never had any children of
their own, but we thought
they would have made great parents. Their home was a magnet for the
neighborhood kids. We recently asked each of our sons what they remembered
most about Merle and Adeline, and we again discovered why their home was
such a wonderful place for kids.
This is some of what our sons remembered:
Mark: You could talk to Merle about anything. He was a reasonable and
logical person who would patiently listen to your ideas. He would help you
think about matters in different ways and then he would share his own ideas
on the subject. He taught me how to play chess as well as most of the
neighborhood kids. Merle called chess the
thinking man’s game. Adeline was always nice to us and I liked talking with
her. I would stop by their house for a cold pop after playing at a friend’s
house and we would sit in their backyard and talk. (This means that Mark
knew he would not get a cold pop at home, but Adeline was an “easy mark” and
they always kept pop on hand for just such an occasion.)
Steve: We often played a marble game at their house. When we were about
seven or eight years old, my brothers and I would play whiffle ball with
Merle. Adeline would have cold pop on hand when we came over to visit or
play. I remember sometimes when my older brother and I would argue, Merle
would remind us that it would be better for us to use our brains rather than
our brawn. (I’m sure this strategy also protected Merle and Adeline’s home
from damage.) I remember a cat clock in the kitchen that was a little
frightening, because it had spooky eyes that would move back and forth
with each tick. I remember a piano in the living room that was never tuned.
And I remember leaving scuff marks with my shoes on the outside siding when
I tried to pull myself up to the kitchen window ledge
to say hello to Adeline. I remember shoveling snow off their driveway in the
winter and helping myself to the raspberries in their garden in the summer.
I interviewed Merle one time for a school assignment. The topic was Black
Friday and the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Merle had a fantastic memory for
details and was able to describe for me how all the news events during
that period impacted his life.
Matt: I remember playing whiffle ball in Merle and Adeline’s backyard. We
also built a kite together that actually flew. Merle and I would draw and
paint together. He’d let me use some of his paints and gave me some of his
art books. Merle and Adeline introduced me to bananas sliced into orange
juice which is what they ate for breakfast everyday. Merle always told me to
chew my food 20 times before I swallowed. After one of Merle’s campaigns, I
remember helping him pass out little stuffed animals and potholders that
Adeline had made. These went to all the people who had allowed him to put
signs in their yards advertising his bid for Alderman for the Bettendorf
City Council. He wanted to show his appreciation to all those neighbors who
Dave: Merle taught me how to play chess and often played with me. He would
not easily let me win; he always made me earn it. As I improved, he would
make it tougher to win. By the time I was in sixth grade, I had learned a
secret move from my practice with Merle that helped me win the class
championship. Merle was really happy about my accomplishment. The prizes for
winning the chess tournament were a trophy and a clock radio which I still
have. Merle was always the pitcher in whiffle ball. And because I was the
youngest, I seemed to strike out often. But Merle made me keep trying. We
had fun picking cherries from their cherry tree, and I always looked forward
to going to their house on Halloween. In the summertime Adeline would make
“black cows” which I think is another name for a root beer float. When Merle
and Adeline sold their home, they moved into an apartment. I remember Merle
letting me select any book I wanted from his personal book collection. They
were his treasures and one became mine.
It is easy for us to see why so often our sons would say as they charged out
of our house – “going to Merle and Adeline’s.” It is also easy to see
why Merle and Adeline wanted to apply their life savings to something that
would support children, literacy, and reading for enjoyment. They chose
LeClaire as the place to make a difference.
Through the dedication and efforts of many LeClaire citizens, Merle and
Adeline’s wish has become a reality. The Township of LeClaire now has a
wonderful facility that will help children develop for many years to come.
I’m sure that somewhere Merle and Adeline are nodding their heads in
delightful approval saying “nice job.”
Dan & Mary Ritter & Sons