Over $36,000 in Restore McGregor funds awarded

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A five-member committee met earlier this month to award a total of $36,376.50 from the Restore McGregor 2017 Tornado Fund.

The fund was started through the Clayton County Foundation for the Future immediately following the July 19 tornado, and, as of Oct. 12, had accumulated $52,921.34 in contributions.

“The money came from all over the nation, from New York to California,” noted McGregor Deputy Clerk Duane Boelman.

The committee considered 50 applications, eventually approving 42. 

“We were really pleased with the amount of applications we got,” Boelman noted. “Funds were awarded for everything from insurance deductibles to downed trees to professional cleaning.”

Private individuals, families, property owners, non-profits and business owners in McGregor were eligible for assistance up to $1,000 for storm-related losses.

The applications were numbered, so the committee members knew no personal information about those who applied. The committee decided it would fund no more than one residential and one commercial award per applicant, or family. Any applications that were submitted late or from outside McGregor city limits were disqualified.

Checks began going out to approved applicants last week.

Following the disbursements, $16,596.84 of the funds remains. Boelman said the committee will meet again to determine how to best use those. Some potential uses may include creating a permanent memorial in one of McGregor’s parks, holding another round of grants or establishing an endowed fund.

“An endowed fund,” Boelman said, “could go on for many years. It could be used well into the future for many projects around McGregor.”

A small portion of the funds will go toward hosting a McGregor community dinner on Sunday, Nov. 19. Held at Backwoods Bar and Grill, beginning at 6:17 p.m., which is the time the tornado hit, the event will allow community members to share their experiences from the storm and celebrate the progress that’s been made.

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