Grant will support concept design for McGregor community center

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Just a few short months after a destructive storm, the community of McGregor is starting to rebuild.

Restore McGregor recently received a $10,000 grant from The Native Fund to support a concept design for a community center. The potential building would be located at the former site of the INKspiration Tattoo property, at 330 Main St., which was reduced to a pile of debris when an EF-1 tornado ripped through McGregor on July 19. The property was donated to the city of McGregor by former owners Fred Petrie and Melanie San Fillippo.  

“We’re hoping that dollars from this grant from The Native Fund will jumpstart our plans for a new community center,” said Duane Boelman, McGregor’s Director of Economic Development. “There’s a lot of rebuilding going on right now, and this is just a small part of those efforts.”

The Clayton County Foundation for the Future (CCFF), an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque (CFGD), launched the Restore McGregor 2017 Tornado Fund less than 24 hours after the storm and collected over $40,000 in donations from all over the country. The fund is being directed by a five-member citizen committee and will assist residents and businesses with grants of up to $1,000 to address storm damage and direct community projects to rebuild downtown

“Another role of the Community Foundation is to connect communities like McGregor to partners like The Native Fund to help improve lives in our community,” said CFGD Director of Affiliates MJ Smith.

Smith added that community foundations frequently engage as philanthropic centers for disaster recovery because of their unique ability to bring together service providers, community-based organizations, businesses, government and others, as well as their capacity to distribute funds from donors. 

CCFF will continue to partner with the city of McGregor’s Disaster Assistance Committee and existing non-profit and governmental agencies within the areas affected to provide funding for the services these agencies are delivering to meet the needs of victims.

That partnership is something Boelman appreciates. Just last week, dollars from the fund supported awards to more than 40 local businesses and residents. 

“The Restore McGregor Fund is going to help people do things they couldn’t have done alone,” he said. “It wouldn’t have happened without the Community Foundation’s help.”

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