Poweshiek celebrates “spirit of giving”

The Spirit of Giving award reception, which will be hosted by the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF) on Monday, Oct. 13, will honor one individual or couple who has a strong “spirit of giving.” The award will include a 1,000-dollar prize that is given to a nonprofit of the winner’s choice.

According to Nicole Brua-Behrens, the GPCF Program Coordinator, and Delphina Baumann, the GPCF Community Relations Coordinator, the event is an opportunity to highlight and celebrate those who give service to the community.

“It’s an award we give every year to someone who has gone above and beyond in giving selflessly to the community,” Baumann said. “In either time, talent or treasure.”

This is the fifth year that the award has been given. Last year’s winner was Tom Marshall, the creator of Imagine Grinnell, a nonprofit that works with community members to improve Grinnell’s quality of life and help increase economic development.

“All the winners from past years have been doing this kind of work for their entire lives,” Brua-Behrens said. “Tom Marshall’s hands have touched almost all the organizations in Grinnell.”

This year’s winner is Howard McDonough, who chose Kids Against Hunger to receive the 1,000-dollar donation. Kids Against Hunger is an international organization that collects food donations to send around the world, including to Grinnell. In Grinnell, more than a third of high school and grade school students receive free or reduced lunch.

“McDonough is involved in many different facets of the community,” Brua-Behrens explained. “He’s active at the Grinnell Historical Museum and church.”

Baumann and Brua-Behrens worked with the GPCF’s Board to evaluate applicants on the basis of the “breadth and depth” of their community involvement. Because there were many applicants, the choice was hard to make.

This year’s award reception will take place in the Foundation’s offices in Ahrens Park five blocks east of campus. In previous years, the reception was held in Harris Center and involved a formal dinner.

“This year is going to be more social,” Brua-Behrens said. “There is going to [be] heavy hors d’oeuvres—it’s going to be less formal. It’s really an opportunity to give thanks to donors who have given to the community fund. We’re trying to say thank you and honor these individuals.”

The mantra of the GPCF is, “We grow community through giving,” and next Monday’s award reception is a fitting celebration of community members who try to realize this vision.