Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education

Allison Cress passed away from cancer on June 5th, 2017 at age 18, two days after graduating from Hempstead High School. Allison’s mother Holly, and stepfather Rafic Sinno, have established the Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education in her memory.  As a permanently endowed fund, gifts in Allison’s memory will support the visual arts program at Hempstead now…and forever.

Q: Why have you chosen to work with the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools to honor Allison’s memory?

A: Allison truly appreciated art; it was her lens into the world. Art brought together her interest in storytelling, history, sociology, and psychology.  Allison would have loved to give back to her school in support of fellow art students and her art teacher, Ms. Sara Hilby.  The Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools provides an opportunity for Allison’s friends and family to give to a cause that she cared about, in a way that honors her memory year after year.

Q: What impact do you hope Allison’s fund will make at Hempstead?

A: Allison left her mark on the world as a cherished family member, friend, and talented artist. Her passing is not the end... it is the beginning for those who hear her story and adopt her ethics of perseverance, positivism, and achievement. Allison’s legendary fight with cancer ended with success because it never touched her spirit.  We dedicate this endowment to support art education in Allison’s honor and to encourage wonderful art teachers, like Ms. Hilby, in fostering creativity and developing skills in aspiring artists.

The Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education is a permanent fund, invested with FDPS’ partner agency, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.  Donations are eligible for the Endow Iowa 25% State Tax Credit.

On Tuesday, October 9 Allison's family addressed some students and staff at Hempstead to celebrate the Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education reaching the $10,000 mark and Allison's birthday on September 26. "This day symbolizes one of Allison's most eduring hopes to give back to the gracious Hempstead community that served her in heart, hand and spirit throughout her battle with cancer", Rafic Sinno stated. This endowment is making art more acessible to aspiring artists, supports the passionate and talented teachers and the family encourages all to pursue their passion through art.

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About Us
Founded in 2002, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque strengthens communities and inspires giving. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout Northeast Iowa by serving donors, making grants to local nonprofit organizations, and providing community leadership through convening and collaboration. Guided by the values of integrity, equity and inclusion, collaboration, excellence and innovation, we seek to ensure a vibrant and inclusive Greater Dubuque region with resources and opportunity for all.