Inspired by Pat Henricksen, the Forever LincolnWay Fund supports a successful future for DeWitt and surrounding communities
Patricia Henricksen’s colleagues describe her as the face — and heart — of the LincolnWay Community Foundation. Her passion and hard work inspired the creation of the new Forever LincolnWay Endowment Fund, which will help address an array of community needs long into the future.
Henricksen raised three sons in DeWitt, enjoys her grandchildren, and loves the Hawkeyes. For 17 years, she worked at Central-DeWitt Community Schools in special education, with at-risk youth and as an assistant principal.
“Pat loves DeWitt, and her personal mission is to do good work for the surrounding rural areas, as well,” says Amy Manternach, vice president of finance and philanthropic services for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. “She initiated the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Clinton County and helped launch the Central DeWitt Community Educational Foundation. She’s been involved in almost anything that has happened in DeWitt in the last 32 years.”
With Henricksen involved since its establishment in 1988, the LincolnWay Community Foundation has grown to host over 65 endowment funds and has served as the catalyst for many community improvements, including the Genesis Hospital rebuild in 1997, the Central DeWitt Performing Arts Center, and the Grand Mound railroad depot.
For over 30 years, the LincolnWay Community Foundation has strengthened the DeWitt area by supporting nonprofits with over $450,000 in grants and building endowment funds that give back to the community forever.Through its Central Education Foundation endowment, it has granted over $600,000 to teachers at Central DeWitt Community Schools and awards $120,000 in scholarships annually.
“The Foundation is constantly aware of community needs and facilitates work to address them,” said Henricksen. “We’ve made a difference in every one of the 11 towns we serve and in the lives of the children attending local schools.”
The Foundation established the Forever LincolnWay Fund to ensure it can continue making an impact for generations to come.
“Pat is the inspiration for this fund,” says Foundation board member Jim Owen, who made a generous gift to help establish the new fund. “Right now, Pat is leading the Foundation of her own free will, but we’ll reach a time when we have to pay an executive director. The Forever Fund is a necessity for the perpetuation of our organization.”
Gifts to endowment funds are invested forever, with annual distributions from earned interest that allow the principle to continue growing. Over the next three years, the board aims to raise over $250,000 for the Forever LincolnWay Fund, using payouts to employ a director, cover expenses and add to grant dollars to address community needs.
With the support of donors like Owen and caring community members like Henricksen, the Foundation will continue to fulfill its mission today, tomorrow and forever. Future generations are counting on it.