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About the Foundation

Friends of Wapello County Foundation,

The Wapello County Foundation was formed in 1981 through the vision of Ottumwa resident Paul Strother. Paul created this philanthropy foundation for the community he loved so much. Following his death in 1983 the Foundation was funded by his estate and the income from the Foundation was to be used for grants to non-profit organizations and governmental bodies.

Subsequently, the Wapello County Foundation in 2005 became associated with the Iowa County Endowment Fund Program which redistributes a percentage of Iowa’s commercial casino gaming tax revenues. The total sum yearly directed to the local foundation is the re-distributed 75% to local non-profits and the remaining 25% is allocated back to the permanent endowment of the Wapello County Foundation Endowment Fund.

Most every Wapello County resident has been touched by programs or charities supported by Foundation grants. Since the foundation’s first grants were made in 1988 a total sum in excess of $3,200,000 has been distributed to 105 separate┬árecipients.

The general purpose of the Wapello County Foundation is simply to enhance the quality of life for all people of Wapello County. Gifts may be made to the Foundation to continue to build a permanent endowment for the benefit of current and future generations. Donors who wish to make an investment in our County may do so through the Foundation during their lifetime or from their estate after death or from a memorial. The Foundation through these Endowment funds provides great flexibilities to serve any charitable purpose and is uniquely capable of adapting to the needs and interest of the Wapello County Community.

Please feel free to contact any of volunteer Board Members at any time concerning the Wapello County Foundation. We urge and appreciate your support.

Andrew Woodard, President
Wapello County Foundation

Board Members

Andrew Woodard


Chuck Kiple

Vice President

Dianne Haas


Mark Altfillisch

Gary Yates

Bill Reece

Josh Van Ness

Lori Yates

Paul Zingg

Kathy Sorak

Funds from the Wapello County Foundation have made a significant impact on the learning environment in Ottumwa. In a community where many of our families are eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program, these funds have a direct impact on participation in activities.

Kim HelligeCommunity Programs, Ottumwa Schools

At Tenco we are poised to begin our 54th year of service to the people of southern Iowa and beyond. We are growing in our ability to serve people with disabilities and the number being served is now over 300; this could not be possible without benefactors such as the Wapello County Foundation. We are honored to have earned your friendship and confidence and will strive hard to continue to merit it in the future.

Cheryl PlankExecutive Director, Tenco

The Wapello County Foundation has been a tremendous help to the City of Ottumwa in the past 10 years. I have found the Wapello County Foundation very generous and easy to work with. I hope they can continue their good work for Ottumwa.

Gene RathjeParks Director, City of Ottumwa

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