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Decorah Bank and Trust Invests in Future of Decorah Parks and Recreation

Winneshiek County Community Foundation
December 1, 2016

Ben and Joe Grimstad are the third generation of Grimstads to manage Decorah Bank and Trust. The brothers know Decorah is a thriving community and a great place to do business. They also understand that it takes a community effort to keep it that way.

“Community is only as strong as its citizens and the people who support it and invest in it,” said Ben Grimstad, President and CEO.

With that understanding, Decorah Bank and Trust helped launch a campaign with the Decorah Parks and Recreation Board to establish an endowment fund with the Winneshiek County Community Foundation.

In 2014, the Decorah Parks and Recreation Endowment Fund was created to help maintain and enhance Decorah’s many parks and trails, its recreational facilities, campground and swimming pool, all hallmarks for a community known for its outdoor recreational opportunities. To encourage community members to add their support to the fund, Decorah Bank and Trust issued a $50,000 challenge gift, matching dollar for dollar the first $50,000 in gifts to the fund.

“We have a great parks system and all of these facilities take money to maintain. We were surprised there was no endowment built for our parks systems,” said Ben. “We also know there are a lot of people in the community who would support this if it was there; people passionate about the parks who have used them their whole lives.”

The campaign was a success with generous community-minded people taking advantage of the matching gift, reaching the fund goals to secure a stronger future for Decorah Parks and Recreation initiatives, and ensuring the systems will be in place for future generations.

As local business owners, Ben and Joe also saw additional benefits to making their gift through the Winneshiek County Community Foundation.

“We want to focus our effort on local things, and when we give to the Winneshiek County Community Foundation the money stays here,” said Ben. “The Endow Iowa 25% state tax credit available through the Foundation also makes this type of gift more appealing.”

The permanency of endowments is also a key point for Decorah Bank and Trust.

“When people give money to the fund, they know it will be used for the purposes intended for perpetuity,” said Ben. “I think it is especially important for people doing estate planning who are going to leave some of their assets. They can know that gift will last way past their lifetime.”