Skip to Main Content
Sweet corn days

A Generational Gift for a Rural Iowa Community

December 28, 2022

It was the late 1980s when Pat Boyle was welcomed to Lime Springs. He remembers how the friendly people of this community just south of the Iowa-Minnesota border greeted him and brought him into their community. In this same spirit, Pat and local couple Jan and Randy Cray started the Lime Springs Endowment Fund, a fund of the Howard County Community Foundation.

The idea started as the community grappled with the uncertainty of how COVID-19 would impact its future. The neighbors decided they didn’t want their community to collapse if something happened to the local businesses that support a thriving lifestyle for its citizens.

“We’ve got some smaller communities in the area that are no longer there. So we were asking, ‘Is that what we want the future of Lime Springs to be?’ And we decided, no,” said Pat. “Lime Springs has been good to us over the years, and we need to try and do something to make sure it sustains itself in the future.”

Pat and the Crays made the initial gifts to start the fund, but the community has ensured it will be an essential part of future betterment efforts. In just one year, over $90,000 was raised, and the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa granted $10,000 to put them over the $100,000 mark. The fund will generate dollars to support community enrichment projects and will be advised by the newly established Lime Springs Betterment Foundation, a local nonprofit organization.

The fund also gives the community essential opportunities to engage people who love where they live, both young and old. Younger residents can learn from those who know what it takes to keep a community strong and engage first-hand in building a thriving community. While older generations now have a trusted resource that can be part of their plan to leave a legacy for the community that gave them so much.

“If you don’t have something set up that people can contribute to, that money will leave our community and go out of state,” said Pat. “We need to capture as much of those dollars as possible to sustain the future of our community.”

Want to learn how you can make a positive impact on the community you love? Contact our development team at 319-287-9106 or

"It's important to invest in your own community because the community is giving back to you. It's a place to raise your family, have a safe place to live, and have some amenities. It's important to keep those things going for future generations."

- Pat Boyle, Co-Founder of the Lime Springs Endowment Fund