Profiles of Impact -- Supporting the future

CowlesThe needs of a community constantly change; one cannot know today what the challenges will be decades from now. Robert and Hazel Cowles knew they wanted to support the future, unmet needs of our community, so they chose to establish a Charitable Gift Annuity benefiting the Foundation's Community Impact Endowment.

The Cowles had a long and rich history in the Quad Cities area. Both grew up in Iowa, Robert and Hazel were married in 1941, shortly before WWII. Robert served his country as a Chief Radio Technician in the Navy as part of the Avenger Squadron. He was stationed around the US, so Hazel was able to move with him and lived in an apartment off base. In 1945 when Robert was honorably discharged, the couple decided to return to Davenport and rekindle their postponed plans to build a house. They constructed a pre-cut house from the Gordon Van Tine Company and lived there for over 60 years. Hazel cared for the couple's home and enjoyed being a fulltime homemaker while Robert worked at the Brach Candy Plant as an engineer until 1980.

For more than six decades, the Cowles enjoyed living in our community. When MidAmerican Energy was bought out in the 1990's, the Cowles saw an opportunity to avoid capital gains on their MidAmerican stock and to make a gift to their community. The couple transferred their MidAmerican stock to the Foundation in exchange for a Charitable Gift Annuity, receiving a lifetime income that was higher than the dividends they were getting.

Over their lifetime, the Cowles established two more gift annuities and named the Community Foundation in their wills. Hazel passed away in 2003, and Robert continued receiving the annuity payments until his death in early 2009. At that time, the remainder of the three annuities was added to the Community Impact Endowment. In addition, Robert's estate provided a generous, unrestricted bequest of more than $750,000 to benefit the community he and Hazel loved so much.

Click here to learn more about the grants funded by the Community Impact Endowment.


"The Community Foundation gave me the opportunity to give to the most people possible."

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The Teens for Tomorrow youth philanthropy program has given local students the opportunity to grant more than $70,000 to the community since the program's inception in 2002.
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