Davenport Woman's Club Endowment


The “worthwhile pursuits of life” have been a cause that the Davenport Woman’s Club has worked toward for almost a whole century. Now, starting into the new millennium, the women’s organization will continue that pursuit by generously donating $50,000 to the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend.

When the Davenport Woman’s Club started on February 17, 1910, at the old Unity Hall in Davenport, IA the 270 members wanted more for their community. They wanted to promote the ideas of education, social and mental well being; and most of all they wanted to serve Davenport. The Club developed their own purpose or principle, which they still stand behind today; “Where there is no vision, people perish.” That is why they created special committees to provide for the interests of their members, such as music, art, philanthropy, civics, business, home, and study. This gave the women something to hope for, something to serve, something to look forward to for the future. These committees were the backbone of the service done by the organization. During World War I, the members sold war bonds and stamps. They made 5,000 trench candles for soldiers, and conducted Liberty Bond Drives.

After the war was over, the women sent boxes of clothing and food to war perished countries, such as the Netherlands, Denmark and Poland. They organized charity balls, voting campaigns, sold towels to raise money for the blind, bought a grand piano for the Davenport Art Gallery, and donated reading glasses, among many other things. They took pride in keeping Davenport beautiful and tried to keep children safe by recognizing juvenile delinquency as a problem.

Through the years, the club has been raising money to help fund a permanent meeting place for their headquarters, but recently realized that that dream would never become a reality, because of a shortage of money. So, the 52 current members of the group looked elsewhere to use the money that they had raised. The members wanted to continue in their commitment to the Quad Cities, so they decided to create an endowment fund with the excess money. This fund currently supports projects such as Handicapped Development Center, Christian Care, Scott County Special Olympics, Rebuilding Together Quad Cities, Churches United of the QCA and Camp Courageous of Iowa Foundation. The money that would last forever in a building for the club, will now last forever in the organizations that it supports.

This doesn’t mean the club will cease to be active. On the contrary! The club is busily looking for new members and still sponsoring events and scholarships. In 1999 they awarded five $500 scholarships and $3,000 to local agencies. Recently they donated their archives, dating back to 1910, to the Davenport Public Library. For being 90 years old, the Davenport Woman’s Club is still alive and serving Davenport with dedication, strength and dignity. 

"Our fund allows us to support programs that enhance the lives of children, individuals, families and businesses."

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Did You Know?

Robert and Hazel Cowles knew they wanted to support the community's needs long into the future, so they turned to the Community Foundation to meet their charitable goals.
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