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$5 Million Rick Wenninghoff Bequest To Fund Scholarships for Underwood Students

Endowment to Pottawattamie Co. Comm. Foundation Will Fund Annual Scholarships Beginning in 2021

Richard Wenninghoff Leaves $5 Million to the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation

(Council Bluffs, IA) – The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation announced today that they have received a special bequest of $5 million dollars from Rick Wenninghoff. Mr. Wenninghoff specified that the foundation earmark the money for scholarships for students in the Treynor and Underwood Community School Districts. The gift is the largest bequest in the Foundation’s history.

“We are truly grateful and humbled by the generosity of Rick Wenninghoff and his family,” said Donna Dostal, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation President and CEO. “With this gift, Rick Wenninghoff set the stage for us to build leaders for generations to come. His foresight and generosity are truly amazing and we are honored to be entrusted to carry out his wish for Iowa’s children to have the opportunity to further their education and live strong, productive lives.”

Rick Wenninghoff was educated in the Treynor Community School District. His daughter, Julie attended the Underwood Community School District. As Mr. Wenninghoff explained in a letter to his children, his choice to make this gift of scholarships to the two schools was about wanting to create an endowment fund that would continue to benefit future generations.

“On behalf of the Underwood Community School District Board of Directors and the Underwood community as a whole, I want to extend a sincere thank you to the Wenninghoffs for this generous scholarship program for Underwood students pursuing post-secondary educational opportunities,” said Edward H. Hawks, Superintendent of Schools with the Underwood Community School District. “This gift will open doors that otherwise may have been closed for young people who wish to advance themselves educationally.”

“The Rick Wenninghoff gift is transformative for the Treynor Community School and its students,” said Dr. Mark Hopkins, Superintendent of Schools with the Treynor Community School District. “These scholarships will change the lives of our students by dramatically increasing college education opportunities. The gift will have an enduring impact for our school, and we are extremely grateful to Rick Wenninghoff and his family.”

The scholarships will be awarded through the Southwest Iowa Educational Foundation and will be available for the graduating class of 2021.


About Rick Wenninghoff

Rick Wenninghoff was born and raised on his family farm, and there was never a doubt that he would carry on the family tradition. He loved the land and embraced the challenges that came with it. His years of farming consisted of early mornings and late nights, along with a passion to succeed that fueled it all. He made a name for himself in the community, stemmed from the local farmer’s market where he sold “the best sweetcorn and tomatoes around.” He was a smart and savvy businessman, and even with all of his successes, he was a down-to-earth man who kept things simple and genuine.

Wenninghoff had a kind heart and was generous and helpful to his family, friends, and farm workers. His children were important to him and were part of the many hours in the fields. They were taught at an early age about the importance of working hard, a trait they have carried with them in their own endeavors. Like their Dad, they work hard and play hard, and family is important to them. They continue to celebrate and spend time together at holiday and life events.

About the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation

The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation is a tax-exempt public charity, 501(c)(3), that serves thousands of people who share a common interest in improving the quality of life in Pottawattamie County, Iowa.

Through the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, individuals, families, businesses and organizations create permanent charitable funds that help communities meet the challenges of changing times. The Foundation invests and administers these charitable funds. Pottawattamie County Community Foundation is nationally accredited by the Council on Foundations (www.cfstandards.org).

Like all community foundations across the United States, the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation is overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and run by professionals with expertise in identifying the needs of their communities.

Mission: The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation is a partnership of rural and urban citizens dedicated to improving the lives of all residents by supporting and stimulating donor-driven philanthropy.