Photograph by Rachel Morehead, PCCF

Lakin Foundation donation allows PCCF to expand, renovate

By Mike Brownlee |

Feb 16, 2020

The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation plans to renovate and expand its location in Council Bluffs, and will be able to do so thanks in large part to a gift from a fellow foundation.

The Charles E. Lakin Foundation donated $451,000 to the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation to cover the cost. The county foundation will renovate its existing structure and build an addition to double its space, which will include a 30-person gathering room for foundation meetings that will also be available for public use. The building will be renamed the Florence and Charles E. Lakin Center for Community Giving.

“This means an awful lot for us,” Pottawattamie County Community Foundation Board President Tony Tauke said. “This allows us to grow. It’s just an amazing gift.”

Lakin Foundation President Steve Wild said, “we thought it was important to lead from the front on this. To help fellow philanthropists.”

“We have really focused on giving to southwest Iowa,” Wild said. “We wanted to support the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation as it pursues its philanthropic efforts in the area. We’re hoping this will encourage others.”

The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation allows individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create permanent charitable funds that help communities.

“Through the Pottawattamie County Community, people have a place that can facilitate their goals, their dreams,” Lakin Foundation Vice President John Hoich said.

Tauke said the two foundations held a meeting on a different topic when the renovation and expansion was mentioned.

“We were just amazed when they came forward” with the gift, Tauke said of the Lakin Foundation.

The renovation and addition of the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation building is estimated to cost $451,000, Tauke said. Work is expected to begin in early March, with foundation staff set to move back around late 2020 or early 2021. In the interim, the foundation will office at the Habitat for Humanity building on South Main Street.

In a statement, the Lakin family said, “southwest Iowa is the heart and soul of our American nation, the Lakin family has called it home for generations. To emulate the morals and values found here would be an admirable goal for all and the Lakin Foundation is fortunate to be in the position to promote this. Supporting the expansion and renovation will enhance the capabilities for exploring and serving more needs in the area. A strong and solid presence in Council Bluffs will bolster the image of the PCCF and through that, will attest to the strength and resiliency of the community.”

The Daily Nonpareil