Foundation names Executive Director

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Newly-hired executive director of Foundation of Cornerstone Communities (FCC) Michele Von Handorf (left) and her lifelong friend Jackie Lee, FCC board president, are looking forward to working together. (Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

Former Clayton Ridge Elementary School secretary Michele Von Handorf has accepted a part time position as Executive Director of Foundation of Cornerstone Communities (FCC). 

"Founded in 2019, the FCC addressed the decline in populations served by the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics (GMHC), and recruitment and retention of quality health care providers," Von Handorf noted. "Through charitable contributions the Foundation supports initiatives and programs that directly impact the everyday health and vitality of our communities."

The Foundation seeks out relationships with community leaders in the region and provides grants to partner organizations that align with the FCC's mission to: 

• Strengthen and grow recreational and social activities which support everyday health and vitality of residents

• Drive community efforts to support local entrepreneurs who share the Foundation's mission to promote healthy and vibrant communities

• Celebrate and enhance the historic and authentic character and sense of place in communities GMHC serves

Von Handorf will take over the position vacated by former FCC Director Ann Korczyk. "I have valued Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics since my husband, Steve, and I first moved to the area, and I was pregnant with our first child. Two more additions to our family, aging parents, and now our first grandchild, has deepened my appreciation for local health care," Von Handorf told The Press. 

Since its inception, the FCC has partnered with communities in the GMHC service area providing, to date, $54,688 in funding for projects including updated playground equipment, pickleball courts, trails, and community vitality initiatives. 

This year grant recipients were 

• City of Guttenberg - $3,141 

• Clayton County Conservation Osborne walking paths - $3,000 • City of Guttenberg Community Vitality Initiative - $10,000 

• Guttenberg Creativity Center sustainability - $2,500 

• Guttenberg Creativity Center, replenish supplies - $1,092.

• North Buena Vista for playground equipment - $2,500 

How to apply

 The FCC Grantmaking Committee welcomes applications for community projects that need funding, or a great idea or initiative that will enhance the health of your community. Applications are consideration quarterly, on Jan. 15, April 15, July 15 and Oct. 15, with decisions announced within 30 days.

"I am looking forward to becoming more involved in the community, assisting with community revitalization, and strengthening all the great projects that are already in place," she concluded. 

Become a member

If you care about protecting the future of local healthcare, and believe in a healthy vibrant community for residents of all ages, the Foundation invites you to become a member with a gift or annual pledge to the Foundation of Cornerstone Communities Endowment Fund through the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. For additional information, grant applications, how to make a donation, or become a Sustaining Member see online at, or

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