Don Burzlaff knows how much the area community supported his family 40 years ago after an explosion ravaged their rural Grand Mound home.

While the fire was a tragedy, it also was a miracle accompanied by many blessings.

It was a miracle that everyone who was inside the Burzlaff home that night survived, and an unbelievable amount of love was shown to the family and other survivors for years to follow.

Don and his wife, Betty, never forgot.

In the spirit of returning that love, Don recently made a donation in his and Betty’s names to the Greater Grand Mound Community Investment Foundation (GGMCIF).

The GGMCIF began in December 2011, and is a locally-managed endowment fund focused on improving the Grand Mound community, one project at a time.

The foundation is made up of Dennis Campbell, Don Kent, Dan Burke, Steve Kent, Amy Lange, Will Fischer, Mandy Thiel and Rick Mineck.

The proceeds of the foundation are disbursed annually to an identified need within the greater Grand Mound community. Each year, residents of the community are invited to send examples of community needs to any of the foundation’s investors, and the decision of the investors will be made for the annual betterment project.

The Burzlaffs’ donation was $25,000, which Dennis Campbell, co-chair of the GGMCIF, said brings the foundation close to the value of $100,000 in the fund balance.

“We are humbled and invigorated by the generosity of our community members,” Campbell related. “The Burzlaff name has been associated with kindness, generosity and community involvement for generations. 

“To see this local family step forward and invest in our greater community efforts is a testament to the Burzlaff family tradition of investment, and to the great work that the foundation has accomplished since it was created. What a wonderful way to help us look forward to the coming decades and continue to grow our foundation resources focused on reinvesting in our communities.”

Don said making the donation simply felt the right thing to do.

He knows Betty, who died almost four years ago, would agree.

“I’d been wanting to do something for the community, after it’s done so much for me and my family,” Don shared. “We wanted to do something to give back. I prayed about it, and the Lord led me to do it.”

Campbell said the donation brings the foundation’s account to about $71,000.

He would like to see the foundation reach its goal of $100,000 by the end of the year, and is hoping community members will help in seeing that through.

“We hope that this level of giving encourages others to help us reach that goal of $100,000,” Campbell noted. “To think that we could achieve that significant financial milestone in less that 10 years since our creation would be an amazing accomplishment.”

Checks may be made payable to GGMCIF/Greater Grand Mound Community Investment Foundation, and mailed to: Greater Grand Mound Community Investment Foundation, c/o First Trust & Savings Bank, PO Box 227, Grand Mound, IA 52751.