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$1 million donation - The Orville Bloethe family announced contribution to HLV School District Dec. 14

By NICK NARIGON

orville
Orville Bloethe

It may have been cold and dreary outside Monday morning, but it was sunny inside the HLV School Board meeting room.

It was announced during the Dec. 14 HLV School Board meeting that the family of Orville and Loanna Bloethe would donate a grand total of $1 million to the HLV School District.

“This is a good day for the school,” said HLV Superintendent Bill Lynch. “I have been superintendent for many years and during my tenure I have witnessed many wonderful things. What we are witnessing today is one of the highlights of these many events. I assure you this money will be used wisely by the school district.”

The Bloethes donated $500,000 to the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation. The gift is structured so all income will be given to the HLV School District. The money must be channeled through the foundation, a charitable entity, so it can qualify for tax benefits. The fund will collect 5 percent interest.

Orville Bloethe, 90, Victor, told the school board he intends to donate another $500,000 next year.

“I hope this stream of income will help HLV. I am proud to have been a part of HLV and this gift proves that,” Bloethe said. “The school has been foremost and extremely important to the community.”

He said he initially considered donating the money to two entities to receive the income, but after further consideration, Bloethe decided making one donation to the school would benefit the entire HLV community.

“We decided, if we are going to contribute to the community, the school is the vehicle that will benefit the most people,” Bloethe said.

There are no restrictions on how the school district can spend the money, he said.

Bloethe, who has been the HLV School Board secretary for over 50 years, was the Victor City Attorney for 56 years and is a nationally recognized expert in tax and estate planning and is a leading authority on estate planning for farmers.

Loanna Bloethe passed away March 14. She was an English and home economics teacher at HLV and directed the school play.

The donation was also made with consideration from the Bloethes’ children, Chris Bloethe, Craig Bloethe, Cheryl Bloethe Linder and Tamia O’Rourke.

“We know it will be used wisely by the school district and will have a profound effect on the students,” said Cheryl, via teleconference. “We are very proud of this gift provided to the school.”

HLV School Board member Laura Greene not only thanked the Bloethes for the donation to the school, but for all of their efforts and support toward community projects.

To name but a few, once a year the Bloethes pay for every student at HLV to attend a play at the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. Bloethe has also made significant donations to fund the recent Victor streetlight project, the Victor City Park project and the construction of the medical center, all with the challenge for the community to raise matching funds.

“I want to thank you for the amazing things you have done for the community,” Greene said.

UPDATED December 16, 2009 11:11 AM

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