Impact Hill has their very first Executive Director, Kelly Towne! Kelly is an Oakland resident and not only has her MBA but is quite familiar with the world of nonprofit organizations as she worked for Family, Inc. in the past. If you don’t know much about Impact Hill, it is the nonprofit set up in the old Riverside School in Oakland thanks to the Schechinger family.
With a grant from the Iowa West Foundation, the organization was able to hire Kelly Towne to set all the ideas and programming in motion for the upcoming year, and Towne has plenty of things in the works already!
With uncertain times, Kelly’s focus for the remainder of 2020 will be “fundraising, creation of policies and procedures, and making sure Impact Hill is an inclusive space.” She has manuals to make and safety plans to formulate (especially due to COVID) as the nonprofit looks to re-open to programming and events. Kelly mentioned she will be translating everything into Spanish, as well, to truly embrace the area.
Although classes and events are not back in full swing yet, you can rent space currently for parties and personal events. Also, Mrs. Towne hinted that you could look forward to a golf tournament fundraiser in the spring! Fundraising will be a big piece of her job as she only has funding for one year. In fact, she told me she’d already applied for a grant in her first week on the job! Plus, with any beautiful older building there comes maintenance and repairs which will also be on the list of things to address.
She also said she was happy to give tours and talk about the organization with anyone interested. Her office offers are 10am to 1pm Monday – Friday, but she’s around more often than that. She’s more than willing to answer questions or take suggestions because as she pointed out Impact Hill is an “exceptional thing to have in a community our size, and the outpouring of support from our local community has been heartwarming.”
Possibly what impressed me the most was the enthusiasm Towne exhibited as she embarks on a very labor-intensive task! As an alum myself, I can’t help but cheer for her and want this to be successful for our community and our county! I asked her what she wanted to see happen and her words were just what I think we all want to hear:
“Impact Hill was off to a great start before I came on board. Their vision is absolutely amazing, and I am 100% in awe of their ability to dream big and then find the funding to make things happen. We have a climbing wall ready to be installed, and planning has begun for a ninja warrior course. I would love to see the vision of an indoor zero-entry pool come to fruition. I also would love to make part of the old school into a reception space for weddings and parties. Coming from my background in Family Support, I would love to be able to meet the community's needs such as language classes or family support groups.”
Kelly, we want all those things, too! Impact Hill has the potential to serve our rural communities in a way we haven’t seen before.
Go forth and be our champion! Pott. Co. is happy you’re ready to get started!