“ROCK ISLAND WILL BE A BETTER PLACE.”
Doris Damman Day spoke those words to a friend when she shared the plans for the foundation.
Doris and Victor Day knew that money was essential in bringing change and betterment to a community. They felt that the rewards of their life and work in the Quad Cities might best stay at home to create a better life for their friends and neighbors. They elected to establish a foundation with the major portion of their estate.
Vic and Doris chose trusted friends to guide the foundation as a force for the betterment of the community. The president was to be their attorney for many years; the vice-president was chair of the board of the bank where the funds were in trust; the secretary-treasurer lived a half block down the street and was the son of the attorney with whom Vic first discussed the foundation concept in 1965.
It was the responsibility of those three trustees to make the vision of a “better place” a reality in the Quad Cities. The foundation office opened in August of 1987, and for the past 35 years the trustees have sought to bring Doris and Vic’s dream to life.
A “better place” is a community in which all the citizens share the good life with adequate shelter, food, and medical care. A “better place” is a community in which opportunities for growth and development are available.
A “better place” is a community in which citizens work together to face the challenges of life.
To reach some of those goals as a “better place” the trustees have emphasized grants that meet basic human needs. Emergency assistance, affordable housing, childcare, job training, support programs, scholarships, and education have been the focus of many grants during the past 35 years of the foundation’s life.
Initial funding from the estate was in excess of $10 million. The foundation is intended to exist in perpetuity.
With that goal the trustees in the beginning established an investment philosophy in which the asset value of over $16 million reflects a commitment to have an increase in dollars available for granting.
The directors are always aware that the foundation assets are a result of the generous spirit of Doris and Victor Day. The walls of the office hangs signage from the Days and Bear Manufacturing Company. The physical reminder of the founders challenges the directors to honor the trust of their appointment by the Days.
The listing of present grants and testimonies of grants reveal the attempts of the directors to fulfill the prediction that Rock Island the Quad Cities will be “a better place.”