Nonprofit Professionals Recognized for Commitment and Dedication

Published: September 21, 2021 | By: Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation | Category:

Like many, the Community Foundation was excited about the possibility of returning to in-person events this fall. After a year away, our Nonprofit Party was scheduled to return on September 9th to celebrate the many nonprofit professionals that keep our community thriving. However, given the rising levels of COVID-19 infections in Linn County, the decision was made to cancel the event. The wellbeing of everyone in our community is a priority.

At the center of this year’s party would have been the debut of the Spirit of Minnie Rubek recognition. Minnie Rubek was an unsung heroine of our community who worked as a member of the housekeeping staff at Interstate Power and Light for many years. Upon her passing, she left her estate to the Community Welfare Fund—the predecessor of the Community Foundation—in what was a transformative gift for the organization. Her work and dedication over many years made a quiet but lasting impact on our community.

The Spirit of Minnie Rubek recognition honors a leader, staff member or founder of a Linn County nonprofit organization who has gone above and beyond in their commitment and dedication to their organization and its
mission. They exhibit the spirit of Minnie Rubek in their nonprofit work.

Fourteen people were to be presented with the Spirit of Minnie Rubek at the Nonprofit Party, and while we regret not being able to celebrate them in person, we are pleased to recognize them here.

2021 Spirit of Minnie Rubek Honorees

Minouche Bandubuila
African Program Specialist

“Minouche humbly provides
extraordinary service to
support, educate and
empower the community.”

Dawn Brouwers
Executive Director
His Hands Free Clinic

“Dawn is leading the way to
provide free, compassionate,
quality healthcare to
more of the uninsured
and underinsured in our

Tiffany Bunting
Health and Practice Manager
Tanager Place

“Much of the work Tiffany
does is behind the scenes,
but she continuously goes
above and beyond to inspire,
empower, and heal.”

Keeyon A. Carter
Lead Pastor
Wellington Heights
Community Church

“Keeyon leads with an
unyielding faith in God, a
clarity of purpose, and a heart
to engage others in sustained
personal and neighborhood

Tabitha Downing
NTS Manager
Horizons, A Family Service

“Tabitha is foundational to the
NTS program and makes it her
mission to ensure each client
and partner receives superior

Lisa Gavin
Managing Attorney, Cedar
Rapids Regional Office
Iowa Legal Aid

“Lisa has been a legal
advocate and hero to victims
of personal and natural
disasters for over 25 years.”

Sandy Gilbert
Energy Assistance Supervisor

“Sandy has been working for
decades to build stronger
communities through her
work with United Way
211 and HACAP’s Energy
Assistance program.”

Aaron Horn
Executive Director

“Aaron is passionate about
serving our community
to build entrepreneurial
resources and provide tech
education to our K-12 system.”

Allison Johnson
Chief Business Officer
Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa
and Western Illinois

“Allison leads the charge
to ensure girls have the
opportunity to build their
courage, confidence and
character to make the world a
better place.”

J’nae Peterman
Director of Housing Services

“J’nae has gone above
and beyond to become a
solid housing presence for
community partners involved
in pandemic and disaster
recovery efforts.”

Blenda Peterson
Volunteer coordinator
Central Furniture Rescue

“Blenda’s kindness and grace
have helped grow the core
Central Furniture Rescue team
by more than 90%.”

Barb Rogen
Accounting Supervisor
Foundation 2 Crisis Services

“Barb has worked behind the
scenes for 23 years as the
glue that keeps Foundation
2 together, allowing program
staff to focus on the needs of
the community.”

Grant Smith
Director of Facilities, Buildings
and Grounds
National Czech & Slovak
Museum & Library

“Grant goes above and beyond
expectations, every day, to
create a safe and welcoming
campus for guests, volunteers
and staff.”

Sandy Weger
Director of Facilities and
Catherine McAuley Center

“Sandy managed the
renovations of Catherine
McAuley Center’s new space
in 2020, and then led repairs
after the derecho.”

Visit the Nonprofit Giving Center and the Nonprofit Calendar to search for a nonprofit fund, organization, cause, or event to support.