Dollars for Scholars Student & Parent Meeting

There will be a Student/Parent Meeting on February 22, 2018, at 7 p.m. in the High School Auditorium for seniors who plan to apply for Dollars for Scholars scholarships and their parents. This meeting will take about an hour and will include information about Dollars for Scholars and Scholarship America. Information about how to fill out the application will also be discussed. Applications are due March 18, 2018.  You may view the agenda for the meeting here.


Johnston Family Supports M.V. Dollars for Scholars

At the heart of the Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars program are endowment funds established to honor the legacy of loved ones. This is the case in the Harlan and Thelma Johnston Family Scholarship.

Harlan and Thelma Johnston, married in 1942 and farmed on the Johnston family farm west of Hopkinton.  This farm, settled by Harlan's grandfather, Alexander Johnston in 1856, continues to be owned by the Johnston family.  In 1950, Harlan and Thelma moved to Hopkinton, where they purchased a hardware, plumbing and heating business and raised their two children, Joyce and James. 

Thelma Johnston served on the Hopkinton School Board at the time of the reorganization into the Maquoketa Valley School District.  Harlan and Thelma's children graduated from Maquoketa Valley in 1963 and 1964, respectively.  Joyce (Sedlacek) is now retired as a library media specialist from Cedar Rapids Schools.  Jim recently retired as vice president of Heartland Investment Associates in Cedar Rapids.

Photo: Harlan & Thelma Johnston

Harlan passed away in 1994.  In 2012, Thelma, Joyce and Jim decided to establish the Harlan and Thelma Johnston Family Scholarship Fund for the MVDFS in honor of the Johnston Family. It's no coincidence that they chose an

organization that has education as its foundation. "Education was part of the culture in which we grew up and was very important to our parents.  Having Lenox College in Hopkinton exposed our family to a higher level of learning and my grandfather and father always expressed how important getting some type of education was.  There was never a question whether or not I would go to college", stated Joyce.  Jim added that "Eight of nine of my grandfather Johnston's children attended Lenox College and all 18 of my Johnston first cousins and their children have continued with some form of education beyond high school." 

"Power in numbers" is more than just a phrase - it is a vital part of the success of the MVDFS program and is part of the reason why Joyce and Jim continue to support Dollars for Scholars.  Joyce said "We know so many of the donors and to see so many of us coming together as a community to support these students is phenomenal."   

Keith Kramer, the President of MVDFS, has watched the program grow beyond what he could have ever imagined. He attributes its success to the numerous student benefits seen by the community as well as the positive donor experiences it provides. Kramer stated, "Each donor has their own unique reason for establishing these endowment funds but there is one common denominator - the value that we as a community place on education and lifting our students up."   

Neither Joyce nor Jim live in the Delhi/Hopkinton area, but the community is part of their heritage and what has shaped them into who they are today. They see Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars program as a way to help students shape their future.  It is their hope that all students can find their passion in life and use education as a way to turn that passion into a career.  They cannot think of anything that would honor their parents and grandparents more.   

Clifton's are the winning bidders of the donated quilt!

Thanks to all who attended the annual soup supper fundraiser and quilt auction! We served nearly 200 people and added nearly $1,700 to our scholarship program.  We were very happy see all of you there. Thank you Harry Lahr Auctions for auctioning off that fantastic quilt and to Jim and Connie Clifton who were the winning bidders at $425! And of course a special thank you to the anonymous donor of that beautiful quilt. What a thoughtful way to support our cause!

Photo: Sue Digmann, Connie Clifton, Jim Clifton, Karen Knipper

Sending our BEST WISHES to the Class of 2017!

Dream Big!

$61,800 awarded to Maquoketa Valley 2017 Graduates to help them pay for college!



Congratulations Class of 2017!

Congratulations Maquoketa Valley Seniors on a job well done!

Thanks to everyone who attended the awards ceremony and helped honor these students!

Scholarship Award Recipients for 2017 can be found here.



Dr. Wee to Speak at Maquoketa Valley Awards Event

The Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars is pleased to announce that Dr. Liang Wee, President of Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC), will be among the guests at the Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars (MVDFS) Awards Event this Sunday, May 7th, at 3 pm in Delhi. Dr. Wee will have the honor of presenting two individual scholarships from the Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars General Fund to the selected seniors who will be furthering their education after high school.  MVDFS Board President Keith Kramer stated, "We would like to thank Dr. Wee for his outstanding service to our communities and for presenting scholarships on our behalf. We look forward to a wonderful afternoon honoring the academic achievements of the students who will go on to pursue their dreams and goals at a college of their choice."  

Wee arrived in the USA on July 4, 1983 after serving in the Singapore Armed Forces.  He received his education at the University of Arizona, Tucson.  He has been an educator for over 25 years, first serving the University of Arizona, then Luther College, and now as president of Northeast Iowa Community College. 

Wee straddles two cultures, sometimes successfully and other times not.  He grew up in a rural village in Singapore.  The Wee family history started in China and spans over 1,000 years with 41 generations recorded.  A lesson he learned very early in life from his elders, and continuously reinforced over the years, was the importance of the collective and common good.  As he progresses in life, Wee has a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of his elders' teaching.  Their teaching has impacted his personal and professional journey. 

Dr. Wee is a passionate and dedicated advocate for community vitality and economic development through education. 


MVDFS Dueling Pianos and Karaoke Night

Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars Dueling Pianos and Karaoke Night, raised just over $4,800 for MV graduates! Special thank you to our talented pianists, Chris Hadley & Alissa Unertl, Pin Oak Pub & Links, as well as our guests that joined us for this wonderful event!




Serving the Maquoketa Valley Community School District in Iowa

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful     

committed citizens can change the world;  

       indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."       

Margaret Mead


Support Student Education

Here at Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars we are all about creating opportunities for graduates to continue their education.  Join us in supporting Maquoketa Valley graduates by learning more about us, our upcoming events, and how you can make a difference today.   We now accept online donations.

Apply for Scholarships

Online Scholarship Applications are now being accepted.  Maquoketa Valley Students start your online profile today.  Login in HERE.

Contact Us

If you'd like more information about our organization, it's mission, or how to help.  Please email us today at or call us at 563-922-2091.  We will be happy to answer your questions.