LINK Receives 2020 “Leave It Better Than You Found It” Award


LINK is the 2020 recipient of the “Leave It Better Than You Found It” award from the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation (CDAF). 

The “Leave It Better” award commemorates the August birthday of the late philanthropist Claude W. Ahrens. More than 300 area individuals, groups and organizations have been honored by the annual recognition program of those making a difference in the community. 

Established in 2019 to address the community’s demonstrated need for after-school childcare, LINK’s vision and priority is to offer developmentally appropriate enrichment programs for area children and youth in a safe, inclusive, and stimulating learning environment. 

CDAF President and CEO Julie Gosselink said that LINK was selected for this year’s “Leave It Better” award because of “the organization’s ability to quickly address a critical community need, develop and deliver quality educational programming, adapt to constantly changing circumstances, and demonstrate measurable impact,  all in its first year of operation.”

Led by director Chad Nath, LINK offers an after-school program at Davis Elementary until 6:30 p.m. on school days, full-day care on professional development days throughout the school year, and is currently concluding its first year of summer programming for school-age children. LINK also offered much-needed childcare services to area essential workers in the early months of the COVID-19 public health crisis. 

LINK will receive a $5,000 grant and traveling trophy from CDAF as part of the foundation’s annual recognition. The traveling trophy will be displayed at Davis Elementary School where LINK offers its after-school and summer programs. According to Abby Copeman Petig, president of the LINK board since its founding, the cash award will be used “to further expand our educational programming and to support our dedicated staff.

“LINK is very appreciative of this recognition from the Ahrens Foundation in support of our mission to lead, inspire, nurture, and keep our community’s children educated, enriched and engaged. Our long-term goal is to expand options for high-quality enrichment programming such as mentoring and language learning, in partnership with other organizations also providing services to area children and youth.” 

Information about LINK programming is available by contacting Chad Nath at, 641-990-7276. Community members interested in supporting LINK may send gifts in care of Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, P.O. Box 344, Grinnell, or Additional information about the Leave It Better Award is available at


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