116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A gift of nearly $2 million from two Cedar Rapids natives will support the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and establish scholarships for local college students.
The Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation announced the $1.9 million gift from the George A. Kalous Trust today. According to a press release, the amount could total more than $2 million after the sale of the Kalous' residence.
The money will go towards establishing two permanently endowed funds at the Community Foundation. Investments from one fund will go to the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library located in Czech Village at 1400 Inspiration Place SW. Investments from the other fund will go to scholarships for Linn County college students.
According to the press release, the gift is unrestricted, meaning the Museum will be able to utilize the money to fit their needs.
The donors, George and Louise Kalous, are described as long-time friends of the Museum in the press release.
George Kalous, a World War II veteran, died in 2006. Louise died in 2012. According to the release, the two were Cedar Rapids natives who loved to travel internationally, including to the Czech Republic to visit relatives. Louise learned about investing from an employer in the 1940s, the release said, and the couple began creating a portfolio.
George worked as a mail clerk with the U.S. Postal Service for 34 years, and Louise worked for the Iowa/Illinois Gas and Electric Co. According to the press release, the couple was “practical” and “talked openly about their charitable intentions.”
“This gift insures that George and Louise will have an impact on this community forever,” said Les Garner, President & CEO of the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, in a press release. “Their willingness to give what they have earned and saved throughout their lives to benefit our community beyond their lifetime is inspiring.”