Written By: Emily Haan, Marketing & Public Relations Intern, Ames Chamber of Commerce
In 1988, Leadership Ames was founded on the premise of building a better community by educating and developing local leaders that are informed, involved, and concerned. As a way of giving back to the city of Ames, each year Leadership Ames participants split into teams to complete service projects during the yearlong program. Community projects have included, but are not limited to, fundraising events, issue awareness campaigns, beautification projects, and property improvements. There is no project too small or too big for Leadership Ames as their mission is improving the community in any way possible.
One of the best known Leadership Ames Projects is the “CyclONE City” project class XXVII executed in 2015. A community-wide project, the class set to create and place 30 Cy statues around Ames. Local businesses sponsored the project and the statues were made and designed by local artists. The spectacular effort made by Class XXVII led to a grand fundraising total of $66,000, not including proceeds from the auctioning of 5 of the statues. The money that was raised was divided among local charities and a scholarship fund for a Story County student at Iowa State University. All this made possible by Leadership Ames and their determination to
improve the city and create a lasting legacy!
Karin Chitty, a member of class XXXIII, was very moved by her experience while working on a service project for Hope Closet, a longstanding charity organization that Chitty had no previous knowledge of before her work with Leadership Ames. “I was shocked at the amount of people Hope Closet served,” Chitty said. “There is more homelessness and food insecurity in my hometown than I realized. It was very eye opening to see the needs of the community and I felt very hopeful seeing these needs be met.”
Last year, Ames Leadership raised about $23,000 for their respective causes. Projects have included partnerships with the Boys & Girls Club of Story County, Mainstream Living, Ames Main Street, Octagon Center for the Arts, YSS, and local schools in the district. Beneficiaries from these projects range from children to seniors. The city of Ames has felt the impact of these projects, and the Leadership Ames is passionate about both ongoing and new missions alike. If your organization has a project that needs support, please fill out this application.