The H-L-V school district in east-central Iowa received an early Christmas gift from a long-time supporter of the district. Area resident Orville Bloethe told the school board Monday that he was donating $500,000 to the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation for an endowment to benefit the school district.

Bloethe, who is 90, said he’ll donate another $500,000 next year. H-L-V Superintendent Bill Lynch says the gift is another example of their long involvement in the district. Lynch says Orville and his late wife Loanna have been dedicated to the district for many years, and Orville serve as school board secretary for many years. He says the couple has done many wonderful things for the district through the years.

He says they’ve supported scholarships for students, supported a trip to Hancher Auditorium in Iowa City for a cultural experience. “They’ve just been wonderful supporters of the school system,” Lynch says. There are no restrictions on how the district can spend the money. Lynch anticipates that as revenues from the endowment become available, the school board will make a decision on how to spend them.

Bloethe has been the H-L-V school board secretary for more than 50 years, and was the Victor city attorney for 56 years. His wife Loanna died last March. She was an English and home economics teacher at H-L-V.

By Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell