Thumbs up to the mother-daughter team for the creation of Maddie’s Closet. This week, we wrote about Kelly and Madison Cook who turned their living room into a makeshift collection and distribution point for free clothes to help out girls in need. The effort launched on Facebook and the community responded almost immediately with clothes, shoes, fashion accessories and hygiene products. It’s a great example of someone seeing a need and doing what they can to make a difference. The clothing drive was so successful that the mother-daughter team launched a GoFundMe page and plan to apply for nonprofit status.

We would like to offer one word of caution. Everyone just learned a tough lesson in Davenport when Timothy’s House of Hope opened in conflict with zoning regulations in its chosen neighborhood. An effort that was meant as a community service, turned into a controversial planning dispute, complete with harsh words and hurt feelings. As Maddie’s Closet grows out of this family’s home, we hope they take all the steps necessary to ensure that their wonderful efforts don’t turn sour due to overlooked regulations or complaints from neighbors.

Thumbs up to another great year of the John Deere Classic. It never gets old watching this community come together to make this event happen. It’s even more rewarding to see the dollars generated by the Birdies for Charity. We won’t know how much was raised until October, but last year’s tournament raised a record $10.54 million through pledges to 491 charities. This year’s goal was $11 million. The John Deere Classic ranked among the top three tournaments in charitable giving and earned the 2016 PGA Tournament of the Year and Most Engaged Community. Deere & Co. covers all the administrative costs for Birdies, so 100 percent of money collected goes to charity.

Thumbs up to the wait being over. We’ve been talking about the new I-74 bridge since the ‘90s, so it was more than exciting to walk through the open houses this week in Iowa and Illinois to see the timeline for the bridge, promising completion 3½ years from today. It’s been years in the planning and it’s finally here.


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