Uptown Bill's & Extend the Dream Foundation

730 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52240

Extend the Dream

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About Extend the Dream Foundation

Extend The Dream Foundation (EDF) was founded as a non-profit organization in Iowa in 1997. In 1999 it redefined its target to serve persons with disabilities and the aging. The mission of EDF is to assist these persons in establishing their own micro enterprises and in expanding their employment opportunities. The EDF also attempts to educate the public about “disability” through demonstration projects and media.

EDF sponsors a series of Uptown Bill’s projects in memory of its namesake, Bill Sackter. Bill, a mentally challenged man, who had been forced to spend nearly a half century as an “inmate” in an institution, ended up as one of the most well loved and respected members of the community in Iowa City, where he spent the last eight years of his life. Two award winning movies were made about his life: “Bill” (1981) and “Bill on His Own” (1983).

EDF Uptown Bill’s projects include:

1. Uptown Bill’s Coffee House & Neighborhood Arts Center – a collection of four small businesses managed and operated by persons with disabilities, including a famed soda fountain and the “best little bookstore in Iowa.”

Location: 730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City

2. Uptown Bill’s Media Project –  a publishing, communications, and media company with a mission to tell stories of persons with disabilities, whose stories would otherwise go untold, through print or other forms of media.

Location: 730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City (A business in the Coffee House)

3. KICI. 105.3 FM. Local Radio Project  –  Uptown Bill’s/Extend the Dream has received a license from the FCC to operate  a radio station. In keeping with our mission, this is to be community radio for everyone — for people of all abilities. Right now, we need to raise $15,000. That will pay for the costs of engineering and equipment to get us on the air. All contributions to KICI are tax-deductible. Please consider making a donation today. Thank you for your support!

Location: 730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City (A business in the Coffee House)

EDF now with a local film production company has finished the major 90 minute documentary on the life of Bill Sackter, “A Friend Indeed: The Bill Sackter Story.”

The current Board of Directors of EDF includes:
Mary Vasey
Holly Hart
Jefri Palermo
Mitch Rotman
Joe Brisben
Keith Ruff

 

Tom Gilsenan is the executive director of the Extend the Dream Foundation.