The Bright Foundation

A Simple Formula

Lois and H. Dale Bright, with guidance from Daniel Kelly, their financial advisor, and Wendy Carlson Waugaman, their attorney, funded the H. Dale and Lois Bright Foundation in 1957. Since that time their Foundation has quietly contributed millions of dollars to Iowa organizations, charities and educational institutions.

“We worked hard, saved carefully, invested wisely and gave back when we could,” Lois says. “I am always surprised when I remember that such a simple formula produced so much.”

A History of Hard Work

Dale and Lois both grew up in the small, southern Iowa community of Lineville and graduated in the years 1928 and 1929 respectively. After graduation both left Lineville for Des Moines. Dale spent two years attending Capitol City Commercial College and Lois went to work sewing the back seam of women’s stocking at Rollins Hosiery Mill.

Dale held several jobs before going to work in 1939 for a small tool and die company in Des Moines called Western Tool & Stamping Co. When Dale started, Western Tool had only seven employees. At the time he retired as vice president of Western Tool in 1958, it employed over 800 people and was the largest lawn mower manufacturer in the country.

In 1995 Dale was in failing health when he died on August 14, 1996 at age, 86. Lois carried out the vision she and Dale had for the Bright Foundation until her death on October 26, 2013 at age 102. As would be expected of a couple who spent their lives giving to others, their Foundation lives on to help young Iowans well into the future.

Dedicated to Helping Iowans

Over the years, many, many, worthy organizations and individuals have been recipients of Bright Foundation awards.

“If we could help even one child, it would mean a lot to us.”

In 2012 the Foundation made its first Bright Scholars of Iowa Awards. These four-year renewable scholarships are designed to make higher education at Iowa universities and community colleges possible for talented young Iowans who may not otherwise have the means to get a college education.

Helping today to carry out the Brights’ vision are the directors of the Bright Foundation, including: Beverly Apel, Bob Fanter, Chuck Haas, Dan Kelly, Fred Lock, Wes Ritchie and Carren Sturm.