Dear Friends of IowaWatch,
Back in March, Daily Iowan reporter Danny Valentine walked into my office and dropped an envelope on my table. Inside were five, $100 bills. I want this to go to IowaWatch, he said. When I tried to give it back, he refused it. “I’ll just waste it,” he argued, noting frivolities that would tempt a graduating senior with such wad of cash. “IowaWatch will make better use of it than I would, and it’s just money from Hearst.”
Danny’s gift, coupled with his words, is stamped in my memory, not because of the generosity, but for its stirring symbolism. You see, Danny had just won that money in the prestigious Hearst Awards competition for an investigative project in the Daily Iowan.