Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) announces an office move to a larger space in northeast Davenport.  After 15 years at 130 West 5th Street in Davenport, BBBS is relocating its headquarters to 3247 35th Street Court off Elmore and Kimberly Road in Davenport.  The move will be effective August 15th. Mel Foster Co., a longtime supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, finalized an agreement with the non-profit that will roughly double the current square footage used by BBBS.

“Our growth and program innovation has been exciting,” stated Travis Guy, Chairperson of the BBBS Board of Directors, “It’s important to strategically position our organization for the future, which means we have the capacity and resources to meet the changing needs of the children and families in our community”  Guy continued, “this is a unique opportunity from Mel Foster Co. that creates the space and financial stability for our operations to thrive for years to come.”

Lynsey Engels, President, Real Estate Brokerage, explains how this partnership with BBBS fits with Mel Foster Co.’s commitment to serving the Quad Cities, “We are thrilled to announce this long-term partnership the same year we are celebrating our 100-year anniversary.  Giving back to our community has been so important to the longevity of the company and BBBS is an organization that many of our staff, producers and agents are passionate about as well. We’re so proud to help BBBS meet their space needs so they can focus on their mission of supporting children and families.”

The new space will offer interview/training rooms for volunteer, children and family enrollments, ample parking for visitors and guests, expanded capacity for board, committee and community meetings, mentor and parent orientations, trainings, and a new resource/collaboration room with support materials and space for match-related functions.

Jay Justin, President & CEO of BBBS was also excited to announce that BBBS has received a lead gift of $100,000 from John and Bonnie Leinart for the design and renovation of the new space.  John has served on the board of directors for the organization for more than 22 years.  John, Bonnie, and their children have also served as Bigs in the program.  The Leinart gift was quickly supported by a $25,000 grant from the donor advised fund of the Quad Cities Community Foundation by Hunt and Diane Harris, another long-term supporter of the organization.  These two gifts will serve as lead gifts toward a campaign to raise $250,000 for the buildout.  “This two-pronged approach will give us the physical and financial capacity to grow our impact and sustain our programming for many years to come,” stated Justin,

More than 20 area contractors and suppliers are involved in the renovation project.  Estes Construction is donating General Contractor and Design services for the project.  “We are extremely proud to be a part of this project and are thankful for the positive response we have received from the building community to make this project happen,” stated Jim Kiesey, Director of Operation for Estes Construction.  Other contractors involved include Petersen Plumbing, Allied Construction, Tri-City Electric, Hornbuckle Heating and Air, Paragon Commercial Interiors, Russell Construction and several others. 

“This move and these gifts represent another significant milestone for our organization as we continue our work to ensure every child can succeed and thrive in life.  We are thankful to Mel Foster Co. for their long-term commitment, the Leinart and Harris families for their generosity with their lead gifts, and the building community for stepping up and helping with the renovation.  It is not possible without our community partners dedicating their resources, time and talent to serving our youth mentoring in our community and we are thrilled to see their gift impact more children well into the future,” added Guy.

Three CEO’s in the Company’s 100 Years

The Quad Cities looks very different than it did 100 years ago when Mel Foster Co. was founded. Davenport had about half as many residents as it does today, and Eldridge was about 40 years away from any significant population growth to name a few. Only three people have served as Mel Foster Co.’s president and CEO over the last 100 years, and each has left his mark on commercial and residential real estate in the Quad Cities.

Mel Foster Sr.

Mel Foster, Sr. opened a one-person, one-room real estate operation in 1921. He built the company’s first house on Telegraph Road in Davenport in 1927. That home was the first of thousands that the company would build as it created new neighborhoods in both Iowa and Illinois.

By 1936, Mel Foster Co. real estate offices were in Davenport, Moline and Rock Island, and an insurance division was opened. Mel Foster, Sr. was the consummate city planner and believed that industry would locate where housing was readily available. To that end, Mel Foster Co. successfully negotiated major industrial site purchases in the Quad Cities, including International Harvester, Caterpillar, 3-M, Quad Cities Generating Station in Cordova and Alcoa (now Arconic). Mel Foster Co. developed subdivisions that offered affordable homes to the families who worked at these businesses.

Mel Foster Jr.

Under the direction of Mel Foster, Jr., the company continued its tradition of family leadership and negotiated for major industrial sites including John Deere Davenport Works, developed prime office space, and created significant downtown and suburban developments.

Rob Fick became only the third president and CEO of Mel Foster Co. in 1991. Mel Foster, Jr. hired him in 1982 as vice president of Mel Foster Co. Properties. His first assignment was the development of a residential subdivision north of Crow Valley Golf Course. This was just the first of many subdivisions developed by Fick.  Over the last 40 years, Fick and Mel Foster Jr have purchased 22 farms, and developed over 100 subdivisions with 2,100 lots.

Rob Fick, CEO & President
Robert C. Fick

Fick developed Century Heights in Bettendorf, Townsend Farm in Eldridge and Maple Leaf Heights in Geneseo, just three of the many Mel Foster Co. neighborhoods that provide families with new housing. Under Fick’s leadership, the company continues to add more lots to existing subdivisions and explore new opportunities to bring housing to areas experiencing population growth.

Also, during this time, large sections of land along Davenport’s 53rd Street and Elmore Avenue corridor were developed by Mel Foster Co. and transformed into a bustling commercial hub. There is little doubt about Mel Foster Co.’s impact on the Quad Cities in the last 100 years.

The Foster family name is synonymous with real estate, and the company has always operated as a family business. Mel Foster III started his career in commercial real estate in 1981 when he joined his father in the family business. He served as vice-president of Mel Foster Co. Properties Inc. of Iowa and Illinois until his retirement in 2010. Today, Rob Fick is joined in the family business by his four children. Son Ryan is vice-president of Mel Foster Properties, Kristi is a residential Realtor®, and Julie works in corporate relations. Daughter Lynsey serves as president of the real estate brokerage division, which today has eight residential office locations and one commercial location.

Area Promotion June 2018

A Father’s Day Tradition

Take time to indulge in the many Quad City area events in June.

Spend quality time with dad at one of the many events scheduled this month.

Kickin’ It Classic Rock with Say Days Ago at Bent River Brewery in Rock Island

June 8, 7am-10pm

Stock Car Races at Mississippi Fairgrounds in Davenport

June 8, 15, 22, 29; 6:30-10:30pm

Pickers Paradise Street Sale in East Moline

June 9; 7:30am-2:30pm

Quad Cities Triathalon at West Lake Park in Davenport

June 16′ 7am

Ride the River Father’s Day Bike Event starting in Bettendorf

June 17; 7am-3:30pm

Tour de CHC Cycling Event starting in Moline

June 30; 7am-10am

River Bandits Home Baseball Games in Davenport

June 12-17, 21-27

See schedule for specific dates and times

Microbrew Mile Race and Festival in Moline

June 16; 2pm

Planet Funk Con – Comicon Convention at Tax Slayer in Moline

June 22 at 9:00pm

June 23 at 6:30pm

March straight into excitement in the QCA this month!

Gather your friends and family for these fun events.

Explorers/Explorers Jr: Under Construction: Bridges at Putnam Museum in Davenport

Saturday, March 3; 9am – 11am

Geneseo Kiwanis Pancakes Day at Moose Lodge

Sunday, March 4 ; 7 am – 1 pm

Wine with Einstein at the German Heritage Center in Davenport

Saturday, March 10;  6pm – 7:30pm

St. Patrick’s Day Party at the Mississippi Valley Fair Grounds

March 16

Tinsley Ellis at the Redstone Room in Davenport

Friday, March 16; 8pm

St. Patrick Society Grand Parade starting in Rock Island and ending in Davenport

Saturday, March 17; 11:30am       

Saturday Storytime: Let’s Fly a Kite at the Fairmount Library in Davenport

Saturday, March 24; 10am

2018 Polar Plunge at Wick’s Lake in Rock Island

Sunday, March 25; 2pm

The Davenport Police Department’s New “Lock It Up Initiative”

Protect from theft

The Quad Cities area is experiencing an increase in vehicular theft. Follow these tips from the Davenport Police Department to help reduce the chances of becoming a victim of car theft.

  1. Always lock your vehicle when left unattended. Even on your driveway or in the garage.
  2. Never leave keys in your vehicle or in the ignition. Do not hide the keys or fob in your vehicle.
  3. Do not leave any valuables inside your vehicle, especially in plain view. Electronic devices, cell phones, laptop computers, cameras, GPS devices and eyeglasses/sunglasses are small and easily concealable items that are often left inside vehicles and stolen.
  4. Never leave firearms inside your vehicle.
  5. Do not leave vehicle titles, identification items or financial documents such as your driver’s license, social security card, checkbook or credit cards inside your vehicle.
  6. Never leave your garage door opener in the vehicle when parked outside your residence without locking your car doors. A thief can easily open your garage door and gain entry right into your home through an attached and unlocked door.
  7. If you are going to warm or cool your vehicle before getting into it, consider investing in a remote starter.

Additional Information:

  1. Most stolen vehicles have been easy targets, such as a car running unattended or a car with unlocked doors with keys in it.
  2. Vehicle thefts are occurring throughout our communities in ALL neighborhoods from driveways, unlocked garages, open garage doors, convenience stores and gas stations.
  3. The most prevalent age group for the suspects of stolen vehicles is 12-18 years of age. The youngest was 11.
  4. Once having possession of a stolen vehicle, suspects are driving recklessly, endangering lives and committing thefts and burglaries. Some have been involved in shootings, committing hit and run crashes and fleeing from police.
  5. When recovered, many stolen vehicles are found to have significant damage from crashes.

Mel Foster Insurance and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation Provide Matching Grants

MF INSURANCE LOGOMel Foster Insurance and The Selective Insurance Group Foundation joined forces to support the positive efforts of Jordan’s Joy through a $500 grant. The Selective Insurance Group Foundation is a philanthropic affiliate of Selective Insurance Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SIGI).

“Mel Foster Insurance wants to be a positive force in the communities we serve,” said Marc Engels, President, Mel Foster Insurance.  “Through combined efforts with partners like The Selective Insurance Group, we have an opportunity to make a difference in children and their families suffering from life threatening illnesses.”

The grant represents a $500 donation from Mel Foster Insurance, matched by a $500 grant from The Selective Insurance Group Foundation. The grant will help Jordan’s Joy’s efforts to help bring joy and comfort to families battling life threatening and rare diseases.

“At Selective, Response is everything®… and this includes responding to the communities where we live and work to give back and help those in need. Together with Mel Foster Insurance, we are proud to support Jordan’s Joy and its efforts to make a difference in the community,” said Chuck Musilli, Senior Vice President, Distribution Strategies, Selective.

Color the Quads Announces 2016 Charity Recipients


Color the Quads Announces 2016 Charity Recipients
Color the Quads Announces 2016 Charity Recipients

The Mel Foster Co. Color the Quads committee is pleased to announce the charity recipients for the fourth and final Color the Quads race to be held on Saturday, May 21, 2016. The 2016 charities are Jordan’s Joy, NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Greater Mississippi Valley, and YMCA for Camp Abe Lincoln and Youth Solutions Programs. In 2015, the Color the Quads event raised over $73,000 that was distributed to local charities, 3 main charities and 13 other charities, and a similar goal is in place for fundraising in 2016.

Michelle McMullen with Jordan’s Joy said, “Jordan’s Joy is extremely honored to have been selected as a 2016 Color the Quads charity recipient. Jordan’s Joy supports families battling life-threatening illness or facing life-altering events by filling funding gaps for comfort items, meals, gas cards, or medical bills that are not traditionally covered by other charitable sources. We are thrilled to be involved in one of the area’s premier events and look forward to our partnership in 2016!”
“We are grateful that Mel Foster agents and employees continue to support NAMI outreach efforts. Funds raised through Color the Quads will be used to bring even more education to Quad Cities families to effectively support a loved one living with a serious mental health condition,” said Michael Freda, board president, NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley.

“Our community and our YMCA is made healthier and stronger by the volunteers who bring together great people with events like Color The Quads,” said YMCA CEO Brad Martell. “Color The Quads helps more kids, families, adults and seniors have access to healthy programs at the Y.”

Lynsey Engels, president of Mel Foster Co. Brokerage Division and Color the Quads committee chair, said, “We are thrilled to partner with three amazing charities on this colorful community event.  We look forward to giving the participants another fun filled day with an exciting race course for 2016!”

The 2016 Color the Quads 5K will take place on Saturday, May 21 near Cumberland Square at 2300 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa. Registration fees and sign up date will be announced before the end of this year. Stay tuned at for more information.

About Mel Foster Co. Inc.

Mel Foster Co. is a recognized leader for real estate and insurance. Mel Foster Co. Real Estate specializes in residential sales and offers services for a broader spectrum of property transactions including commercial, farm and land, land development and management, relocation and new construction. Founded in 1921, it is one of Iowa’s largest independently owned real estate companies. Mel Foster Insurance was founded in 1932 and represents over 25 insurance carriers and offers coverage for residential and commercial clients.

About Jordan’s Joy

Jordan’s Joy was established in memory of Jordan Schmidt.  Jordan was a true hero that passed away at the age of 15 from a rare and aggressive form of cancer.  Though he faced tough battles, his spirit and positive attitude never wavered, and he was an inspiration to all that knew him. The purpose of Jordan’s Joy is to fill the void that a Quad City family may have while battling life-threatening illnesses that cannot be met by other charitable organizations. 100% of the funds raised by Jordan’s Joy stay in the Quad Cities and go to local families, as all operating expenses are donated by a local business.

About NAMI Greater Mississippi Valley

One in 10 children and one in four adults experience a serious mental health condition in any given year. This grassroots organization is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, providing support, education and advocacy to individuals and families living with mental illness. It serves residents in Muscatine, Clinton, Scott Counties in Iowa and Mercer, Henry, Rock Island Counties in Illinois.

About the Scott County Family Y

The Scott County Family Y has been serving Eastern Iowa since 1858. We build a stronger community through Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility. Today, we serve 1 out of 3 people in Scott County.


Color the Quads Announces 2015 Charity Recipients

2015 Charity Recipients Announced
2015 Charity Recipients Announced

Mel Foster Co. Color the Quads is pleased to announce the charity recipients for the third annual Color the Quads race to be held on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Color the Quads donated proceeds to three local charities this year, and in 2015, three local charities will again benefit from the race proceeds.  The 2015 charities are Bethany for Children & Families, Gigi’s Playhouse and Hand-in-Hand.

Bill Steinhauser, Bethany for Children & Families President/CEO said, “Bethany for Children & Families is deeply honored to be chosen by Mel Foster Co. as one of the charities to benefit from the 2015 Color the Quads race event. The funds raised by Color the Quads will support the agency’s mission to keep children safe, strengthen families, and build healthy communities.”

“GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities is honored to partner with Mel Foster Co.’s Color the Quads in 2015.  GiGi’s Playhouse is all about family, community, and positive energy and the same can be said for this one-of-a-kind Quad Cities event.  We look forward to a wonderful year with the Color the Quads Team,” said Michelle Hornbuckle Hughes, Site Manager of Gigi’s Playhouse – Quad Cities.

“Hand In Hand’s hours of service for school age children and young adults with disabilities grew by 25% last year.   Being selected by Mel Foster’s Color of the Quads means we can respond to the needs of these Quad City families”, added Mark Smith, CEO of Hand-in-Hand.

Lynsey Engels, President of Mel Foster Co. Brokerage Division and Color the Quads Committee Chair, said, “We are thrilled to partner again with three wonderful charities on this super event.  We look forward to some new exciting twists for 2015 as planning is already under way!”

The 2015 Color the Quads 5K will take place on Saturday, May 30 near Cumberland Square at 2300 Spruce Hills Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa. Registration fees and sign up date will be announced before the end of this year. Stay tuned at for more information.

About Mel Foster Co. Inc.

Mel Foster Co. is a recognized leader for real estate and insurance. Mel Foster Co. Real Estate specializes in residential sales and offers services for a broader spectrum of property transactions including commercial, farm and land, land development and management, relocation and new construction. Founded in 1921, it is one of Iowa’s largest independently owned real estate companies. Mel Foster Insurance was founded in 1932 and represents over 25 insurance carriers and offers coverage for residential and commercial clients. Visit for more information.

GiGi’s Playhouse – Quad Cities

GiGi’s Playhouse is an established series of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers.  Serving children and adults of all ages, each Playhouse provides educational and therapeutic programs at no charge to families; and in a format that individuals with Down syndrome learn best.  All programs aim to maximize self-confidence and empower individuals to achieve their greatest potential!  GiGi’s Playhouse programs motivate our participants to give their “Best of All” and each Playhouse makes a lifetime commitment to their families. For more information about the Gigi’s Playhouse, visit

About Bethany for Children & Families  

Bethany for Children & Families is a non-profit child welfare and social services agency that meets the critical needs of children, families, and individuals. Services include adoption, foster care, child welfare, counseling and therapy, education, transitional housing for homeless youth and families, and dental care for children. The agency has served children in the Quad City community since 1899. For more information about Bethany for Children & Families, visit 

About Hand-in-Hand

Hand In Hand serves children and young adults, including those with disabilities. We provide programs such as childcare, summer camps, teen programs, a bowling league and even an adapted Girl Scout Troop.  As Hand In Hand offers activities for individuals with disabilities, we also provide critical support for their families so they can be successful at work and at home.  Hand In Hand also has a growing number of volunteer opportunities, especially for young adults in our community.  These young adults not only assist our Hand In Hand participants, but they also create an inclusive experience where typical students and individuals with disabilities interact in a positive way. Visit for more information about Hand In Hand.


Color The Quads Raises $60,000 For Local Charities

Mel Foster Co.’s Color the Quads raised $60,000 for local charities during its second annual colorful run on May 31 in Bettendorf, Iowa. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the second Color the Quads event went to Child Abuse Council, March of Dimes of the Mississippi Valley  and Rick’s House of Hope. Each organization will receive $20,000, thanks to the generosity of over 2,000 participants, 300 children racers and sponsors.

“With one in nine babies born premature in the Quad City area, The March of Dimes of Mississippi Valley wants to thank Mel Foster Co. employees for choosing us a charity of Choice for this year’s Color Run. The money raised will help us get closer to the day when all babies are born healthy,” stated Deena Bradford, Mississippi Valley Division Director of March of Dimes

“The Child Abuse Council was proud to be a charity partner for the Mel Foster Color the Quads. It was a fun and exciting experience for us.  It gave our board members, staff and volunteers an unique and energetic way to be engaged in an event; and we valued the increased awareness it brought to child abuse prevention,” mentioned Rondi Doyle, Director of Communications/Special Events.

“Rick’s House of Hope is honored to be part of a fun, colorful event and grateful to be named as a charity recipient. We thank Mel Foster, Co., the sponsors, runners and volunteers, who make this race great. The funds received make our mission possible, to ensure the needs of grieving and traumatized children are not overlooked,” said Emily Gordon, Executive Director of Rick’s House of Hope

The event’s Color Extraordinaire, Color Party, Kid’s Color Dash, Color Explosion and Color Burst sponsors include; Mel Foster Co., XPAC, Tri-City Electric, Eye Surgeons Associates, Orthopaedic Specialists, Gomez May LLP, Vollertsen, Britt & Gorsline P.C., Smart Toyota of the Quad Cities, Active Endeavors, Build To Suit, Enviromark, Hawkeye Paving Corp., Hy-Vee, KISS-FM, KWQC, Mickle Communications, Pear Advertising, Pella Windows & Doors, Quad-City Times, Radon Solutions, Russell, TMI – Total Maintenance Inc., Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., and

“We were thrilled once again at the support of our sponsors and this community.  The only way to pull an event like this off is because of a collaborative effort by local businesses and individual race participants who see the value in giving back to the community we live and work in,” said Lynsey Engels, President, Real Estate Brokerage for Mel Foster Co.

Mel Foster Co. plans to hold Color the Quads again in 2015 on May 30. For future event updates, go to or Facebook at

About Mel Foster Co. Inc.

Mel Foster Co. is a recognized leader for real estate and insurance. Mel Foster Co. Real Estate specializes in residential sales and offers services for a broader spectrum of property transactions including commercial, farm and land, land development and management, relocation and new construction. Founded in 1921, it is one of Iowa’s largest independently owned real estate companies. Mel Foster Insurance was founded in 1932 and represents over 25 insurance carriers and offers coverage for residential and commercial clients. Visit for more information.Color the Quads

About Child Abuse Council

The Child Abuse Council is a regional, non-profit agency with over 36 years experience providing child abuse prevention, education and treatment programs for children and families in the bi-state metropolitan area and surrounding communities. Our goals for every child served are (1) a safe and nurturing home; (2) a secure parent-child relationship; and (3) an environment supporting successful growth and development.  For more information about the Child Abuse Council, visit

About March of Dimes – Mississippi Valley Division

Founded in 1938, the March of Dimes funds programs of research, community services, education, and advocacy to save babies and in 2003 launched a campaign to address the increasing rate of premature birth.  March of Dimes of the Mississippi Valley is the local division of March of Dimes which is a voluntary health agency whose mission is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For more information, visit the March of Dimes Web site at or its Spanish language Web site at

About Rick’s House of Hope
Rick’s House of Hope serves children and their families in the Quad Cities who are coping with trauma or loss from the death of a loved one, divorce or other changes in the family. Children participate in age appropriate and developmentally appropriate groups with other children in similar situations combining recreation, play and art as they work through difficult issues. They served over 500 children last year.


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