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Bill Sackter

Extend the Dream Foundation


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."
  2. Location: 730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City
  3. Uptown Bill's E-Commerce Center - an EDF owned building housing an upscale antique store, a training center for teaching persons with disabilities how to buy and sell on the Internet, a shipping and handling service, and a music store.
  4. Location: 2203 F Street, Iowa City
  5. Mick's Workshop - a building, located across the street from the E-Commerce Center, housing a furniture refinishing and small home repair.
  6. Location: 2218 F Street, Iowa City
  7. Sackter House Media Productions - 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.
  8. Location: 730 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City(A business in the Coffee House)
  9. The Sackter House - a privately client owned house housing three owners associated with Uptown Bill's Projects.

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:
Mercedes Bern-Klug, Chair
Luke Downes, Treasurer
Mitch Rotman
Gene Matthews
Matt Olson
Barbara Bolton
Jasmine Mangrum

Tom Gilsenan is executive director of the Extend the Dream Foundationp>