After Death, DeWitt Woman Donates to Community Organizations

DEWITT, Iowa  --  A DeWitt woman spent her life helping others, and her legacy will live on even after her death.

John David of WQAD found out how the woman is continuing to support the organizations that helped support her.

"Donna was a very special and giving person, and I think she taught us all how to be a better version of ourselves."

Donna Helble, 68, died in March, but the longtime educator's mission at Winona State University carries on. Bidders, friends, and the curious filed into Central DeWitt High to make Donna's final wish come true at a unique auction.

Donna's estate is selling 381 acres of high quality farmland and donating the proceeds to more than a dozen organizations close to her heart.

"Her mom always said, 'do the right thing,' and that's what she always did," said Roger Hill of DeWitt Bank & Trust Co.

Auctioneer Jared Chambers calls the bids on four farm tracts.

"We just miss her laugh, miss her phone calls, always there as a friend, wonderful mentor for people," said Donna's friend Debbie Greenwood.

Four bidders purchased everything in about 15 minutes, and the auction earned more than $4.7 million dollars. The money will help build an education wing at Simpson College.

"Her wonderful support through the years through her estate is making an amazing impact," said Christopher Goodale, with the college.

Even after the final gavel, Donna is still contributing to her Iowa roots.

"I think she would just be amazed at the legacy that she's able to leave through her family that's going to touch so many other families."

Donna's donations will help more than a dozen groups and schools in Iowa and Minnesota.