Kinds: High School

Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education

Year Founded 2017
At A Glance
  • In Memory of Allison Cress
  • Supports Hempstead High School Art in Dubuque, IA
  • Permanently Endowed Fund
About Us

The Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education empowers students in further developing their creativity and artistic skills by supporting the art education program at Hempstead High School.

Allison truly appreciated art; it was her lens into the world. Art brought together her interest in storytelling, history, sociology, and psychology. Her enduring commitment to art is reflected through the many notebooks, sketchbooks, paintings, and art pieces she created and exhibited.

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Beyond producing her own work, Allison took pride in seeing aspiring artists grow. She was, at heart, an educator who was always willing to share her skills and passion with fellow artists.

Her teacher, Ms. Sara Hilby, inspired Allison to reach for her utmost potential. She challenged Allison to not only be a great artist but also a great student. Ms. Hilbys name was mentioned weekly if not daily at our house—a name that prompted our joy. We dedicate this endowment to support art education in Allisons honor and to support wonderful art teachers like Ms. Hilby in fostering creativity and developing skills in aspiring artists. Best, Rafic and Holly.


Allison Cress left her mark on the world as a cherished family member, friend, and talented artist. She passed away from her battle with cancer two days after graduating from Hempstead High School. Throughout her battle, Allison remained positive and steal.

Success Story

Two thumbs up! Allison’s trademark gesture was always complemented by a warm smile. I would come to know this gesture all too well as I often returned the gesture in kind. The gesture established a bond that went beyond words. In essence, it expressed Allison’s care, excitement and enthusiasm. You could see these characteristics reflected in her relationships. She had many relationships… She was an artist, a friend, sister, cousin, daughter, granddaughter, niece, and an author. She cherished and maintained her relationships. You did not have to change to fit in. She welcomed everyone with Two Thumbs Up! Allison welcomed me into her life six years ago. Although I am not an artist, she helped me get started on my own masterpiece with her brush strokes of wisdom, care, ingenuity and love. This masterpiece, my life, will be a work in progress until I take my last breath. Allison’s love and spirit will be a primary focal point of that masterpiece. Allison’s passing is not the end… It is the beginning for Allison to have new friends, admirers, and beneficiaries in life; namely those who read her story and follow her ethics of perseverance, positivism and achievement. Allison’s legendary fight with Cancer ended with success as it never touched her spirit. Her spirit and life now reside in our hearts. Life is not merely a function of time. It is a function of appreciation and contentment, love and support, care, grace and faith. Allison’s time with us embraced those qualities. Her life continues on in all that we do. She left us with a beautiful approach to life One to embrace and celebrate with Two Thumbs Up! -Rafic Sinno