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Student Entrepreneur Group Raises $2,400 for Uptown Bill's Small Mall

I-Envision, the Tippie College entrepreneurship organization, raised more than $2,400 for Uptown Bill's Small Mall in Iowa City at its 2nd Annual David Hensley Charity Golf Invitational on April 28.

The golf event, named for David Hensley, director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) at the University of Iowa, was held at Pleasant Valley Golf Course in Iowa City. Proceeds from the event went towards a new soda fountain at Wild Bill's Coffee Shop in Uptown Bill's.

I-Envision has received generous support from many local businesses for the golf event. Sponsors include: Alberhasky Eye Clinic, Active Endeavors, Big Ten Rentals, ConAgra, Dave Consulting, Hensley Ltd., hotelVetro, the Iowa City Sheraton, Iowa State Bank and Trust Company, JPEC, McDonald Optical, The Mansion, Parsons Properties, Pleasant Valley Golf Course, Technigraphics and Toyota of Iowa City. Approximately 135 people participated in the event.

Thomas Walz, UI professor emeritus, former director of the UI School of Social Work, and project director of Uptown Bill's Small Mall, spoke at a dinner following the tournament.

Throughout the school year, I-Envision helped disabled business owners at Uptown Bill's Small Mall become more self-sufficient and profitable, teaching them the basics of e-commerce -- how to buy, sell and trade on sites such as eBay and Amazon.

"Fifteen I-Envision students have been volunteering at Uptown Bill's since September, and the golf outing is another way to help," said Tyler Mackie, a UI junior who helped to organize the event.

Uptown Bill's Small Mall is named after Bill Sackter, a mentally handicapped man, who operated a coffee shop on the UI campus from 1974 to 1983 until he died at age 70. He became one of the best-known and loved Iowa City residents during the late 1970s and 1980s. Though involuntarily committed for 45 years to a state institution he entered at age seven, Bill returned to the community to become a "gift" to those who knew him. His remarkable life was memorialized in an Emmy award-winning movie "Bill" and a sequel "Bill on His Own!"


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