July 2010 was a difficult time for many people at Lake Delhi, including Mary Jo McDermott of Dubuque. That's when the dam breached, causing significant damage to the lake and properties along the lake.
She went to the lake as a child. Her parents owned a cabin there since before World War II.
McDermott's son bought the family property and she and her husband bought a place next to it.
"We have a long family history here. We love this place," Mary Jo McDermott said.
McDermott isn't sitting around waiting for the lake and the properties to be rebuilt, she's doing her part to raise money.
She's selling copies of My Dam Cookbook.
"I was going through one of my women's magazines and this card fell out about putting together a cookbook to raise funds, and I thought what a good idea that would be," McDermott said.
She got an overwhelming response when she asked for recipe submissions from the ladies (and men) on the lake.
"The cookbook has 850 recipes, and they're all from people who live on the lake," she said.
The graphic design was done by one of her son's friends who now lives in Des Moines.
And the cookbook is published in Waverly. Every dollar raised goes to rebuilding Lake Delhi.
"We've raised a lot of money privately. Since March of last year, our association has raised $1.7 million dollars through the Community Fund to Rebuild Lake Delhi," McDermott said.
My Dam Cookbook alone has raised $37,000.
It's something McDermott never expected, and she doesn't know when it will end.
"Just when I think things are winding down I get another order for a case. So I'm not sure. As long as there's an interest we'll keep selling them," McDermott said.
One cookbook at a time, McDermott is helping and hoping to rebuild Lake Delhi.
To order a cookbook, you can email Mary Jo or call her at 563-556-6092.
Reporter: Danielle Wagner