The Daily NonPareil reports officials of the Iowa West Foundation, headquartered in Council Bluffs, have announced the awarding of nearly $4.3 million in grants for the fourth quarter of 2013. The grants will be used to assist 32 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with funding for area projects, especially in the areas of economic development and education.
The largest grant award is for the creation and operation of Advance Southwest Iowa, a partnership with the Greater Omaha Economic Development. Advance Southwest Iowa isa unique public-private partnership including the city of Council Bluffs, the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, the Iowa West Foundation, Pottawattamie County and the Western Iowa Development Association. Iowa West’s grant is for $2.2 million over the next five years.
In the area of education, the Iowa West Foundation says it will continue to fund two of its own initiatives, which were initially announced in 2009 – the Iowa West Opportunity Scholarship Program and the College Access Program (CAP). The 2014 scholarships will be funded with $495,000 and CAP with $345,000. Both programs are designed to assist local high school students who might not otherwise go to college.
There are 25 scholarships available for seniors currently attending Pottawattamie County high schools. The scholarships are for $16,000, paid over four years. The program is administered by the Iowa College Foundation. Additional information on the criteria for the program and how to apply for Iowa West Opportunity Scholarships is available at www.iowawestfoundation.org.
Funding for the foundation’s grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contracted license fees from Council Bluffs’ casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. The Iowa West Racing Association distributes funds to the Iowa West Foundation – an independent 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS code. The foundation makes grants throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.
Requests for Iowa West grant applications for the second quarter of 2014 will be taken beginning March 1 and will be accepted through April 1. Completed applications will be due April 15. The deadline to request applications for the first quarter has passed. For more information including deadlines, interested organizations may visit the foundation’s website at www.iowawestfoundation.org or contact Deb Debbaut, director of grants administration, at (712) 309-3003. Guidelines and procedures can be viewed on the website, and applicants can apply online.
Here is the partial list of grant recipients for the 4th quarter:
• Center for the Advancement of Self-Sufficiency, technology upgrades for Atlantic facility serving the disabled, $15,000
• City of Corning, computers for patrons and staff at library, $1,700
• City of Red Oak, implementation of downtown revitalization plan, $50,000
• Food Bank for the Heartland, “Weekend Food for Kids” in Omaha metro area, $15,000
• Green Hills Area Education Agency, planning for a career technical institute in southwest Iowa, $50,000
• Indian Creek Historical Society and Museum, restoration of barn for museum near Emerson, $10,000
• Southwest Iowa Nature Trails Inc., maintenance equipment for the Wabash Trace, $4,300
• The Danish Immigrant Museum, Curatorial Center addition with “green roof” at museum in Elk Horn, $50,000
• The Nature Conservancy, fire management education for the Loess Hills of western Iowa, $10,000