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Press Release

January 15, 2015

Kathleen Rapp
Vice President, Grants & Initiatives

Iowa West Foundation Announces $5.2 Million in Grants to Conclude 2014 Grant Making

(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation, headquartered in Council Bluffs (Pottawattamie County, IA), announced that its board awarded more than $5.2 million in grants to close out 2014. Grants will assist 22 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with funding for projects and programs that directly impact southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Highlights include:

The Christian Home Association—Children’s Square U.S.A. received $2.7 million to renovate their academic center and build three residential cottages promoting more effective treatment for children with behavioral challenges.

“We are truly appreciative of the grant from the Iowa West Foundation, said Carol Wood, President and CEO of Children’s Square. “The gift will support behavioral health treatment for the most vulnerable members of our community—children.”

Pete Tulipana, Iowa West Foundation’s President and CEO, noted “Mental health is a focus area specifically called out in our strategic plan. Children’s Square is significant to our community and to our mental health infrastructure regionally. The Foundation board felt that it was an essential investment in healthy families.”

In addition to Children’s Square, children and families were at the heart of several other funded fourth quarter grants. Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Midlands received $40,000 to fund its southwest Iowa coordinator responsible for recruiting adult mentors or “Bigs” for children ages 7-18 facing adversity who reside in Pottawattamie or Mills Counties.

Also funded was the Housing and Emergency Assistance Taskforce (HEAT) 2015, a collaboration between Heartland Family Service, Interfaith Response, West Central Community Action and Connections Area Agency on Aging. HEAT received $170,000 to provide emergency energy and housing assistance to low-income families, the homeless or near homeless in Council Bluffs.

Finally, several organizations and government agencies received grants in support of place-making. Place-making is the name given to projects funded by the Foundation that create and support vibrant communities where people want to live and businesses want to locate. The City of Glenwood received $50,000 for an addition of a “lazy river” to its Charles E. Lakin Aquatic Center. Additionally, the City of Council Bluffs received $115,000 to renovate two parks—adding a splash pad attraction to Fairmount Park and rehabilitating the Broadway Park’s Trolley Building. 

As a reminder, Iowa West Foundation recently changed its grant cycles. The next opportunity to apply for funding will begin February 1. Interested organizations should visit the Foundation’s website at to learn more about the application process.

Funding for the Foundation’s grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA), which receives contracted license fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA 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.

For more information about the Foundation’s priority focus areas, its impact on the community or applying for grant funding, organizations can visit the Foundation’s website or contact Deb Debbaut, Director, Grants Administration, at 712-309-3003. 

(A listing of grant recipients and their projects follows for your reference.)

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2014 Fourth Quarter Grants:

African Culture Connection
After-school and summer residency program focused on African history, culture and the arts

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands
Community-based mentoring for children in Mills and Pottawattamie County

Bluffs Arts Council
General operating support 2015

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands
General operating support for Council Bluffs club

Children's Square U.S.A.
Capital campaign for new residential cottages and academic center upgrade

City of Carter Lake (IA)
Construction of walking/running track

City of Council Bluffs
Transformation of historic trolley building into a park shelter

Operating support to city arena

Development of splash pad and plaza at Fairmount Park

Support of events for 2015 LoessFest at River's Edge Park

City of Glenwood (IA)
Lazy River feature for the Charles E. Lakin Aquatic Center

College of Saint Mary
Summer academy for Latina high school students in Pottawattamie County

Heartland Family Service
Children's Center to address the behavioral health needs of children in our community $100,000

HEAT 2015 - housing and emergency assistance for residents and families in Pottawattamie County

Iowa JAG, Inc.
Dropout prevention programs in Council Bluffs schools

Iowa Newspaper Foundation
Newspapers in southwest Iowa school libraries

Iowa West Foundation Initiative
Iowa West Opportunity Scholarship Program for first generation college students administered by the Iowa College Foundation

Malvern Area Betterment Association
Main Street revitalization project in Malvern (IA)

Mills County (IA) Public Health
"Family Matters" - drug abuse recovery projects

Omaha Botanical Gardens
Railroad Days 2015 - a collaborative regional celebration

Omaha Children's Museum
Outreach and field trip programs and subsidized memberships for students in Pottawattamie County schools

Omaha Symphony Association
"Adventures in Music" program for southwest Iowa students and teachers,
grades K-12

Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors
CITIES program to support rural economic development

Sons and Daughters of Imogene, Inc.
Improvement to the baseball complex in Imogene (IA)

Ted E. Bear Hollow, Inc.
Outreach/grieving services in local area schools

The Omaha Community Foundation
Nonprofit capacity building initiative for local nonprofits

United Way of the Midlands
Human services programs in the region

TOTAL: $5,249,188

OUR VISION is a community where families choose to
live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its
quality of life and standard of living.

Iowa West Foundation    |    25 Main Place, Suite 550    |    Council Bluffs, Iowa    |    712-309-3000