(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved more than $5 million in grants and initiatives funding to 19 nonprofit organizations and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.
Among the recipients was the City of Council Bluffs, which received a $100,000 grant for the city’s newly unveiled “UN” image campaign, with a tagline of “Unlike anywhere else. On purpose.” The city also received $85,000 toward the Council Bluffs Fire Department Bell Tower project, which will place one of the city’s oldest artifacts, a centennial fire bell from 1876, on prominent display for the public to enjoy. Last but not least, the City, in partnerships with the Council Bluffs Community School District received $150,000 for phase three of the BLink Wi-Fi initiative, which will expand the city’s free Wi-Fi footprint in Council Bluffs further east of N. 16th Street to the existing downtown Wi-Fi zone along 100 Block of West Broadway.
“These projects all have the same thing in common in that they make Council Bluffs a more desirable and attractive place to live, work and play,” said Pete Tulipana, President, and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “Place-making is all about preserving our history, taking pride in our community, and giving people an outlet to share all the positive things happening here in Council Bluffs.”
Per its focus on healthy families, the Foundation awarded a $70,000 grant to Connections Area Agency on Aging to ensure homebound senior citizens in Pottawattamie County could continue or begin to receive “Meals on Wheels.” The program had been experiencing a funding shortfall causing food-insecure individuals to be placed on a waiting list. The Iowa West Foundation grant will ensure a total of 36,348 hot and frozen, nutritionally-balanced meals are delivered to 228 individuals, leaving no one on a waiting list.
“The program is so important to keeping our older residents independent, healthy, and thriving in the environment of their choice,” said Barb Morrison, President, and CEO of Connections Area Agency on Aging. “The funding from the Iowa West Foundation will allow us to continue to serve all of the older individuals who meet our criteria and are in need of a meal.”
El Centro Latino of Council Bluffs also received $75,000 for general operating support for the third year in a row to continue to build and expand its infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing Latino community. Research at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Office of Latino/Latin American Studies showed the only population growth within Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County is at present and will be for the foreseeable future due to the Latino population.
“The Foundation seeks to help create the necessary social and educational infrastructure that will allow the Latino community to flourish and develop into an integrated facet of southwest Iowa,” said Kathleen Rapp, Vice President of Grants and Initiatives for the Iowa West Foundation. “Over the last two and a half years, we have worked closely with El Centro Latino to nurture and grow its organizational structure to build the organization’s capacity to meet the needs of the Latino community. It is incumbent upon the community to be responsive to and support the needs of a growing and vital constituency.”
The LOI period for Cycle 3 is currently open and will close on June 15. Applications are due July 15. Due to the transition to three cycles from four in late 2014, the Foundation has experienced internal scheduling challenges around the grant application process, As a result, effective October 1, 2016, grant application and initiative decisions will now be made in February (Cycle 1), June (Cycle 2) and October (Cycle 3). This is a change from the previous January/May/September decision-making schedule. Please see the Grantmaking section of the website for more information.
About the Iowa West Foundation
The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $300 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program. Funding for the grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contractual fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA is the license sponsor for Ameristar and Harrah’s and the license holder for Horseshoe-Bluffs Run. The Foundation targets resources into programs and projects that focus on economic development, education, placemaking and healthy families.
2016 Cycle 2 Grants and Initiatives
Audubon Community Cinema
The Rose Movie Theater Renovation
Season Seven: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker & Momentum 7
Catholic Charities Diocese of Des Moines
Phoenix House Remodel
General Operating Support
City of Council Bluffs
CBFD Bell Tower Project
UNLeash CB image campaign
Council Bluffs Community School District
BLink Wi-Fi Phase III
Connections Area Agency on Aging
“Meals on Wheels”
Friends of the Union Pacific Museum
“Working on the Railroad” Exhibit
Habitat for Humanity of Council Bluffs
Neighborhood Network, Year 3
Iowa Newspaper Foundation
Southwest Iowa Newspapers in Education Program
Iowa West Foundation initiative
FieldhouseUSA at the Mid-America Center
Joslyn Art Museum
Kent Bellows Mentoring Program for southwest Iowa Students
Mimran Event Management, Inc.
USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships
Omaha Theater Company
School Field Trips for Council Bluffs First-Graders
Omaha Zoological Society
Education and Exploration Center
Pottawattamie County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Network
General Operating Support
Youth Philanthropy, Grantmaking & Community Networking
Santa Monica, Inc.
Treatment/Halfway House for Iowa Women
Wings of Hope Cancer Support Center
I-Thrive, a Support Project for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers
Youth Emergency Services
Street Outreach Services in Council Bluffs
Director of Communications