Skip to main content

Iowa West Foundation Awards $7.6 Million in Funding for Cycle 1 of 2015

June 26, 2015

(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors awarded nearly $8 million in grants and initiatives for the first cycle of 2015. Grants will assist 24 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with funding for projects and programs that directly impact southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska. Initiatives, which also target funds to the Foundation’s focus areas of economic development, education, placemaking and healthy families, are a proactive way for the Foundation to fund other priority projects, such as:

-The Council Bluffs Stadium and Athletic Complex – The Council Bluffs Community School District will receive $1 million for this cycle, bringing Iowa West Foundation’s total gift to the project to $3.5 million of the $15.2 million campaign.

“This stadium is a project that impacts the entire region,” said Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “It will create an amenity that will not only serve the school district and community but also be a place where we are proud to bring our neighbors, friends and others.”

The Iowa West Foundation board also committed $2 million to an “Arts and Culture District,” for which plans will be announced later this year.

“Representatives from the arts community asked the Foundation to lead the charge in developing this idea,” Tulipana said. “After an almost two-year planning process, it is coming to fruition and we are excited to share the details with the community in the coming months.”

Other major awards included a $1.1 million grant to the Green Hills Area Education Agency for support toward preschool programming in Pottawattamie County School Districts.

“I am happy to learn that the Iowa West Foundation will continue their strong support of early childhood education in Pottawattamie County,” said Lane Plugge, Chief Administrator for Green Hills AEA. “This grant allows more children to receive a high-quality pre-school experience. The true winners of this grant are Pottawattamie County children.”

Early childhood education was a major theme for the first grant cycle of 2015. The Audubon County Early Childhood organization received a $40,000 grant for programmatic support for the Children’s Nest Daycare Center, FAMILY, Inc. received $146,500 for general operating support and CB Reads!, a forthcoming early childhood literacy initiative in partnership with the United Way of the Midlands, received $225,000.

“Overwhelmingly, research tells us that birth to age eight is a critical time academically in every child’s life,” said Kathleen Rapp, Vice President of Grants and Initiatives for the Iowa West Foundation. “Many of the programs and initiatives funded in this cycle demonstrate the importance of helping families create a solid foundation for their kids- both for future academic and workplace success.”

Funding for the Pottawattamie Promise initiative launched earlier this year topped $2 million to project partners Iowa Western Community College Foundation and the Council Bluffs Community and Riverside school districts. The pilot program addresses barriers to college access and success in higher education with full scholarships to IWCC and wraparound support services.

This is the first grants and initiatives funding announcement of the year after the Foundation restructured its grant cycles in late 2014 to be three times per year rather than four. The Letter of Inquiry period for the third cycle is open Oct. 1.

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.

# # #

About the Iowa West Foundation

The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $320 million in grants to non-profits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program.

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

2015 Cycle 1 Grants and Initiatives:

Audubon County Early Childhood Organization (IA)
Programmatic support for the Children’s Nest Daycare Center

Ballet Nebraska
Program support for Season Six: “Cleopatra,” “the Nutcracker,” and “Momentum 6”

Bluffs Arts Council
Arts programming in 2015-2016

Chanticleer, Inc.
Program support for the 2015-2016 season

City of Griswold
Improvements to the Griswold Community Building

Council Bluffs Community School District
Support for Pottawattamie Promise program delivery

Council Bluffs Community School District
Council Bluffs Community School District Stadium campaign

Council Bluffs Community School District
Wi-Fi Initiative Phase 2

Council Bluffs Goodfellows
Program to assist Pottawattamie County families in need during the holiday season

Eckels Memorial Library
2015 collection development in library located in Oakland (IA)

El Centro Latino
Operational support in 2015-16

General operating support

Food Bank for the Heartland
Back Pack for Kids Program providing weekend meals 1,500 at-risk children in Council Bluffs

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, Inc.
Programmatic support for an online volunteer and parent engagement system

Green Hills AEA
Support for preschool program in Pottawattamie County school districts

Harlan Friends of Downtown
LED lighting and updated sound system in historic downtown Harlan

HELP Adult Services
Purchase of new delivery vehicle

Historic General Dodge House, Inc.
Funding to support capital improvement and collection management project

Iowa Dental Foundation
Mission of Mercy Dental project to be held in Council Bluffs

Iowa Western Community College Foundation
Programming at the Arts Center in Council Bluffs

Iowa Western Community College Foundation
Pottawattamie Promise

Iowa West Foundation
Arts and Culture District Initiative

Iowa West Foundation
Funding for a three-year early literacy initiative, “CB Reads!”

Joslyn Art Museum
Support for the Kent Bellows Mentoring Program for students in Council Bluffs

Merrymakers Association
Southwest Iowa senior music project

Omaha Community Foundation
Incentive funds for Pottawattamie County nonprofit that raised funds through Omaha Gives!

Omaha Conservatory of Music
2015-16 Omaha Conservatory of Music’s Sprouts Program at participating CBCSD schools

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc.
Prevention education in Pottawattamie County on Sexually Transmitted Infections and teen pregnancy

Riverside Community School District
Support for Pottawattamie Promise program delivery

Southwest Iowa Nature Trails
Interactive information kiosks at three cities on the Wabash Trace

Stanton Historical Society
Repair and repainting of the Swedish coffeepot water tower

The Durham Museum
Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition project

West Pottawattamie County Agricultural Extension District
Support for the West Pottawattamie County 4-H youth programming administration

Total: $7,615,186

Media Inquiries:

Nicole Lindquist
Director of Communications
w: 712-309-3004
c: 402-981-2289

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.


Enter your email address to receive updates from the Iowa West Foundation directly in your inbox.