Menu

Iowa West Foundation awards more than $9 million in grants and initiatives

March 7, 2021

More than a dozen southwest Iowa communities receive funding for education & wellness

(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently awarded $9.4 million in grants and initiatives to several area nonprofits. Missions fueled by this cycle of funding include alleviating poverty, providing essential equipment for volunteer firefighters, supporting infrastructure and amenities in rural areas, and ensuring high-quality educational opportunities from cradle to career, among others. Among the communities impacted are Council Bluffs, Avoca-Hancock-Shelby-Tenant-Walnut, Carson, Crescent, Glidden, Neola, Oakland, Omaha, Treynor, Tri-Center, Underwood, and Woodbine.

“Glidden is no different from the larger communities in that if you can’t find high-quality childcare, it’s going to stifle your workforce opportunities,” said Angela Lensch, Board President of the Lil’ Wildcat Education Center, Inc., which received a $50,000 grant toward its $1.2 million childcare facility. “This grant will definitely help to fulfill this ever-growing need in our community.”

On the initiative side, IWF funded nearly $1 million for Pottawattamie Promise, which includes full tuition to Iowa Western for those who qualify from six area high schools. This is the 7th year for the program in partnership with Peter Kiewit Foundation and the IWCC Foundation.

“Support from Iowa West Foundation has a profound impact on the lives of children in our community from birth through college,” said Dr. Ann Mausbach, Chair of the Education Advisory Committee for the Iowa West Foundation and Associate Professor for Educational Leadership at Creighton University. Investing in parent education, high quality preschools, and college scholarships shows our commitment to making southwest Iowa communities healthy and vibrant.”

Other notable funding included $2.4 million toward the revitalization of the Council Bluffs Riverfront, an installment of the Foundation’s $15 million overall commitment. In addition, $1.4 million was allocated for the replacement of the “Looking Up” sculpture, to be installed later this spring. The Foundation also distributed more than $2 million in critical operating support for numerous local nonprofits with missions that support education, arts and culture, and healthy families. Letters of Intent for Cycle 2 of 2021 will be accepted through March 15.

About the Iowa West Foundation

The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $500 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.

2021 Cycle 1 Grants and Initiatives

Angels Among Us
Assistance for Iowa families battling childhood cancer        
$14,400

Carson Volunteer Fire Department
PPE and rescue equipment
$10,000

Catholic Charities Diocese of Des Moines
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Program     
$53,332

Crescent Volunteer Fire Department
PPE acquisition
$9,604

Heartland Family Service
HEAT 2021
$170,000

Historic General Dodge House, Inc.
2021 Critical Repairs
$21,405

Iowa Environmental Council
Missouri River Flooding Protection
$7,000

Iowa West Foundation Initiative
Looking Up Art
$1,400,000

Iowa Western Community College
Pottawattamie Promise
$939,894

Lil Wildcat Education Center, Inc.
Quality Childcare
$50,000

Nebraska Wildlife Rehab, Inc.
Baldwin Wildlife Center & Hubbard Family Wildlife Hospital
$25,000

Omaha Bridges Out of Poverty, Inc.
Southwest Iowa Poverty Alleviation Initiative
$100,000

Omaha Women’s Fund
Women of Color leadership program
$70,000

Pottawattamie County
CITIES Program
City of Neola
-$50,000

City of Oakland –$54,328

City of Underwood – $84,275

Promise Partners
Early Childhood Iowa
$100,000

Southwest Iowa Nonprofit for Collective Impact
Riverfront Revitalization         
$2,425,710     

The 712 Initiative
530 W. Broadway
$340,000

The 712 Initiative

Operating Support

$375,000        

United Way of the Midlands
Community Care Fund 2021
$255,500

Vision Treynor Group
Treynor Family Recreation Complex “The T”
$175,000

Woodbine Community Foundation
Woodbine Regional Wellness Center
$250,000

           

2021 Multi-Year Funding Recipients

Ballet Nebraska
$125,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands
$85,000

Durham Museum
$25,000

FAMILY, Inc.
$120,000

Green Hills AEA
$1,100,000

Heartland Family Services
$330,000

Iowa Western Community College Foundation – Performing Arts Center
$30,000

Joslyn Art Museum
$25,000

Immigrant Legal Center
$65,000

Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska, Inc.
$50,000

MICAH House
$90,000

Lauritzen Gardens
$12,500

Lauritzen Gardens – Railroad Days
$25,000

Omaha Children’s Museum
$45,000

Omaha Symphony Association
$25,000

Omaha Theater Company – Rose Theater
$25,000

Opera Omaha
$25,000

Pottawattamie Arts, Culture & Entertainment
$200,000

Nicole Lindquist

Written by Nicole Lindquist, Director of Communications

Media Inquiries:

Nicole Lindquist
Director of Communications
w: 712-309-3004
c: 402-981-2289
nlindquist@iowawestfoundation.org

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.

Newsletter

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