The Iowa West Foundation commemorated $500 million in grant and initiative funding in a community celebration that took place at Ameristar Casino on Friday.
“This celebration is a chance to champion the joint efforts that have resulted in significant impacts for so many,” said Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “We wanted to gather with our partners and supporters to marvel at how far the City of Council Bluffs, the towns within Pottawattamie County, and communities throughout southwest Iowa have come in the past two-plus decades.”
The Iowa West Racing Association formed in 1984 and the Iowa West Foundation was established 10 years later as a private charitable foundation. Grant distribution began in 1996. Despite its relative youth, the Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. Its mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities for both current and future generations.
“It is our vision to create a community where families want to live and business want to locate because of the quality of life and standard of living,” Tulipana said. “Our goal is transformational impact.”
That transformational impact includes projects like Pottawattamie Arts, Culture and Entertainment’s Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center and the Iowa West Field House. Less visible funding supports initiatives like the Pottawattamie Promise scholarship, which funds hundreds of Iowa Western students’ college costs each year.
The Foundation marked $500 million in funding, yet with its 50 percent match, more than double that has been infused into the community. Thus the name of the event: $1 billion reasons to celebrate.
What Others are Saying
“Thanks to Iowa West’s leadership and commitment to public-private partnerships, the City of Council Bluffs has received financial support for a multitude of amenities that have enhanced the quality of life for all our local residents. We are grateful for their dedication to improving our community.”
-Matt Walsh, Mayor of Council Bluffs
“The opening of the Iowa West Field House has had a huge impact on youth sports in Council Bluffs and southwest Iowa. The Foundation’s commitment to set aside time at no cost for local youth sports programs has tremendously increased the number of youths participating. We constantly hear from parents how proud they are to have a facility like this in Council Bluffs.”
-Alan Byers, General Manager of the Field House
“As an advocate for education, I recognize the important role that strong educational systems and programs play in addressing local challenges, such as workforce and economic development. Through their portfolio of investments in education, the Iowa West Foundation team has demonstrated a commitment to learning and understanding education best practices, identifying what works, and helping to improve the quality of the education programs provided by our schools. These investments span from cradle to career.”
-Chris LaFerla, Executive Director of Council Bluffs Schools Foundation
“The community and nonprofits have all benefited immensely from the generosity and vision of the Iowa West Foundation. These investments have served those in crisis, have built capacity, and have changed lives. We can’t wait to celebrate another billion reasons in the not too distant future.”
-Jaymes Sime, Executive Director of the Micah House
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