Iowa West Foundation unveils $7.7 million in area grants

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) -- The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors has approved $7.7 million in grants and initiatives funding to 24 nonprofit organizations and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

The List
Click here for a look at the grants and the recipients.

Funds to address diversity, equity and inclusion in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County arose as a central theme to the second of three grants cycles for 2019. The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation received nearly $300,000, $166,000 of which was earmarked for the Women’s Fund of southwest Iowa while Centro Latino received $75,000 for operating funding, and One Iowa received $16,000 to conduct a needs assessment for the LGBTQIA+ community in Pottawattamie County.

“As we evaluate the ever-changing makeup of our community, the Foundation is focused on organizations who can help meet the needs of all individuals who call southwest Iowa home, and that includes females, minorities and the LGBTQ community,” said Pete Tulipana.
“Collectively, we hope this funding can lead to greater education around the issues faced by members of these populations in our region.”

“We are honored to work with the Iowa West Foundation, University of Iowa, and Des Moines University on this important endeavor, said
Dr. Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, Executive Director of ONE Iowa. "Data is essential to ensuring our work to improve LGBTQ individuals' lives is impactful. As a result of this project, we will have quantifiable data for the first time ever to inform our work addressing the specific needs of LGBTQ individuals in western Iowa.”

In the Placemaking category, the Foundation awarded funding to several recreation projects, the largest of which was $2,000,000 for the Iowa West Sports Plex -an indoor turf facility that will be operated by the Council Bluffs Soccer Club. Pickleball courts currently under construction at the Iowa West Field House received $600,000 and Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development received $350,000 for its Loess Hills Missouri River Region Cabin Initiative.

“The lead gift from Iowa West Foundation has been instrumental in leveraging funding from other grant sources across the state and region,” said Arian Haddix, the newly named Executive Director of the Council Bluffs Soccer Club. “Their commitment to recreation in southwest Iowa will allow us to provide a much-needed home for our young athletes to be able to play the sports they love all year round and not have to travel outside of our community.”

Lastly, as part of its ongoing commitment to rural southwest Iowa communities, the Foundation awarded grant funds to several flood relief organizations throughout the region, totaling $200,000.