CFGPC names recipients

Thursday, January 7, 2021

PLYMOUTH CO. — Dollars awarded by the Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County (CFGPC) will help 20, 501(c)3 organizations and government entities to improve the quality of life in communities in Plymouth County.

Grant selections are made in an effort to create a better quality of life for people in Plymouth County. The local governing committee reviews the applications from charitable organizations serving their community.

This year, the advisory board’s grant committee recommended funds totaling $106,314, to entities across the county.

Kelly Nashleanas, executive board member, said with the COVID-19 pandemic, this year was really hard.

“Typically we have a presentation of the awards, with a gathering like we did at the Wells Visitor Center and Ice Cream Parlor, to celebrate the awards,” she explained. “This year with COVID-19 we all decided we would not have an awards presentation like we typically do.

“We just basically mailed or delivered the checks to the recipients. Mike Kooistra, who is our grant president, notified them by e-mail,” she said.

This year the foundation awarded three $10,000 grants, the maximum amount awarded.

Receiving the $10,000 grants are the City of Remsen for grocery store development; PlyWood Trail, for bike trail - Phase I; and the City of Craig for a community event sign.

Other entities receiving grants are:

Lucky Leprechauns, $7,000, school supplies.

Le Mars Fire & Rescue, $4,999.90, for a drone thermal imaging camera.

Le Mars Police, $6,000, for body cameras.

Beautification Babes, $4,500, for American flags and benches.

Merrill Lions Club, $8,000 for school children winter gear.

MMCRU Backpacks, $6,500, for backpack program.

Clark Elementary School, Le Mars, $3,889.73, for STEM program.

Rejoice! Community Church, Le Mars, $1,000, for an automated external defibrillator (AED).

Kingsley Elementary School, $7,380, for student tablets.

Merrill Fire Department, $1,500, for emergency vehicle lightbars.

City of Merrill, $2,700, for Christmas lights.

Le Mars American Legion, $2,500, for building improvements.

City of Kingsley, $3,471.39, for trash receptacles.

Merrill Little League, $5,000, for ball field renovation.

Merrill Public Library, $2,000, for children area refresh.

MMCRU, $7,873 for school fitness center.

Broken Kettle Nature Conservancy, $2,000, for property restoration.

While there were more applicants than grantees, Nashleanas said the number was small.

“I believe the ones not funded just did not meet the criteria,” she said, citing one was outside Plymouth County and another did not have their 501C(3) designation.

Nashleanas said the grant committee almost always and unanimously put safety like fire and rescue, children, police, pretty high on the list.

Kooistra thanked the grant board for taking so much time and being willing and volunteering to help choose the agencies to receive funds.

Members of the foundation executive board for 2020 are Keith Bohle, Kooistra, Vicky Hemmelman, Jenny Hartman-Mendoza, Mary Korthas, Nashleanas, Laurie Bird, Ashley Schuttpelz and Colleen Westergard.

The Foundation of Greater Plymouth County was formed in 2005 to coordinate and provide philanthropic support for community betterment projects in Plymouth County.

The CFGPC is an affiliate of the Iowa Community Affiliate Network, a collaboration of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and the Iowa Area Development Group Community Foundation.

The money the foundation is able to distribute comes from Iowa’s gambling revenue that is passed on to local county foundations where there are no gaming facilities and which has initiated a countywide community foundation.

Each non-gambling county receives one-half of 1 percent of the state’s gross gambling tax receipts.

Under terms of legislation, these funds must be granted to charitable organizations for educational, civic and public purposes in Plymouth County.