Community Foundation awards grants to 27 entities

Monday, November 21, 2022

LE MARS — The Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County has made its 2022 allocation of funds to county organizations and communities.

Board members are Kelly Nashleanas, Laurie Bird, Keith Bohle, Bev Fagan, Jenny Hartman-Mendoza, Mike Kooistra, Mary Korthas, Ashley Schuttpelz and Colleen Westergard.

Nashleanas, an executive board member, explained how the grant money is allocated.

“We have an executive board and we have a grant board. The grant board meets once a year. They have 3-4 weeks to review the applications and go through all the grants. If they have any questions, they reach out to the organizations and ask those questions, and then we met and reviewed the information on organized with spreadsheets.

“The grant board ranks all of the grants, on a scaling system, ranked highest to lowest, so depending on what they feel is important to fund,” Nashleanas said.

Dollars awarded by the Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County (CFGPC) will help 27, 501(c)3 organizations and government entities to improve the quality of life in communities in Plymouth County.

This year, the foundation had $151,133.65 available to award.

Applications for grants are due in mid-August, with awards made in late October. This year’s requests totaled $197,077.98.

Following is the list of organizations, their request, their award, and the intended use:

Akron Opera Open House — $10,000; $5,000; Upgrade Sound System

Akron-Westfield Community Schools — $10,000; $5,000; Elementary Playground

American Legion Post Oleson-Halweg Post 125, Merrill — $3,536; $3,536; Community Room Floor and Chairs

American Legion Post Nash 140, Kingsley — $10,000; $10,000; Flags for the Fallen

American Legion Wasmer Post 241, Le Mars — $3,500; $3,500; Plumbing Project

Beautification Babes — $7,600; $6,495; Hinton School Landscaping

Center for Financial Education — $2,430; $2,000; Office Update

City of Hinton — $8,375; $4,000; Community Hall Upgrades

City of Merrill — $10,000; $5,000; Playground Equipment

City of Remsen — $10,000; $10,000; Football Field Updates

Gehlen Catholic School — $6,000; $4,000; Practice Track Repairs

Le Mars Fire and Rescue — $10,000; $10,000; Radios

Le Mars Municipal Pool — $2,835; $2,835; Equipment for Classes and Team

Le Mars Police Department — $7,515; $7,515; School Safety Equipment

Le Mars Public Library — $2,563.98; $2,563.98; After School Program

Le Mars YMCA — $10,000; $6,801.50; Height Adjuster Backboards

Life Skills Training Center, Inc. — $7,098; $4,000; HIPPA Compliant Technology

Loring Aquatic and Fitness, City of Kingsley — $7,242; $7,242; Pool Canopies and Tables

Lucky Leprechaun for Kids — $10,000; $10,000; Student Clothes and Supplies

Merrill Fire and Rescue — $1,500; $1,500; Lightbar for New Grass Truck

MMCRU Backpack Program — $5,000; $5,000; Backpack Program

MMCRU Weight Room — $10,000; $5,000; School Fitness Center

Plymouth County Coat Drive — $8,500; $8,500; Coats, Hats, Mittens

Rejoice Food Pantry — $10,000; $8,000; Food Pantry Renovation

Remsen Fire and Rescue — $10,000; $10,000; Air Tanks

Remsen Heritage Museum — $1,205; $1,205; Facelift back of Museum

Ronald McDonald House Charities (program located at Floyd Valley Healthcare) — $2,440; $2,440; Freezer & Food

Only one request from the Le Mars Area YMCA for $9,378 for options for cardio room, was not funded.

“We are only able to fund projects in Plymouth County and so we questioned the Ronald McDonald House Charities request. However, that is actually at Floyd Valley Healthcare, so while it’s part of the Ronald McDonald House it is actually a program that is operated and located in Le Mars,” Nashleanas explained. “One of our board members was really for that as she said when someone is there late at night and the kitchens aren’t open at the hospital, there is no place for them to get food items.”

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.

“Since we don’t have a casino in our county area, we are allocated that percentage of casino dollars so we can distribute that,” Nashleanas said. “And how fun is that, to be able to donate to organizations which really need it to help our veterans, our seniors and our children.”

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