Grants awarded to county groups
PLYMOUTH CO. — The Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County (CFGPC) has awarded a total of $114,294 in grant money to 19 groups in the county.
This year’s recipients, dollar amount awarded and intended use are:
Merrill Fire Department, $2,020, fire protection clothing
Lucky Leprechauns Plymouth Co., $10,000, asks for school children in need
Merrill/Ply. Co. Coat Drive/Lucky Leprechauns, $10,000, for coats, hats and mittens
Merrill Little League, $8,000, batting cage
City of Westfield, $7,000, equipment/concession stand building
City of Remsen, $5,422, fencing for Niggeling Memorial Field
American Legion, Le Mars, $3,000, flooring in dining hall
MMCRU, $5,500, Backpack Program
Le Mars YMCA, $1,200, sports equipment bins
Life Skills Training Center, $5,200, appliances and flooring
Beautification Babes, $5,000, Christmas decorations
Plymouth County Conservation, $6,837, Rivers Bend playground equipment
Remsen St. Mary’s School, $8,165, fixtures for cafeteria improvements
Plymouth County Historical Museum, $5,500, Native American Room
American Legion, Kingsley, $1,150, storage container move/improvement
Centers Against Abuse, $9,000, outings and enrichment
Akron Public Library, $6,100, books and supplies
Akron Children’s Center, $5,000, new playground safety turf
City of Brunsville, $10,000, mower
The grant money was distributed in November and December.
Members of the foundation’s executive board are: Kelly Nashleanas, president; Keith Bohle, Vicky Hemmelman, Jenny Hartman-Mendoza, Laurie Bird, Ashley Schuttpelz, Colleen Westergard and Mike Kooistra.
Members of the foundation committee come from across Plymouth County, representing each community.
Nashleanas noted there were 21 grant applications received.
The grant board is appointed from board members to review the applications.
“As president, I don’t get to vote on any grant decisions, but I get to sit in and listen so I can give feedback,” Nashleanas explained.
“We understand the people who submit these grants are not professional grant writers, they are non-profits, 501c3 looking for help with a project,” she added.
“Some projects and groups are not able to go to their city councils and ask for money to support. There a lot of differences in agencies and organizations that are able to apply for those funds, for example, fire, police, those types of things. They do get money from their taxpayers and councils, however they are ranked high on our list because we feel it is really important to support those and anything to do with children. We have had an overwhelming request lists from teachers and staff for children.”
She also added smaller groups do not have the connections to larger organizations or avenues for funding.
“Most of these grant applications that we get don’t have that support,” she said.
The applications are due in mid-August and once received, grant board members review each application, spending anywhere from two weeks to a month going over them, making notes, and when needed, contacting the grant writer to explain an answer on the application.
Committee members then get together to discuss the applications and make their final decisions on funding.
“It is a very thorough review,” Nashleanas said. “Once the grant board makes their decision, they come back to the executive board for the final decision.”
Nashleanas said she is so grateful for the volunteers on the board.
“I’m just so impressed with our board members who volunteer and give back their time for their communities,” she said.
The Community 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.