Community Foundation awards more than $121,000 in grants

Posted November 1, 2017 at 6:13 pm

With two organizations receiving grants Oct. 17, it brought the Akron community’s total Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County awards to $119,271 over the past 10 years.

Annually the Foundation presents grants to non-profit organizations or tax-exempt governmental entities for a wide variety of community projects and needs throughout Plymouth County. These grants are funded by gambling proceeds — by Iowa law, counties without casinos receive a portion of the gambling dollars. People also contribute to the Foundation, earning Endowment Iowa tax credits.

In the past 20 years, the Foundation has been able to award $977,461 from the funds it has received.

This year the Akron EMS received $10,000 to purchase a powered cot for lifting patients into the ambulance and the Akron Parks & Recreation Board received $6,715 for playground equipment upgrades in the Akron City Park. Over the past two decades, Akron entities and organizations have been awarded 25 separate grants.

The Westfield community has been awarded four grants totaling $18,600. The recipient has been The Nature Conservancy. The Westfield community did not receive any grant funds in this round of grant making.

The Foundation’s grant making process begins with accepting applications before the annual Aug. 15 deadline. The Foundation’s Grant making Committee, which consists of representatives from each town in Plymouth County, reviews the grant applications. This year there were 28 applications received, and 22 grants were awarded. The committee makes a recommendation on which applicants to award funds. The Foundation’s Executive Board, which consists of a separate group of town representatives, makes the final award determination. Akron’s Executive Board member is Julie Ann Madden, who serves as Treasurer/Grant making Committee Chairperson, and Westfield’s Executive Board member is Jodi Thompson. The Grant making Committee members remain anonymous but both Akron and Westfield have representatives, which serve three-year terms.

The grants are awarded in October, and the recipients have until Sept. 30 of the following year to complete their projects. Completion includes publication of their project in their local newspapers and submission of receipts of project purchases and an evaluation form.

Madden’s term ends Dec. 31 and a new Akron representative is needed on the Foundation’s Executive Board. If anyone with an Akron, Iowa address is interested in this rewarding volunteer position, please contact Madden at 712-389-0153.

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