The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation (GPCF) announces that $188,591.25 has been awarded among 40 projects serving Poweshiek County residents through the 2022 Poweshiek County Alliance (PCA) grant cycle. This is the highest total granted to date in the program’s sixteen-year history in the county.
“Each year PCA grants enable nonprofits, local governments, schools, and service organizations to improve the quality of life for Poweshiek County residents,” noted Amy Blanchard, Program Manager of GPCF. “PCA grants empower organizations to execute new projects or help fill critical funding gaps.”
PCA grants are supported by five funds administered by GPCF. The Poweshiek County Alliance Fund is an endowed fund designated by the Iowa Legislature to receive an annual portion of gambling revenues.
“This allocation from the State of Iowa, combined with the disbursement from the endowed fund that continues to grow each year, constitutes the largest portion of our funding,” shared Blanchard. “This fund supported $134,147 in grants. The Community Fund for Poweshiek County, an endowed fund sustained by contributions from hundreds of local individual donors, contributed $18,838 in grants.”
Three additional funding sources add to the pool of available funds, though each are restricted to geographic areas or purposes as designated by the fund’s intent. The Carl and Joann Orr Fund, established in 2017, immortalizes the generosity of the late Grinnell community member, Joann Orr. With the objective of empowering and aiding women, children, and at-risk community members within the Grinnell area, the Orr Fund awarded $30,400 across five projects. The Brooklyn Community Fund and Montezuma Community fund are endowed, donor-supported funds which added $3,300 and $1,900 in funding respectively in community projects.
Alicia Blankenfeld, a Grinnell community member and business owner, chairs the PCA committee. “We review many valuable project proposals in each cycle with requested funds far exceeding the amount of funding available,” said Blankenfeld. “The committee prioritized first responder, emergency preparedness, and social support projects, allocating nearly 50 percent of the funding to requests that met these parameters“
The cities of Grinnell, Montezuma, and Deep River each received $10,000 to support emergency services. The city of Grinnell is planning for a municipal emergency medical service while Montezuma and Deep River requested funds to support volunteer fire services to update equipment. East Poweshiek Ambulance Service received $9,263 to outfit a new rapid response vehicle. The town of Guernsey received $6,448 to upgrade the water storage system for fire response and add security cameras at the bus stop. Poweshiek County Emergency Management will replace its obsolete laptop in its emergency response vehicle with a $4,000 grant. The Iowa SAR K9 Fund was awarded $2,200 to assist with training costs for search and rescue dogs and their handlers that assist with missing person incidents. The Hartwick Volunteer Fire Department received $1,972 to purchase medical supplies for emergency response vehicles. The Malcom Fire Department will replace two fire nozzles with its award of $1,800. The Montezuma Ambulance Service received $1,080 to purchase two laptops for its ambulances.
To address food insecurity, the committee allocated $6,000 to the Food Recovery Network to assist with ongoing expenses to distribute food to residents in need. Local Foods Connection received $5,580 to connect families in need with fresh food from local farmers. The Malcom Food Pantry received $5,000 to help meet increased demand for assistance locally. To assist youth with food insecurity on the weekends, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and BGM Bear Bags programs received $4,000 and $3,000 respectively. The Bear’s Closet in the BGM school district was awarded $1,500 to support students in need.
Eight projects focusing on education, literacy and youth programming in the county received funding this year. The BGM School District received $5,236 to add a SMART interactive panel in the elementary library. $5,100 will support installation of the Drake Community Library Story Walk at Arbor Lake. Read 2 Lead will continue its successful Literacy Care Packages partnership with MICA in Grinnell with an award of $5,015. The Montezuma Library received $4,000 to expand summer programming for youth. The Brooklyn Opera House was awarded $3,000 to support a summer youth theater camp. $1,575 will help Central Iowa Christian School purchase percussion equipment for its middle school band program. LINK Grinnell was awarded $1,350 to purchase storage equipment for enrichment supplies. The Poweshiek County Extension will use $1,200 to support 4-H, Clover Kids, and youth outreach programs with needed equipment.
In the category of community enhancement, fourteen projects will receive funding to improve buildings, equipment, safety, and the environment to benefit all community members. The Poweshiek County Fair Foundation will replace aging bleachers with safer, ADA compliant seating with a grant of $9,500. The city of Montezuma will receive $7,755 to upgrade bathrooms at Memorial Hall and Montezuma Community Development will upgrade restrooms at the city’s West Park with $5,762. The Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS) will receive $6,078 to purchase a new air conditioning unit. The Poweshiek Historical and Genealogical Society was awarded $6,074 to repair damaged tuckpointing at Carnegie Research Library. The Brooklyn Ruritan Club will install a handicap accessible restroom in the Club’s building with $5,886. Brooklyn city staff will install solar-powered speed radar signs with a grant of $5,800. Hartwick will complete replacement of its community welcome sign lost in the first derecho with an additional $5,000.
Imagine Grinnell will continue its efforts to help community members replace the tree canopy with $5,000 for its 1,000 Trees initiative. The Brooklyn Library will increase book capacity with $3,000 to update shelving. The Poweshiek County Pioneer Cemetery Committee will replace the fencing at the Mill Grove/Stillwell Cemetery with a grant of $2,750. The Malcom American Legion will use $1,500 to replace aging exterior doors. Montezuma will use $1,250 to support Montezuma Pride Day activities and $486 to install new historical plaques at three buildings.
Two projects will enhance health services in the county. UnityPoint Grinnell Regional Medical Center Foundation will purchase several new transport chairs that are safer for both patients and staff with a grant of $9,093. Capstone Behavioral Healthcare received $4,708 to purchase office equipment for its Grinnell office to assist increasing capacity for services.
“We are proud to partner with nonprofits and community leaders to support these projects,” added Blanchard. “Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation is just a piece of the puzzle that comprises the amazing work happening in our County. These projects wouldn’t be possible without the many volunteers and collaborative efforts of the grantees.”
Organizations with the 501(c)(3) designation and/or governmental entities and public schools are eligible to seek grant assistance. The 2023 grant application period will open in December 2022. Organizations may contact GPCF at 641-236-5518 for information on how to apply. A complete list of grants awarded can be found on the GPCF website at www.greaterpcf.org.
The Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that assists donors in supporting local charitable organizations to improve the lives of people in the area. Individuals who wish to support the Poweshiek County Alliance Fund, Poweshiek Community Fund, Carl and Joann Orr Fund, Brooklyn Community Fund, or Montezuma Community Fund may contact Nicole Brua-Behrens at GPCF, mail checks to GPCF, P.O. Box 344, Grinnell, Ia., 50112, or donate online at www.greaterpcf.org.