Dallas County Foundation announces $133,000 in grants

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The Dallas County Foundation (DCF), in conjunction with the Grow Greene County Gaming Corp. (GGCGC), announced Thursday its grant recipients for 2017. Twenty-nine Dallas County groups will share $133,347.81 in grant funds to put toward community betterment projects.

The funding level is about $22,000 higher than the 2016 awards total, when 21 organizations received grant funding.

The DCF received $42,130.47 from the GGCGC in the current grant cycle, marking the second year for the Greene County supplemental dollars, which derive from revenues at the Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson.

Bob and Jane Sturgeon also made a private donation this year to the ongoing Raccoon River Valley Bike Trail construction project. The Sturgeons will present their private donation during the DCF grant presentations next month.

The non-profit DCF, formed in 2005 to distribute Dallas County’s share of state gambling taxes, funds a variety of charitable, civic and cultural organizations across Dallas County. The DCF has awarded more than $965,347 to 189 projects in Dallas County since 2006. A full list of projects can be found on the DCF website.

“The Dallas County Foundation is a charitable foundation created by and for local citizens to improve the quality of life right here in our communities,” said Scott C. Cirksena, DCF development director. “We are here to help donors make a positive, local impact by offering a variety of giving tools to help people achieve their charitable giving goals and do good work in our communities that lasts forever.”

Gambling laws passed by the Iowa General Assembly in 2004 included several provisions intended to steer gambling taxes toward charitable purposes. One provision required a portion of Iowa’s gaming tax revenues—eight-tenths of one percent—be distributed among the 84 Iowa counties without casinos.

A County Endowment Fund was created within the Iowa Department of Revenue to collect and distribute the tax money to the non-casino counties. About $8 million in gaming taxes are distributed to counties annually through the endowment fund.

County-level foundations such as the DCF were in turn created to receive the state Endowment Fund monies and distribute them down to local civic and charitable organizations in the form of grants.

Iowa currently has 22 casinos, five racetracks and three Native American Indian casinos. The Iowa gaming industry as a whole generates about $1.5 billion in revenues annually. Between 3 percent and 5 percent of these earnings trickle down through the county-level foundations to local charities and public-service organizations.

An agreement between the GGCGC and Wild Rose Entertainment calls for 5 percent of the casino’s annual gross receipts to go toward charitable purposes, a more generous cut than the 3 percent required by Iowa gambling laws.

Eighty percent of the 5 percent — that is, 4 percent of the casino’s gross receipts — stays in Greene County, and the remaining 1 percent is divided among Greene’s six neighboring counties: Dallas, Guthrie, Carroll, Calhoun, Webster and Boone.

This year’s GGCGC contribution to the DCF total was $42,130.47, up from the $18,200 contribution in 2016. The DCF granted the Wild Rose dollars to 000.

Along with gaming revenues, the DCF is also partially supported by private donations.

Worthy recipients in the 2017 DCF granting cycle included:

  1. Adel – Adel Oakdale Pride, $2,500, Oakdale Cemetery Improvements
  2. Adel – Adel Home Care Services, $2,500, Food proofer cabinet, upgrade floor
  3. Adel – Team Run Free, $2,000, Special needs run cart
  4. Adel – Good Samaritan Food Pantry, $4,233, Air conditioning, office equipment
  5. Adel – Adel Public Library, $2,800, Community room flooring
  6. Bouton – Veteran’s Memorial, $5,000, Reconstruct memorial
  7. Dallas County Food Bank of Iowa,  $7,000, Dual axle delivery truck
  8. Dallas County Habitat for Humanity, $5,000, Storage trailer
  9. Dallas County Brenton Arboretum, $2,000, Color copier
  10. Dallas Center – Spurgeon Manor, $3,000, Rehab equipment
  11. De Soto – AHeinz57, $14,000, Construct and equip surgical suite
  12. De Soto – De Soto Public Library, $1,017, Three laptops
  13. Granger – Granger Hawks Dug Out Club, $5,600, Baseball bullpen fencing
  14. Granger Parks and Recreation, $3,500, Lighting for Centennial Park
  15. Granger Police Department, $1,882, In-car and body cameras
  16. Minburn – Minburn Community Betterment,  $2,500, Parking lot improvements
  17. Minburn – Minburn Fire and Rescue, $800, Gas detection equipment
  18. Minburn – City of Minburn, $9,000, City hall and library roof
  19. Perry – Perry Historic Preservation Commission, $1,500, Veteran memorial repairs
  20. Perry – Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter, $3,630.47, Preserve history at one-room country school house at Forest Park Museum
  21. Perry – Dallas County Conservation Board, $20,000, RRVT third installment
  22. Perry – New Hope Bargain Shoppe, $1,300, Display racks/point of sale Ipad
  23. Perry – Performing Arts High School, $2,500, Theater equipment
  24. Perry – PACES Program, $2,500, Student program equipment
  25. Perry – Industrial Technology Department, $5,000, Mobile welding carts
  26. Perry – Perry Lutheran Home, $5,585.34, Intergenerational day care
  27. Perry – Perry Public Library, $2,000, Community room chairs
  28. Perry – Art on the Prairie, $5,000, 11-foot lighted metal sculpture
  29. Waukee – Waukee Public Library Friends, $10,000, Children’s library updates

The 2018 Grant Cycle will be announced in December 2017.

The DCF is an affiliate of Greater Des Moines Community Foundation. DCF Board members include President Tim Canney, Vice President Cathy Erickson, Treasurer Butch Niebuhr, Secretary Vicki Lage and directors Chris Brocka, Carol Hill, Jan Danielson Kaiser, Doug Pullin, Jim Riordan, Dean Scott, Kate Spellman, Lynn Ubben and Teresa Wichtendahl.

The GGCGC Board of Directors includes Kate Neese, Peg Raney, Brenda Muir, Rick Morain, Lori Mannel, Norm Fandel, Bob Allen and Craig Marquardt.

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