Dallas County Foundation announces 2015 grant winners

The Perry Welcome Depot is one of the many civic, cultural, educational and charitable projects receiving funding from the Dallas County Foundation since its founding in 2005. The foundation just announced its 2015 grantees of more than $88,000.

The Dallas County Foundation (DCF) announced its 2015 grant recipients Tuesday, awarding more than $88,000 to 20 grantees.

The non-profit DCF, formed in 2005 to distribute the county’s share of state gambling taxes, funds various charitable, civic and cultural organizations across Dallas County.


“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.

Since 2006 the DCF, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, has granted over $721,000 for projects that benefit Dallas County communities.

“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,” Cirksena said.

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 were distributed to counties in 2014 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 19 casinos, three racetracks and three Native American Indian casinos. The Iowa gaming industry as a whole generates about $1.5 billion in revenues annually. Between three and five percent of these earnings trickle down through the county-level foundations to local charities and public-service organizations.

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

The total distribution for 2015 was $88,374.25. The 2015 grant winners and the values and purposed of their grants include:

1. Adel-DeSoto-Minburn Soccer Club in Adel, $4,070, eight goals,

2. Adel Parks and Recreation in Adel, $6,000, community archery center,

3. Brenton Arboretum, Dallas Center, $2,500, people transporter,

4. Dallas County Conservation Board, $20,000, High Trestle Trail-Raccoon River Valley Trail connector,

5. DeSoto Fire and Rescue, DeSoto, $3,200, new air packs and air bottles,

6. DeSoto Public Library, DeSoto, $844.63, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programming materials,

7. Friends of the Granger Public Library, Granger, $820, furniture update,

8. Minburn Community Betterment Committee, Minburn, $3,523.47, security system for Minburn Depot renovation,

9. Minburn Firefighters, Minburn, $6,400, new personal protective gear,

10. Perry-Area Swim Team, Perry, $350, timing system for swim meets,

11. Art on the Prairie, Perry, $565, portable audio system,

12. Perry Community School District, $2,000, poppy art project,

13. Perry Community School District, $2,500, fitness equipment,

14. Perry Community School District, $2,850, music storage system,

15. Waukee Trailhead public art, Waukee, $15,000, installation of public art at Waukee Trailhead,

16. City of West Des Moines, West Des Moines, $5,000, pedestrian crossing signal at 65th Street and Ashworth Road,

17. West Des Moines Police Department, West Des Moines, $1,000, training equipment for rape aggression and defense systems,

18. Woodward-Granger Elementary School, Granger, $4,250, Chromebooks for library,

19. Woodward Public Library, Woodward, $1,405, five computer tablets,

20. Dallas County Foundation, West Des Moines, $6,096.15, marketing and administrative.

The DCF awards grants in the areas of arts and culture, youth development, education, health and human services, recreation, environment and community betterment. The foundation has given out about $721,000 in grants since its founding.

In 2014 the DCF awarded 22 grants totaling about $97,000, mostly targeted at public organizations such as police and fire departments, schools and libraries and medical facilities.

For more information, contact Cirkensa at 515-556-4326 or scirksena@outlook.com. For a grant application, contact the Dallas County Foundation, P.O. Box # 46, Adel, IA 50003, or call Cheryl Semerad, cherylsemerad@gmail.com.


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