The Poweshiek County Alliance (PCA) honored its 2014 grant recipients at a ceremony at the Foundation Offices on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. Representatives from the 35 winning organizations received their checks and spoke about their projects. This year grants ranged from $250 to $7,000 for a total of $97,260.
2014 marks the ninth year that PCA has awarded grants. Since the program began in 2006, $780,084 has been distributed to non-profits and charitable organizations. Winning projects largely focus on increasing cultural, educational, and recreational opportunities, as well as enhancing the safety, beauty, and economic vitality of the county.
The PCA receives funds annually through the County Endowment Fund Program, which was established by the State Legislature in 2004 to encourage charitable giving in Iowa. The legislation provides that a portion of the state’s gambling revenue be distributed in Iowa counties that do not have gambling entities. The money allocated to each county is awarded to a qualified community foundation or an affiliate of such that can demonstrate it represents the entire county. Of the amounts awarded, 75% is used to make charitable grants, and the remaining 25% funds a permanent charitable endowment for the county.
Since 2012, the PCA has been an affiliate of the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation and therefore qualified to distribute Poweshiek County’s share of the gambling revenue. The funds were previously managed by the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa in Waterloo. Representatives from each community as well as the unincorporated area serve as the PCA board. These members include Kay Cmelik (Grinnell); Virginia Davis (Malcom); Tim Douglas (Brooklyn); Cathy Lents (unincorporated area); Derik Parker (Hartwick); Scott Steffen (Guernsey); Coleen Van Dyke (Searsboro); Catherine Wilson (Montezuma); and Ellen Zimmerman (Deep River).