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Fifty Projects Receive Casino Mini Grants

Larchwood, Iowa — Fifty projects in and around northwest Iowa have received a shot in the arm, thanks to mini grants from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.
Grand Falls Casino sign

The foundation is the non-profit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood. State law mandates a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take has to go back to the community. The agreement between the casino and the non-profit stipulates that for the first $20 million the casino collects in gambling winnings in a year, they will give the foundation 4.5 percent. When they get up to $20 million, the percentage goes up to 4.75 percent; and when they get up to $30 million, it goes to 5 percent.

The Lyon County Riverboat foundation is set up to give half of the money in grants to county government subdivisions and schools, and half to non-profit projects. In the past, that second half has been given away in a competitive grant process. This year, the foundation decided to also give away up to a total of $100,000 in grants of up to $2000.

Foundation president Jeff Gallagher explains:

He says unlike with the competitive grant process, essentially, there were no criteria for the mini grant applications, and no vetting process by the foundation.

Of the fifty randomly-selected winners, the foundation gave out two grants to South Dakota entities, one to a Minnesota entity, and the remaining forty-seven to Iowa entities.

Just to give you an idea of some of the projects, some went towards park equipment like benches and bleachers, some toward emergency equipment, and some toward safety and security equipment.

Northwest Iowa Community College was lucky enough to receive five grants — for a trailer, a TV, software, and more. The City of Sibley got over $1000 to repair their clock, as well as money toward a pool vacuum and seating replacement. The Rapids Theatre Preservation Society in Rock Rapids got $2000 toward media materials. The Rock Valley Chamber got $2000 toward a daycare expansion project. Sanford Medical Center in Rock Rapids got $2000 toward ALICE active shooter training.

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Here’s the full list:
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