Sibley, Iowa — The Community Foundation of Osceola County gave away over $86,000 in grants at a ceremony held at the Sibley Senior Center on Tuesday evening, February 16th, 2016.
The foundation presented 28 grants totaling $86,727.76 to non-profit groups throughout Osceola County. The foundation is celebrating its eleventh year of philanthropic giving. Since it was established, more than $849,400.00 has been reinvested in the county by local charitable organizations to fund projects in the arts, recreation, health, community service, environmental improvement and a variety of other community development areas.
Established in 2006, funding for the foundation was secured from the Iowa Legislature to encourage improvement projects in communities that do not have a gaming facility located in their county. As a result, the foundation is now able to finance worthy projects that might have otherwise gone unfunded. Through the grant program, residents of Osceola County also have the opportunity to help the grant endowment grow. Gifts can be accepted from community-minded individuals that will allow the foundation to present additional cash awards for the improvement of life in Osceola County. Those interested in contributing to the endowment fund can be assured that their resources can facilitate projects and address immediate community and non-profit needs.
Grant applications are carefully reviewed by a 15-member committee representing all parts of the county. These individuals donate their time and talents to score each request and vote as a group as to which grants will be funded in any given year. Although every effort is taken to fund as many requests as possible, each year some outstanding proposals must be turned-down due to lack of funding. This year, 37 applications were received requesting over $110,727.76. Given the limited resources available, the review committee was only able to fund 28 of the 37 requests. Those proposals not funded in 2016 are encouraged to apply during the next grant cycle later this year.
The following projects were funded for 2016:
Receiving $3,500 grants were:
- Sibley Ambulance, purchase 2 Ipads equipped with Mobile GPS mapping software to pinpoint emergency locations in two ambulances and medical bags for EMT’s.;
- Osceola County Livestock Show, funds to repair Goewey Township Country School at the fairgrounds. Includes shingles, new windows, painting and siding;
- Hawkeye Point Foundation, construct a 5′ fire pit at the campground, landscape stones & plants around the welcome sign, purchase recreational equipment, decorative fencing;
- Melvin Area Development Corporation, purchase 12 double-sided banners & Christmas lights for Melvin’s Main Street;
- Ashton American Legion Post #290, upgrade lighting in main hall, improve energy efficiency, & purchase fire proof safe for ceremonial guns and sound system;
- Osceola County Conservation Board, improve trail accessibility at Willow Creek Park, create parking lot from hill area, erect mobility impaired fishing structure and dock;
- Willard F. Allard Post #7373 of Sibley, funds to remodel VFW Hall including replacing two doors, create an handicapped accessible entry, & add insulation & improve lighting;
- Bright Beginnings of Osceola County, purchase 105 Pc. “Big Blue Block Set” including a cart & storage shed. All to improve children’s imagination
- Tracy House Museum, add paneling and shelving to Tracy House agricultural building to display memorabilia. Also plan to copy & restore historical documents and photos;
- Ocheyedan 125th Celebration Committee, promote community engagement and celebration of 125th anniversary with partial funding for fireworks display and other community entertainment in conjunction with celebration;
- Ocheyedan Volunteer Fire Department, funds to upgrade and replace worn fire equipment and air packs. Purchase and replace obsolete equipment;
- DeBoer Grocery Museum, repair and shingle small house & garage on DeBoer Museum property;
- Union Cemetery Board, replace brick pillars at entry, straighten, paint and widen gate, and improve the Union Cemetery sign;
- Ashton Legion Auxiliary, purchase 100 padded & stackable chairs, and replace 6 old banquet tables in the Ashton Legion Building;
- Ocheyedan Public Library, remodel both library bathrooms including sinks, flooring, fixtures, paint, etc.;
- Holman Township Cemetery, create updated cemetery maps to replace current hand-written documents. Will be able to print maps for genealogy searches and burial sites;
- Westerner’s/Those Crazy Goat Kids 4-H Club, purchase 6 picnic tables and fire rings for Hawkeye Point Park. Members will also seal tables and purchase fiberglass embedded signs for kiosk at the high point;
- Sibley Park Board, install sewer hook-ups for 7 campsites at Robinson Park to assist visitors that stay for extended times;
- Sibley Public Library, funds to assist with the establishment of English Learning Language classes including promotion & teaching materials as well as a coordinator to assist with the program;
- Melvin Fire Department, $2,900.00 to replace light bar on their tanker. Funds will also be used to replace and upgrade safety equipment, flashlights and LED lights on helmets;
- City of Melvin Library, $3,038.00 to replace roof on the Melvin Library. Funds are for materials and work will be completed by volunteers;
- Sibley Kiwanis Club, $2,000.00 to assist the Osceola Co. Trails Assoc. with east side of trail at Sunrise Park. Plans include concrete for trail, trash bins and other needs;
- Sibley Rotary Club, $2,000.00 to assist the Osceola Co. Trails Assoc. with establishment of a trail head in Sunset Park. Plans include an informational kiosk, bench, picnic table trash receptacle, labor and ground work for concrete trail;
- Osceola County Trails Association, $3,000.00 to add to the concrete walking and recreational trail system in and around Sibley. Trail will be available for the recreational benefit of all Osceola County residents;
- Sibley Chamber of Commerce, $1,500.00 to update and improve Chamber float used in area parades. Funds will also purchase additional communication equipment for parade use;
- Ocheyedan Township Cemetery, $2,355.49 to repair and replace old cemetery headstones and bases. Many monuments have no living relatives available to assist with the project costs and the tilted stones pose a safety hazard for children that may visit the cemetery;
- Sibley Recreation Department, $1,078.78 to build and purchase new games for Sibley’s Central Park including a Gaga Ball pit and 9 square games designed to improve park usage;
- City of Harris, $2,355.49 to repair and update the Harris Park bathrooms including a new roof, plumbing fixtures and remodeling expenses.