Larchwood, Iowa — At a grant presentation ceremony about a month ago, Lyon County Riverboat Foundation president Jeff Gallagher told the audience that the foundation would now not only be giving competitive grants to Lyon County non-profit projects, but to those in surrounding counties as well.
The Lyon County Riverboat Foundation is the non-profit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood. Grand Falls Casino gives four and a half to five percent to the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation for distribution. The percentage increases depending on how much money comes in. The foundation gives half of the money to county government, and the eight municipalities and three public schools in the county; and the other half is given in competitive grants. This past summer the foundation also gave out several $2000 mini-grants as part of the competitive grant funds.
We caught up with Gallagher and asked about the situation. He says they always knew that eventually they’d be giving grants to out-of-county projects.
Gallagher says with Grand Falls being very near both Minnesota and South Dakota, they’ve also started giving out-of-state grants. He says they’ve given to projects in Minnehaha and Lincoln Counties in South Dakota and Nobles County, Minnesota in the form of mini grants. Their first out-of-county competitive grant went to Inspiration Hills last month in Sioux County. That went for an outdoor warning system.
He says that while their focus will always be Lyon County, giving grants where Grand Falls’ money comes from just makes sense.
He says that if casino profits increase that will give them more money to distribute both in and out of Lyon County.
Also at the ceremony, Gallagher mentioned that one of the only ways the foundation has to measure how committed people are to a non-profit project is if people have given matching funds. He says the foundation doesn’t require matching funds, however.
He says all non-profit projects can apply for grants by filling out a form available at lyoncountyriverboatfoundation.org