OSKALOOSA — The Mahaska County Community Foundation (MCCF) is pleased to announce that the 2023 grant cycle has concluded, with just over $110,000 awarded for projects within Mahaska County. The checks have been distributed to the recipients, with these organizations now hard at work putting these dollars into good use to benefit many Mahaska County citizens.
The MCCF is in large degree a creation of the Iowa Legislature, which diverts eight-tenths of one percent (0.8%) of the total gambling tax to the 84 counties that do not contain a gambling facility. However, this revenue can only go to a Qualified Community Foundation, which has strict rules and regulations to follow. The MCCF is such a Foundation, and its 8-member Board covers all areas of the County, including representatives not only from Oskaloosa but also from Leighton/Pella, New Sharon, and University Park. Of the funds received, MCCF grants out 75% of the monies via its grant application process, with the remaining 25% added to the permanent endowment fund from which the revenue can also be used for grants. The MCCF’s permanent endowment fund is also intended to attract additional donations to provide a greater funding source. This permanent endowment fund qualifies for the Endow Iowa Tax Credit program which allows doners to receive significant tax benefits for their donations.
MCCF Secretary and Bank Iowa Vice President Calvin Bandstra, stated “The MCCF has been in existence since 2006. At that time, only $45,000 was available for grants, with that amount now more than doubled. The non-profit organizations in Mahaska County have taken note of this, and now work hard to qualify for these funds. This year’s grant applications had an exceptionally high quality and variety to them, and we Board Members of MCCF hope that trend continues, even though it makes the grant selection process more difficult.”
In addition to the grants given to specific organizations in specific communities, two successful grant applications had a county-wide flavor. One was a $6,135 grant to the Mahaska County Extension office of Iowa State University for projector/speaker project for its auditorium; the other was a $15,000 grant to the Southern Iowa Fair for renovations to the 4-H/FFA Sale Barn.
The following is the list of grants awarded:
$7,500 Mahaska Future View—New Community Engagement/Marketing Program sponsored by the Mahaska County Chamber, Oskaloosa Schools, and others
10,000 Mahaska County Recreation Foundation—Hip Shades for new baseball fields at Lacey Complex
20,000 City of University Park—Expansion and updating of City Park
8,000 Eddyville Little League—Baseball field improvements
2,000 Friends of George Daily Auditorium—Free student tickets for 25th anniversary of Youth Theatre
7,000 Fine Arts Council and Events (FACE) of Mahaska County—Renovation project
11,000 Mahaska County Historical Society/Nelson Pioneer Farm—Self-guided tour signage
6,135 Mahaska County/ISU Extension—Auditorium improvements
2,500 New Sharon Little League—Improvements to the Reed ballfield
5,000 William Penn University—Touring Musician performance and workshop for area students
15,000 Southern Iowa Fair—Renovations to the 4-H and FFA sale barn
10,000 Mahaska County YMCA—Expansion of group fitness programming
5,000 Friends of the Stilwell Library (New Sharon)—Technology updates
1,000 Mobility Worldwide of Leighton—Printer/Copy Machine replacement
$110,135 Total Grants Awarded