The Iowa West Foundation Board of Directors recently approved $7.7 million in grant and initiative funding to 24 organizations and government entities in southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

Funds to address diversity, equity and inclusion in Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County arose as a central theme for the second of three grants cycles for 2019.

The Pottawattamie County Community Foundation received nearly $300,000, $166,000 of which was earmarked for the Women’s Fund of Southwest Iowa while Centro Latino received $75,000 for operating funding. One Iowa received $16,000 to conduct a needs assessment for the LGBTQIA+ community in Pottawattamie County.

“As we evaluate the ever-changing makeup of our community, the foundation is focused on organizations that can help meet the needs of all individuals who call southwest Iowa home, and that includes females, minorities and the LGBTQ community,” said Pete Tulipana, president and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation.

“Collectively, we hope this funding can lead to greater education around the issues faced by members of these populations in our region.”

“We are honored to work with the Iowa West Foundation, University of Iowa, and Des Moines University on this important endeavor, said Dr. Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel, Executive Director of ONE Iowa.

“Data is essential to ensuring our work to improve LGBTQ individuals’ lives is impactful. As a result of this project, we will have quantifiable data for the first time ever to inform our work addressing the specific needs of LGBTQ individuals in western Iowa.”

In the placemaking category, the foundation awarded funding to several recreation projects, the largest of which was $2,000,000 for the Iowa West Sports Plex — an indoor turf facility that will be operated by the Council Bluffs Soccer Club.

Pickleball courts currently under construction at the Iowa West Field House received $600,000, and Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development received $350,000 for its Loess Hills Missouri River Region Cabin Initiative.

“The lead gift from Iowa West Foundation has been instrumental in leveraging funding from other grant sources across the state and region,” said Arian Haddix, the newly named executive director of the Council Bluffs Soccer Club.

“Their commitment to recreation in southwest Iowa will allow us to provide a much-needed home for our young athletes to be able to play the sports they love all year round and not have to travel outside of our community.”

Lastly, as part of its ongoing commitment to rural southwest Iowa communities, the foundation awarded grant funds to several flood relief organizations throughout the region, totaling $200,000.

The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $484 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program.

Funding for the grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contractual fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA is the license sponsor for Ameristar and Harrah’s and the license holder for Horseshoe-Bluffs Run.

The Foundation targets resources into programs and projects that focus on economic development, education, placemaking and healthy families. For more information on the foundation, visit

Funding recipients included:

  • Angels Among Us — financial aid for families of children with cancer in Pottawattamie County, $18,900
  • Centro Latino — operating funding, $75,000
  • City of Carter Lake — rental inspection program, $14,500
  • City of Council Bluffs — River’s Edge Parking Garage, $300,000
  • City of Council Bluffs, West Broadway — Phase III, $1,769,124
  • City of Tabor — Tabor Public Library, $50,000
  • Completely Kids — Phoenix House family services, $7,000
  • Council Bluffs Schools Foundation — STARS, an IWF initiative for low-income adult parents in pursuit of college degrees, licenses or certificates, $345,000
  • Council Bluffs Schools Foundation — Trade Works Academy, $200,000
  • Family Inc. — Raise Me to Read, $170,400
  • Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development — Loess Hills Missouri River Region Cabin Initiative, $350,000
  • Impact Hill — operating funding for recreational, educational, social, cultural advancement at the historic Riverside HS building, $15,000
  • Iowa West Foundation Initiative — Council Bluffs Riverfront Revitalization, $405,000
  • Iowa West Foundation Initiative — Iowa West Sports Plex, $2,000,000
  • Iowa West Foundation Initiative — Pickleball Courts at the Iowa West Field House, $600,000
  • Iowa Western Community College Foundation — Pottawattamie Promise, $700,000
  • Metropolitan Area Planning Agency — Heartland 2050 Close the Gap 2019, $27,500
  • Minden Volunteer Fire Department — personal protective equipment, $9,700
  • One Iowa — needs assessment of LGBTQIA community in Western Iowa, $16,000
  • Pottawattamie County Community Foundation — Women’s Fund of Southwest Iowa, and matching funds’ $291,667
  • The 712 Initiative — The Good Neighbor program, formerly Neighborhood Network,, $25,000
  • YMCA of Greater Omaha — capital funding for Charles E. Lakin YMCA in Council Bluffs, $200,000
  • American Red Cross — Central Iowa Chapter, Fremont County flood relief, $15,000
  • American Red Cross — Nebraska/Southwest Iowa Chapter, Harrison and Pottawattamie counties flood relief, $5,000
  • Food Bank for the Heartland — Fremont, Harrison, Mills and Pottawattamie Counties flood relief, $50,000
  • Iowa Legal Aid — southwest Iowa services, $25,000
  • Mills County Public Health — shelters in Mills County, $15,000
  • Omaha Community Foundation — Fremont County Community Foundation, $25,000
  • Omaha Community Foundation — Harrison County Community Foundation, $25,000
  • Omaha Community Foundation — Mills County Community Foundation, $25,000
  • Salvation Army — flood relief in southwest Iowa, $15,000

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