Osceola County foundation grants given out

Sibley’s William F. Allard Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7373 received $3,500 from an Osceola County Community Foundation grant to help with bathroom updates inside its building.

MELVIN—The Osceola County Community Foundation presented 29 grants on Feb. 28 totaling $95,121.72 to area nonprofit organizations and local government units in support of projects throughout the county.

The 2019 funding was presented during an awards ceremony at the Melvin American Legion Community Center. The foundation is celebrating its 13th year of dispersing funds in the county through the Endow Iowa initiative.

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 — like a casino — located in their county.

Since the foundation was established, more than $1 million has been invested 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.

It is estimated that these grant funds — added to the recipients’ matching dollars, volunteer labor and in-kind contributions — easily make the impact of the foundation’s grant program to be in excess of $2 million since it was started.

“We are pleased again to present community foundation grants to so many deserving organizations in Osceola County,” said Stephanie Neppl, the executive director of the Osceola County Economic Development Commission.

“Congratulations to all the re­­cipients and thank you to our dedicated board for their time and support for this grant cycle,” she said. “We look forward to seeing these great projects come to fruition.”

Grant applications are carefully reviewed by a 14-member committee representing all parts of the county.

These individuals donate their time to score each request and vote as a group to determine which grants are funded in any given year.

Although every effort is taken to fund as many requests as possible, each year some proposals must be turned down due to lack of funding.

This year, 30 applications were received requesting $100,074. The review committee was able to fund 29 of the 30 requests. Those proposals not funded in 2019 are encouraged to apply during the next grant cycle later this year.


The following projects were funded by the Osceola County Community Foundation for 2019:

  • Ashton Ambulance Crew, $3,500 for commercial dryer to help care for cover blankets.
  • Ashton’s William Ben Hoffman American Legion Post No. 290, $3,500 to update furnace serving building’s south side, which includes bar, hallway and restrooms.
  • Ashton Betterment Committee, $3,500 to repair and replace parts of roof of building affected by water damage.
  • Ashton Fire Department, $3,500 to update turnout gear racks.
  • Ashton Town & Country, $3,500 for LED-lighted message board to post information about town events and personal messages.
  • Bright Beginnings of Osceola County in Sibley, $3,500 for child-care security swipe card system at day-care facility.
  • City of Harris, $3,500 for first-phase improvements for historical preservation of marshal’s office and jail.
  • City of Sibley, $3,500 for 16 LED Christmas snowflake decorations to be hung on its main street.
  • DeBoer Grocery Museum in Ashton/Osceola County Historical Society, $3,500 for multiple repair and painting jobs to help preserve building.
  • May City Betterment Committee, $3,500 for revitalization of May City Fire Hall/Community Center, including fixing leaking windows and doors.
  • May City Fire Department, $3,500 for building improvements, including repairing rim joists, replacing existing steel on original structure and performing minor landscaping projects.
  • McCallum Museum and Brunson Heritage House in Sibley, $3,500 for software package to help organize museum’s collection of artifacts into computerized database.
  • Ocheyedan Indians 4-H Club, $3,500 for historic banners for Ocheyedan’s Main Street.
  • Ocheyedan Public Library, $3,500 for circulation computer and software and to improve lighting in book area.
  • Ocheyedan Township Cemetery, $3,500 to repair and restore historic cemetery monuments.
  • Osceola County Livestock Show, $3,500 to add handicapped accessibility to fair buildings in Sibley.
  • Sibley Park Board, $3,500 for 10 new picnic tables for city’s campgrounds.
  • Sibley Public Library, $3,500 for filtered water bottle filling station, multi-table meeting room and prominent lettering on exterior of building.
  • Sibley’s William F. Allard Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7373, $3,500 to remodel bathrooms to make them handicapped-accessible, to replace floor tile, vanities and ceiling tile, and to add stall door and dividers and improved lighting.
  • Tracy House Museum in Ocheyedan, $3,500 for copy machine and restoration supplies in addition to second phase of concrete project and replacement of display case glass.
  • WeCare of Osceola County, $3,500 to help veterans to go on Brushy Creek Area Honor Flights to Washington, D.C.
  • Westerners/Those Crazy Goat Kids 4-H Club, $3,500 for upgrades to Hawkeye Point near Sibley, including repairing corncrib, replacing damaged boards and preparing buildings for power washing and new paint.
  • Ashton Public Library, $3,120 for new air-conditioning unit.
  • Sibley-Ocheyedan School District STEM Program in Sibley, $3,000 for Sibley-Ocheyedan Middle School Mobile STEM Learning Center, which includes large wheeled cabinets to easily transport STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — resources.
  • Osceola County Economic Development Commission in Sibley, $2,979 for computer tablet.
  • Melvin Fire Department, $2,850 for LED lights for firefighters’ helmets.
  • New Beginnings in Sibley, $2,125 for security back door and chute door.
  • Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in Sibley, $2,047.72 for dash mount directional radar units.
  • Ocheyedan Senior Activity Center, $2,000 for flooring for Senior Activity Center to replace existing damaged flooring.