JCCF awards $85,000 in grants to non-profits

This year, the JCCF awarded $85,000 in grants to Jones County non-profits. Accepting the grants were representatives from the 12 designated recipients. Front from left are Patty Manuel, JCCF board; Sheila Tjaden, JRMC; Derith Vogt and Amanda Bieber, Friends of Conservation; Kris Gobeli, Grant Wood MRR; Charlotte Scheckel, Starlighters; Nikki Rushford, Wyoming library; and Cammie Greif and Lisa Stadtmueller, Excel Monticello. Back row, Jim Eichhorn, Wyoming Historical Museum; Bob Hatcher, Jones County Tourism; Jenna Vsetecka, Anamosa schools; TJ Griebat, Cedar/Jones ECI; Becky Melchert, Camp Courageous; and Garett Hanken, Advancement Services. (Photos by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Jones County Community Foundation (JCCF) celebrated a successful year of community impact with donors, non-profit leaders and community partners at its annual event on Dec. 6 at Fawn Creek Country Club in Anamosa.

     “We come together for the greater good that happens in Jones County,” said Sherri Hunt, JCCF coordinator. “We want to share what we’re doing to make our county a better place.”

     Doug Edel, one of the current JCCF board members and a founding member of the board, said in the mid-2000s, he was chosen by then-County Supervisor Keith Dirks to represent on the JCCF board.

     “I was willing to learn more about it,” said Edel,” and help get things off the ground.”

     Edel explained at the time, the state was looking for a way to fairly distribute gambling funds throughout the 99 counties.

     “The idea was to help build a permanently endowed fund,” he said, “to serve those communities.”

     Edel since the beginning, there has been a countywide effort to build the endowed fund.

     “We’ve been able to do quite a bit of good throughout the county,” he said. “I, for one, am very proud of what we’ve accomplished.”

     To date, Jones County donors, non-profits, and businesses have created 26 different funds at the JCCF, growing total assets to more than $1.1 million. Payout from these various funds then support the needs of Jones County non-profits for years to come.

     This year, the JCCF awarded grants totaling $85,816 to 12 different non-profits and programs:

     • Friends of Jones County Conservation and Nature Center – $25,000.

     This is the largest grant the JCCF has ever given out. The funds will go toward fishing access at Central Park Lake.

     • Grant Wood Mississippi River Region Inc. – $20,000.

     The funds will go toward the Wapsipinicon Trail project.

     • Advancement Services of Jones County – $8,500.

     The funds will go toward ASJC’s community access initiative to assist clients with transportation needs.

     • Jones Regional Medical Center Foundation – $5,000.

     The funds will go toward the purchase of a 3D mammography machine for JRMC. Sheila Tjaden, with JRMC, said after an additional $5,000 anonymous donation, only $5,000 remains in their efforts for this project, which started out with a $400,000 goal.

     • Camp Courageous – $5,000.

     The funds will go toward a wastewater treatment project at Camp.

     • Wyoming Historical Museum Commission – $5,000.

     The funds will go toward the Hotel Williams preservation project in downtown Wyoming.

     • Starlighters Theatre – $5,000.

     The funds will go toward the purchase of LED stage lights for the community theater, which is helping Starlighters become more energy efficient.

     • City of Wyoming/Public library – $3,534.

     The funds will go toward the replacement of carpeting, doors and windows.

     • Cedar/Jones Early Childhood Iowa – $2,883.

     The funds will go toward the Early Childhood book project in Jones County.

     • Excel Monticello – $2,000.

     The funds will go toward the Excel Center in Monticello, which promotes entrepreneurship in Jones County. One of their projects is introducing youth to the CoderDojo organization, computer programming for young adults.

     • Jones County Tourism – $2,000.

     The funds will go toward tying Jones County in the with Grant Wood Loop website, as well as giving tours of the Jones County to people in Jones County. This will help sell the county to locals, who in turn can sell the county to those outside of Jones County.

     • Anamosa Community School District – $1,900.

     The funds will go toward expanding leadership opportunities for seventh and eighth graders, in collaboration with Grant Wood AEA.

     These grants were supported by Iowa’s County Endowment Fund Program. This initiative, unique to Iowa, makes grants to create a strong community foundation infrastructure in 84 counties like Jones. The JCCF grants out 75 percent of these funds and invests the remaining 25 percent in a permanent endowment that generates interest to be distributed in future years.

     In addition to awarding grants, the JCCF also takes pride in leading community initiatives. Hunt outlined a couple of projects JCCF has in the works, collaborating with local youth.

     One of those projects is working to get a youth philanthropy group started in the county. Hunt said this would be strictly for high school students to come together to do a community needs assessment and identify causes that they care about.

     “They would then do a community service project, raise the funds, and grant out those funds just like the JCCF,” she explained. “This teaches them leadership skills, to become engaged in their community, and really understand what’s going on.”

     Another project JCCF is working on involves providing eye exams and glasses for children, called “Vision to Learn.”

     This is a partnership with the same organization based out of California.

     “This project creates a mobile clinic that will come to the schools and provide the child with an eye exam,” explained Hunt. “So Mom and Dad won’t have to take their child out of school to go to the eye doctor.”

     Hunt said the schools in Jones County are screening students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Kids that fail the screening are referred to the mobile clinic.

     She said in late January/early February, the clinic will be going around to perform the exams.

     In addition, those kids will each receive two free pairs of glasses; one to leave at school and one to take home.

     For more information about JCCF, visit www.dbqfoundation.org/JCCF or contact Sherri Hunt at jccf@dbqfoundation.org.


Subscriber Login