HCCF gives over $150K in grants

—Howard County residents score with Community Foundation funds
LIME SPRINGS - Representatives from 28 Howard County non-profits were able to pick up their grant checks on Tuesday, April 11 in Lime Springs. 
A total of $150,146.42 in grants from Howard County Community Foundation, made up of Howard County Endowment Fund, Howard County Expendable Fund and Shirley Bigalk Davis Memorial Endowment Fund, were given for deserving projects. There were 44 applications. Those not receiving grants should try again in the future.
Ronda Hughes, Chairman of the HCCF committee, said, “HCCF grants have been funded since 2006. In total, $1,700,800 has been given to non-profits. These funds are an opportunity for groups to work on projects that need to be done.”
Applications for grants fit into six categories. Receiving funds this year were:
Arts & Culture
• Cresco Theatre & Opera House ($15,000) — Wendy Lickteig said, “This is my ninth year as theatre manager. In 2020, the scene shop was torn down due to asbestos and other troubles. We desperately need it. The scene shop would benefit live shows and the community theatre.”
• Howard County Historical Society ($3,500) — Representative Bootie Kapler told the group the HCHS will use the funds for the ceiling in three rooms of the Kellow House. Fixing it was a hardship after having to do the windows at $1,700 each. “We will be open on the Sunday of Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest. Tours and ice cream sundaes are free.”
• Normal Borlaug Heritage Foundation ($10,000) — Gary Gassett accepted the grant for the foundation. The money will be used for the birth place house for siding and windows. “We’ve been having international guests tour the complex.”
• Wapsi-Great Western Line Trail Association ($7,330.42) — Elaine Govern explained the project, “In 1984, the Iowa DOT spent $480,000 on a study to see where the best place to have trails go. They found abandoned railroads and a river corridor were best.” Riceville has both.
She noted the funds will go to further development of the trail, north of Elma. Then, there is just four miles of trail that needs to be built in Minnesota, which would allow a trail to go from Elma to the Hormel Nature Center in Austin.
Community Betterment
• Chester Hill Cemetery Board ($3,000) — Pam Wendel told the crowd the money will be used for putting up flags along the driveway and fixing up the crematory. 
• Chester Community Center ($3,750) — Wendel said the funds will go for additional chairs, to make them more consistent and better than old metal chairs.
• Chester Fire & Rescue ($15,000) — Jeff Wendel said the money will help bring the department’s PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) up to ISO standards. “It will bring us up to date. Some of our turnout gear was at the date to replace.”
• Chester Partners in Progress ($3,000) — The group will purchase additional picnic tables and benches for the park. Pam Wendel added, “We are a small town, with not much money. We would not be able to do any of our projects without the grants given to us. We greatly appreciate it.”
• Cresco Fire Department ($7,993) — Cresco Community Fire  requested funding of a Brush Truck upgrade by adding a Wildland Remote Monitor Nozzle mounted to the front of the Apparatus with Electronic Controls from the Cab of the Apparatus. 
By doing a project such as this, the department will add to overall Firefighter Safety and maximize the on-scene manpower to effectively manage the scene.
• Cresco Police Department ($4,000) — The department partners with the Howard County Sheriff’s Office and First Responders. In addition this year the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will return thanks to Cresco Kiwanis.
• Elma Community Complex ($4,400) — Erin Ludwig said the complex is being completed in many phases. It began when Howard-Winneshiek gave the elementary school to the City. 
“We first deconstructed the school, then we put up the medical clinic. The next phase was renovating the gym into the city hall, community room and library. Our most recent phase was adding to the daycare.” 
No taxpayer funds were used for the project. So far, donations are around $1.3 million. The grant money will go toward signs.
• Lime Springs Fire Department ($1,840) — The department will use its funds for communications.
• Lime Springs Park & Pool Board ($15,000) — Laney Frazer and Sharla Lieder said the pool is replacing or resealing water pipes. “The whole community and from all over Howard County have helped with the project.”
• Protivin Park Equipment ($5,000) — Martin Ahrndt accepted the donation for the City. “The ball park will get new swings and some multi-use equipment. It was updated so the equipment was safe for kids.
• Howard County Sheriff’ Office ($3,600) — Sheriff Tim Beckman said the funds this year are for ballistic shields. Last year we got ballistic body armor. Hopefully we never have to use any of it.”
• Lubbert’s Park in Saratoga ($4,229) — Board member David Krueger explained the park needs more preschool-aged equipment. “We are adding two spring rides, a sand box with cranes, a tetherball set and three picnic tables.”
• Protivin Firefighters ($5,000) — Ahrndt explained the new fire station is about 98% done. This year, the department needs to replace five radios. “Some are so old, they don’t make replacement parts anymore,” he said.
Education & Youth Development
• Elma Public Library ($2,000) — Library Director Renee Burke is happy to have a larger space for programming. She plans to have more programs, such as music for littles and ekuele lessons for youth.
•Howard-Winneshiek CSD ($13,160) — School board member Andy Ludeking, along with Capital Campaign committee members, Robyn Lane and Ludwig, said, “The grant given by HCCF pushed us over the $600,000 mark. Ww are trying to raise $1 million on equipment and other items not included in the addition. There’s lots going on at the school right now.”
• Riceville CSD Special Ed ($1,200) — Kayla Kraft explained the funds will go toward a light table for reading and math.
• Trinity Catholic School ($3,000) — HCCF committee member and former Trinity principal, Jim Zajicek, accepted the grant. “As the former principal, I know funding for parochial schools is limited. And my computer skills are limited. My word processing is still the ink pen.” These funds will help purchase iPads and covers.
• Youth Riceville Athletic Program ($4,644) — Bryce Conway gave some background on the scoreboard to be used at Lake Hendricks. “The school purchased it, but couldn’t use it because it was broke. We sat on it for about five years to be used at Lake Hendricks. We didn’t have funds to give it power, but this will allow for that. This summer we will have a working scoreboard.”
Environmental  & Animal Welfare 
• Cresco Wildlife Club ($5,000) — President Greg Hudecek said, “This money will be used to put lights up at the trap shoot range. We have 56 kids out for trap. By the time 4:30 comes around, it is starting to get late for practice or meets. This will help keep it lit.”
• Fish & Game Club ($1,000) — The funds will be used for pond restoration
• Riceville Blood Drive ($1,000) — HCCF committee member Rosalie Christensen accepted the funds on behalf of the American Red Cross Blood Drives. “The drive is held at the shool. This will help pay the rent. There are four drives a year, with 180-190 units per drive.”
Human Services
• Howard County Charitable Projects ($1,500) — “We are also known as the County Store. We are happy to keep as much out of the landfills as we can. You can call us the Queens of recycling,” said Kapler, with Darla Rance. The funds will be used to help pay for some help.
• Northeast Iowa Food Bank  ($3,000) — This will help feed families and children who are food insecure.
• Riceville Community Foundation ($3,000) — Sister Donna McPhail is in charge of the Elf Shop in Riceville. “I’m an elf. I help Santa Claus. I also help the Easter Bunny. I provide presents, clothing, food and school supplies to over 200 people. For Christmas, 33 families received $100 each. In school, if anyone needs anything, I get it for them.”
Members of the HCCF volunteer committee include Hughes, Alice Back, Kristen Burke, Rosalie Christensen, Becky Fritcher, Amanda Keller, Chas Malek, Ryan Manske, Al Voyna, Bruce Weigel, Bart Wilson and Jim Zajicek.
More information about the HCCF can be found at www.howardccf.org.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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