Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lyon foundation issues grants

LITTLE ROCK-The Community Foundation of Lyon County awarded more than $97,000 in grants to local organizations at a ceremony Wednesday in Little Rock.

Community foundations in Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties were formally established along with others across the state in 2005 through affiliation with the Siouxland Community Foundation.

Each of the N'West Iowa foundations is governed by a local advisory board composed of representatives from each of their communities in their respective county. For Lyon County, those communities are Alvord, Doon, George, Inwood, Larchwood, Lester, Little Rock and Rock Rapids.

The mission of the foundations is to enhance the quality of life in the communities served by encouraging permanent charitable giving to meet the needs of present and future generations.

"Obviously, our No. 1 priority is to assist each community in the completion of projects," said Carl Petersen, chairman of the Lyon County Community Foundation Advisory Board.

Funding for the grant program is a result of County Endowment Fund legislation that was passed in 2005. The act provides one-half of 1 percent of annual Iowa gambling revenues for distribution to counties that lack a gambling entity. One-fourth of the money received is placed in an endowment.

In accordance with the legislation, the foundation in Lyon County received more than $131,604 in the fall of 2008, with 75 percent allocated for the grant program and the remaining 25 percent to build the county's permanent endowment.

The date, the Community Foundation of Lyon County has received about $340,164 to be used for charitable purposes.

"We're looking forward to another year of awards," Petersen said. "We have had very good support from all of our communities. It's great, because even t hough we've gifted about $97,000, it really equals to about $250,000-$300,000 in all of the communities. That's pretty substantial."

This article appeared in the April 18, 2009 edition of The N'West Iowa REVIEW.

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