Enhance Hamilton County Foundation Awards Grants to 14 Local Organizations

Representatives of the 2018 Enhance Hamilton County Youth in Philanthropy program included: Tiffany Larson, Committee Chair; Joshua Harms, South Hamilton High School; Anna Ervin, South Hamilton High School; and Antonio Calles, Webster City High School. Not pictured are: Lily Skartvedt and Mason Alsager from South Hamilton High School, and James Cherry, Emma Bailey and Dawson Hjelmeland from Webster City High School.

The Enhance Hamilton County Foundation (EHCF) awarded $101,711.04 in grant funds to 14 Hamilton County organizations Tuesday night during their annual Grant Awards ceremony held at the Webster City Middle School. Over 50 guests attended to receive grant monies and to learn more about the projects being funded.

Rick Young, President of the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation, welcomed attendees and shared that the grant monies that the Foundation distributes are a result of the County Endowment Fund Program which distributes a percentage of the State’s gaming revenue to qualified community foundations. The Foundation to-date has granted over $1 million to charitable causes throughout Hamilton County since the organization was formed in 2005.

According to Darcy Swon, Development Director of the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation, shared the Foundation’s 2017 highlights including that they grew their fund portfolio by over 67.5% from 2016’s ending fund balance to just over $3 million.

One of the highlights of the evening was the introduction of the Doug “Jake” Jacobson Wildlife Fund by Stacie Jacobson. The fund’s intention is to enhance game and non-game wildlife populations on lands throughout Hamilton and adjacent counties. Every year a grant will be awarded to an organization that has the same vision as the fund. This year, Jacobson awarded $500 to the Hamilton County Pheasants Forever to help provide food for wildlife in the late season to assist with sustaining their lives and reproducing young in the spring.

Tiffany Larson, Chairman of the EHCF Youth in Philanthropy Program, introduced the new program aimed at providing youth in Hamilton County with the experience of philanthropy by reviewing grants and awarding monies steered by their decisions to assist local nonprofit organizations. Larson also introduced the student committee members from both the South Hamilton and Webster City Community School Districts. The committee consists of a total of eight students, two juniors and two seniors from each school. The student committee members will receive a $250 scholarship for each year they participate a committee member with a maximum of $500 from the EHCF. For more information on the Youth in Philanthropy program contact, Tiffany Larson, at beeinspiredcappprogram@gmail.com or 515-602-6371 x 4.

The following grants were distributed during the ceremony:

City of Randall received $6,000 for a new shelter house;

Stratford Public Library received $585 for the Outdoor Classroom and Handicap Access;

Hamilton County Conservation received $13,525 for two open air shelters;

Career Ag Academy received $10,000 for planning and development of the academy to be located in Webster City;

Central Iowa R.S.V.P. received $950 for their winter weatherization project;

Stratford Early Learning Center received $3,741 for their Feeding Young Minds program;

Webster City Women’s Club received $4,834.35 for a vintage clothing exhibit at the Jane Young House;

Kendall Young Library received $5,966.19 for the installation of security cameras;

Hamilton County Animal AdvoCATes received $500 for HamCO CatSNAP program;

Youth and  Shelter Services of Hamilton County received $3,637.50 for Telehealth Video Conferencing Equipment;

Your Own United Resources received $4,443.63 for a curriculum update;

Upper Des Moines Opportunity received $281.75 for their Coats for Kids Program;

and the Iowa Able Foundation received $246.62 for financial literacy training.

In addition, $50,000 was awarded out prior to the ceremony to the Briggs Woods Conference Center as part of a multi-year commitment.

The Enhance Hamilton County Foundation’s mission is to foster private giving, strengthen service providers and improve the quality of life for citizens in Hamilton County. To these ends, it will promote endowment collaboration, and public leadership for the benefit of the designated area.

For more information on the Foundation and the resources they provide to assist with charitable giving, visit their website at enhancehamiltoncounty.org or contact Darcy Swon, Development Director, at 515-835-0437.


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