Enhance Hamilton County Foundation holds annual awards night

More than $122,000 was awarded to 15 area groups at the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation annual grant award night.

The event was held Thursday night at the Jane Young House in Webster City. EHCF’S Director Darcy Swon told those in attendance that as of the end of 2019, the foundation manages 33 accounts, with four more expected to come onboard soon. She added that more than $1.08 million in grants had been awarded through the EHCF grant program since it started 15 years ago.

“Over 58 charitable organizations have been supported by Enhance Hamilton County Foundation funds since 2015,” she said. More than $56,000 has been raised to support local food pantries through challenges sponsored by the foundation over the past seven years.

The largest award of the night went to the Career Ag Academy with a grant of $51,000. Swon said that the foundation had also pledged an additional $100,000 over the next several years.

All Culture Equal received a $12,000 grant to help finish the commercial kitchen the organization is developing at the ACE Community Center. ACE Director Kathy Vaughn said there are already seven bakers and cooks interested in using the commercial kitchen, once completed.

The Kendall Young Library was presented with a grant for $15,087.06 for parking lot improvements. Steve VandeZande, president of the library board of trustees was on hand to accept the grant.

The JADE Foundation of Jewell will receive $8,587.06 to develop a Vendor Village. The project will provide additional space for entrepreneurs wishing to start businesses in the community.

Jake Lahr, Brandon Lahr and Carly Appel represented the Cass Red Cardinals 4-H Club. The group will receive a $8,097.08 grant to help their concession stand construction project at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds.

Youth and Shelter Services of Hamilton was awarded $6,000 to continue its Better Together Treatment services. Jane Adams, executive director, accepted the award for the agency.

Other awards presented included:

• $4,400 to the Hamilton County Fair Foundation for a bleacher project at the Claude Family Arena

• $2,750 to the Jane Young House Foundation for exterior trim and front porch painting

• $2,500 to the Hamilton County Exposition for the grandstand stage project

• $2,351.76 to the Stratford Early Learning Center early literacy project

• $2,000 to Children and Families of Iowa to help improve behavioral and mental health

• $1,875 to Upper Des Moines Opportunity for the Christmas for Seniors project

• $1,000 to Hamilton County AdvoCATes to help with their community cat initiative

• $535 to the Stratford Library for adult art projects

• $200 to the Stanhope Development Group for improvements at the city park.

Tiffany Larson, who helps coordinate the Youth in Philanthropy program through the foundation introduced her 2020 committee members — Ely Hassebrock, Megan McSparin, Abby Ervin and Emmaly Fields, all South Hamilton students, and Charlotte Judkins, Riley Jergins, Teagan Gourley and Abilene Sosa, Webster City students. The students help review grant applications and award funds for some of the grants.

The EHCF grant review committee consisted of Travis Barrick, Kendra Chizek, Lindsay Henderson, Pat Hill, Brian Holt, Will Johnston, Leah Maass, Dale Sigmund and Kyle Swon.

View this article as it originally appeared in the Daily Freeman-Journal.

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