Granting the future

The eighth annual grant awards ceremony for the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation gave out $79,201 to county institutions and organizations for projects to improve the lives of community residents.

Foundation president Brian Holt, along with several other Foundation board members, presented 16 grants at the Webster City Community Theatre building on Monday evening with a couple dozen people in attendance.

Organizations given grants and the amount they were granted include:

$1,500 to the Blairsburg Opera House for storage units.

$4,000 to the Boone Valley Izaak Walton League for electrical improvements and expansion of shoot events.

$6,750 to the Friends of Little Wall lake for lake restoration projects.

$1,663 to Hamilton County Conservation for trail kiosks and panels.

$2,103 to Hamilton County Crimestoppers for marketing efforts and programs.

$15,000 to the Hamilton County Fair Foundation to build an arena.

$9,000 to Hamilton County Support and Enhance Economic Development, SEED, for tourism and marking projects.

$7,500 to the Jade Foundation for rain gardens.

$5,000 to the City of Kamrar for park improvement.

$5,000 to Kendall Young Library for a digital archive project.

$2,500 to Stanhope Development for a playground.

$1,000 to the Stratford Library for building improvement.

$5,000 to Webster City Community Theatre for renovations.

$4,000 to the Webster City Free Clinic for medications.

$4,685 to the Williams Library for carpet and outlets.

$4,500 to the Youth and Family Center for crisis counseling.

Grant recipients will have to submit a final report on how the project was done and how the grant money was spent. Any grant funds that were awarded but not spent must be returned to the Foundation, and projects must be completed by the first of October. Groups awarded grants also must match at least half of the funds granted for their projects.

Grants through the Foundation are given based on recommendations from a Foundation committee. That committee scores grant applications, which are later sent to the Foundation board who give final grant approval to applicants. Since the Foundation’s creation in 2005, it has given out about $600,000 in grant funds to organizations in Hamilton County.

Grants are just one aspect of The Enhance Hamilton County Foundation. The organization also helps people develop endowments that will grow and give money to a specified cause over many years. Brian Holt, president of the Foundation, said in an interview in August of 2012, that endowments continue to benefit the county long after they are made.

“We will help individuals, families or businesses leave a legacy that will give year after year in perpetuity back to the community,” Holt said.

The Foundation also facilitates one-time donations to groups or organizations in the county. However, Holt said that even a small amount of money can grow over several decades to continually grant an increasing amount of money to causes in the county.

“The Enhance Hamilton County Foundation exists to help concerned individuals make a lasting difference in their communities. Any size donation can be grown and continue to give back to grow the community,” Holt said.

For more information about The Enhance Hamilton County Foundation, visit their website at