Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 24, 2017

Foundation awards more than $157,000 to local organizations

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 22, 2017
Photo by: NICOLE MAJOR/Ledger photo Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and Friends of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center /Fairfield Art Association.

The Greater Jefferson County Foundation hosted its 2017 Grant Awards banquet Thursday night at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.

The foundation awarded $157,300 to about 30 local entities, and those organizations received funds for various needs, such as equipment purchases, program support, building renovations and food for those in need.

Fairfield Mayor Ed Malloy accepted a grant for the city that would help underwrite the building of a sign for the north entrance of town.

“We received a grant last year; and this year we applied for $2,000,” said Cindy Rousch of Seida Community Action in Fairfield. “They had more money, and so they gave us $5,000. We were very happy with that.”

Each year, former grant recipients speak about how the Greater Jefferson County grants have supported their organization. And this year was no different.

Foundation President Tim Kuiken introduced Carol Long of Seida Community Action in Fairfield, along with Janet Conger of Pekin Child Care to speak about what receiving grant funding from the foundation has meant to both of their organizations.

Long shared some of Seida’s mission with the audience, and said that the foundation grants had helped the organization meet its needs in helping the community.

“Cindy wrote a grant to help ... so we are very grateful for what you have given us,” Long said.

Conger said the child care center was established in 1991, and a new center was erected in 2001 to meet the center’s needs.

“A new infant and toddler program was established ... before we didn’t take in infants and toddlers,” Conger said. “They provided a grant to alleviate the debt. Between what they provided along with other changes we made to the program. We are now debt free.”

“Parents appreciate everything they do at the center, and now that we are debt free, we are able to get the grants for other projects that help us to keep the rates reasonable,” Conger said.

The foundation divides the funds into either capital or operational grants. This year, $94,349 went to capital funds, while $63,000 was divided out in operational funding.

Foundation board members Renee Rebling and Greg Lowenberg made grant presentations to each of the following organizations: Arc of Jefferson & Nearby Counties; American Legion Auxiliary No. 47; Batavia Volunteer Fire Department; Carnegie Museum; the City of Fairfield; Community Child Care; Fair Field Productions; Fairfield Area Soccer Association; Fairfield Beautification Commission; Fairfield Convention and Visitors Bureau; First Fridays ArtWalk; Friends of the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center; Habitat for Humanity; Iowa Contemporary Art; the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office; Lockridge Fire & Rescue; Maasdam Barns Preservation; Packwood First Responders Pekin Child Care; Pekin High School; Sieda Community Action; the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center; Food Bank of Southeast Iowa; Iowa College Access Network; The Lord’s Cupboard; The McElhinny Foundation and Young House Family Services.

After the presentation, Rebling thanked all of the organizations for “everything you do in our county.”

In addition to grants for organizations, The Greater Jefferson County Foundation also awards a host of scholarships for Jefferson County students for post secondary education and training. For more information about the foundation, go to www.greaterjeffersoncountyfoundation.org.

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