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Story County Community Foundation Awards $159,278 to local organizations

Story County Community Foundation Awards $159,278 to local organizations
(AMES, NOVEMBER 28, 2022) – The Story County Community Foundation has awarded $159,278 in grants to 19 Story County nonprofit organizations.
“Our grantmaking committee reviewed 37 funding requests this year from nonprofit organizations serving Story County. Selecting grant recipients from an outstanding and varied group of applicants is always a challenging task. Although we could not fund all applicants, we were fortunate to have additional funding this year to support more proposals submitted for consideration,” said Liz Zuercher, Executive Director of the Story County Community Foundation.
With the additional funding the Community Foundation awarded four Major Community Grant projects (Up to $25,000). The Foundation had twelve Major Grants Letters of Intent equaling over $290,000 submitted. The Committee chose four applicants to submit full applications.
Among the awards was a $25,000 Major Grant to the Camelot Theater Foundation in Nevada for their construction/renovation project, The Bertha Bartlett Public Library in Story City for their library building expansion project, $25,000 to ChildServe in Ames for their building expansion project and $17,000 to Friendship Ark in Ames for their community mobility project.
Major Grant Awards Description
-Camelot Theater Foundation in Nevada construction/renovation project.
The estimated $1.9M restoration of the historic Camelot theater will be conducted in phases. Grant funds from Story County Community Foundation would be applied to Phase 2 of the overall restoration, which is the restoration of the 2nd and 3rd floor windows. It is CTF’s goal to restore the façade to its original classical revival appearance, upstairs apartments will be remodeled for rental use, the theater will be updated with flexible seating, the front lobby will be expanded into a building to the north (donated by a community member) and reconfigured to include reception space, a bistro/wine bar, and a future rooftop patio. The theater will have the flexibility to accommodate a variety of uses such as plays, musicals, concerts, movies, children’s theater, weddings, business events, educational events, training and more.
-The Bertha Bartlett Public Library in Story City for their library building expansion project.
A $25,000 grant from SCCF would help build a kitchenette next to a large meeting room for the Bertha Bartlett Public Library building expansion project. The kitchenette is estimated to be 300 square feet of an addition to add 12,000 square feet of space for community events, children’s programming, young adult rehearsal space, business meetings, training areas, and quiet spaces for online meetings. In addition, all of our collection areas will be expanded. This project will have a long-term impact for life-long learners at the library with programming for children through adults; career training opportunities from statewide businesses; and meetings of the many service clubs, school organizations, and theatrical groups who request space to gather and rehearse.
-ChildServe in Ames for their building expansion project.
Grant dollars from the SCCF will be used towards construction costs for one of the three new Autism Day classrooms that will be developed as part of our larger facility expansion project. ChildServe’s Autism Day program is the only one of its kind in Iowa. Children with autism, age two to six, receive specialized weekday childcare, while also accessing occupational, speech, and physical therapy on-site to promote overall health and development. Children participate in evidenced-based treatments focused on their needs, abilities and goals, including the STAR (Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research) curriculum. Our Autism Day classrooms, currently with 18 slots, are full and our waitlist is growing. Child outcomes in this program are impressive, so replicating and expanding this service is a key priority. This expansion will create space for 20 additional slots. Our goal is to have the classrooms complete and enrolling children by summer 2023.
-Friendship Ark in Ames for their community mobility project.
Our vehicle fleet which allows us to get our members into the community to participate in events, activities, and appointments is in need of replacing at least two vans. We will be working with local dealerships to maximize the grant dollars from SCCF to have the greatest benefit in securing at least two new or slightly used vans. Our members need transportation to participate in the community as well as get their personal needs met. This can include trips for medical appointments, to do personal shopping, to volunteer, or to participate in community events happen in Ames.
Of the 33 Community Grants (Up to $6,000) submitted, 15 were funded. “The committee would have liked to fund all 33 grant applications, but unfortunately our funding was limited,” said Zuercher. “We are proud to support these nonprofit programs that are so vital to the community,” she said.
Below are the Community Grants that were funded:
Arts and Culture: 
Old Settlers Steering Committee
Band Stand Enhancement Project in Maxwell
Story Theater Company – Q Lab & Mac Mini Program
Community Betterment:
Nevada Public Library – Story Walk on the Nevada Trails
City of Collins – Collins Area Community Center Improvement Project
City of Maxwell – City Park ADA Restroom Remodeling Project
Friends of Huxley – Making a Splash(Pad) in Huxley
Threshold Learning Center in Zearing – Community Garden Repair & Expansion. This project was chosen to receive the Suzan Shierholz Award. This recognition is for a grant that supports a better life for children in Story County.
Blast Back to School – Supply Drive & Distribution
Raising Readers in Story County – Parent Engagement in StoryPals & Other Community Programs
All Aboard For Kids – Full STEAM Ahead: Workplace & Adult Readiness Program • The Community Academy – Education Kitchenette Project
Health and Wellness:
The Salvation Army of Ames & Story County – Food Pantry Program
The RedShirt Foundation – Youth Mental Health Matters in Story County Program
Human Services:
Food at First – HVAC & Generator Project
Food Bank of Iowa – Fighting Childhood Hunger in Story County
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