Click here to access the 2022 Ottumwa Housing Study

Summer 2013 BICEF Grants Announced

We are pleased to announce that our Summer 2013 Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund grant cycle has produced eleven new grant awards totaling $139,473 for Wapello County no-for-profits. The following lists the organizations and their funded project amounts:

American Home Finding – Funding for Mandt training, security alarm system and YMCA programming for Child Emergency Shelter:  $9,210

Blakesburg Historical Society – Funding for construction of ADA compliant restroom in Blakesburg Museum:   $11,000

Bridge View Center, Inc.  –  Assistance for purchase of new sound system:  $25,000

Ecumenical Lords Cupboard – Grant to purchase food items to support food insecure of Wapello County:   $10,000

Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon – Funding for dirt work and seeding of trail shoulders and open park area in Eldon:  $3,239

Iowa Justice For Our Neighbors – Funding for JFON staff to hold legal clinics to assist with immigration process:  $10,000

Ottumwa Athletic Club – Assistance with Ottumwa Youth Basketball Program:  $4,000

Seton Catholic School – Funding for the expansion of preschool/daycare program:  $29,743

Southeast Iowa Symphony Association – Support of “Educational Concert for Ottumwa Schools”:  $3,000

Wapello County Historical Society – Funding for beautification and energy efficiency project in bus and train areas:  $18,500

Wapello County Sherriff’s Reserve – Grant to replace analog radios with (10) P25 digital radios:  $15,782

Bright Ideas grants are awarded competitively and reviewed by a community volunteer grant committee which includes two high school students.  The program will celebrate its two year anniversary during the month of September.  “One of our board members asked me the other day how many grants this program has awarded in its first two years and I was surprised when I added up the 72 grants that have already been given to the 49 different non-profits, stated Kelly Genners, director of community leadership & grant-making for the Foundation.  “The best thing about that is each of those 49 organizations touches the residents of our community in a unique and profound way.”

The Bright Ideas program provided its first grant in September of 2011, since that time over $888,000 in grants have been awarded.

The next grant cycle begins September 15.  Applicants may apply online from September 15th – October 15th.   Eligible applicants must be a 501(c)(3) organization.  Additional questions may be referred to