Bright Ideas Surpasses $2 Million in Grant Awards

Since its inception in 2011, The Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund has awarded more than $2,000,000 to support various nonprofit organizations that serve the citizens of the Wapello County area. In the Spring Grant Cycle, ORLF awarded over $135,000 to the following organizations:

  • Blakesburg Historical Preservation Society to assist with foundational repairs to the Blakesburg Community Museum
  • Bridge View Center Inc. to purchase additional outdoor planters and tradeshow equipment
  • Cardinal Community School District a help fund a summer school program that focuses on literacy and math for 1st – 3rd grade students.
  • Crisis Center & Women’s Shelter, Inc. to support their Safe Housing Initiative
  • Friends of Eddyville Public Library to support the creation of a searchable digital archive of Eddyville newspapers from 1854 to 2003
  • Gothic Area Tourism of Eldon Corporation to assist with repairs to the historic Eldon Public Library
  • Ottumwa Athletic Club, Inc. for the purchase of adaptive physical education equipment for the Ottumwa Community School District and two new swimming platforms for The Beach Ottumwa
  • Ottumwa Community Children’s Playhouse to support the purchase of costumes and set materials and to help fund a Summer Drama Camp
  • Southern Iowa Economic Development Association to help fund a field trip experience for Ottumwa Preschool and Head Start students
  • STARR Workforce Inc. for the purchase of bistro tables and chairs for their outdoor eating area
  • Tenco Industries to purchase equipment for their Adult Habilitation program for individuals with severe disabilities
  • Young Men’s Christian Association of Ottumwa for education and programming support to develop life-long habits of health and wellness

Heather Buckley, Principal at Cardinal Elementary recently stated, “The Ottumwa Legacy Bright Ideas funding will greatly benefit 1st-3rd grade students attending our summer learning program… Early literacy is essential, and it’s common for students to regress or lose learning over the summer months. With [ORLF] support, our district is able to serve students over the summer months with a well-designed program that meets their specific academic needs at no cost. “

The Bright Idea Community Enrichment Fund program has three grant cycles each year and awards up to $450,000 a year. The next grant cycle opens June 1, 2016. Applications can be submitted through the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation website at