SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Missouri River Historical Development, Inc. (MRHD) awarded grants totaling $400,576 to 33 non-profit organizations and governmental entities Wednesday at its 2022 Micro Grants Ceremony at the Betty Strong Encounter Center.

According to a release, the grants, ranging from $2,525 to $15,000, are the result of MRHD’s ongoing mission of enhancing the quality of life for all people who live in or serve Woodbury County and surrounding counties.

Wednesday’s distributions bring MRHD’s total contribution to Woodbury County non-profit organizations and governmental entities to $45.2 million since 1994. Additionally, MRHD has pledged $1.8 million to Woodbury County recreational and economic development projects.

“With all of the uncertainty these last two years, we appreciate now, more than ever, the local funds from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City that flow back into our community to help improve the lives of Siouxland residents,” said MRHD President Steve Huisenga.

Huisenga presented grant awards to each organization in the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. The award recipients were determined by the Grant Review Committee which reviewed dozens of grant applications before recommending funding for this year’s 33 recipient organizations.

The committee’s recommendations were presented by committee chair Angie Schrunk to MRHD’s full Board of Directors for approval. Other members of MRHD’s Grant Review Committee are: Ragen Cote, Cyndi Hanson, Eddie Lofland, Larry Obermeyer, and Dale Tigges.

Among this year’s recipients is the City of Anthon, Iowa, which received a $15,000 grant to purchase and install new playground equipment in Forsling Park.

Anthon Deputy City Clerk Amy Buck exclaimed, “Thank you MRHD! Because of you, so many in our community will benefit from the playground this grant will provide. Many happy memories will be made at this park and our families will be able to enjoy it for many years to come. We truly appreciate it.”

Another grant will go to the Siouxland Historical Railroad Association, operating as the Sioux City Railroad Museum. According to Executive Director Matt Merk, the Railroad used the funds for a skid loader to improve the museum grounds for ADA accessibility and access to more areas of the museum. It will also help public safety through grounds and Interpretive trail maintenance.  Outdoor large-scale exhibit construction, ongoing historic building maintenance, and upkeep will benefit from the grant as well.

Spring Grants were awarded in five categories: Economic Development, Community Improvement and Tourism; Human Services and Health Services; Civic, Public, Patriotic, Charitable & Religious; Leisure, Cultural and Historical; and Education.

Economic Development, Community Improvement and Tourism: $97,000

  • Friends of Lewis & Clark Bicentennial: Tourism Program Publications, $3,000
  • Quimby Community Fire Dept.: Build Grass Fire Fighting Vehicle, $15,000
  • Elk Point, SD Community Foundation: Public Pool Bathhouse, $14,000
  • City of Anthon: All Abilities Playground Equipment, $15,000
  • Soulward Development: Resources for the Recovery Community, $5,000
  • Siouxland Freedom Park: Six Benches Around Freedom Park, $10,000
  • Ability Tech Foundation: Communication Signs at 2 City Parks, $5,000
  • City of Moville Fire Department: Purchase 24KW 120/240 Volt Generator, $15,000
  • Woodbury County Conservation Foundation: Outdoor Learning Shelter, Sidewalks, $15,000

Human Services, Health Services: $52,192

  • Salix Fire & Rescue: Six Sets of Turnout Gear, $15,000
  • Sleep in Heavenly Peace: Fully Furnished Twin Beds for Children, $10,000
  • Center for Siouxland: Lighting Around Building Perimeter, $10,009
  • Center Against Abuse, Sexual Assault: Age-Appropriate Literature, Activities, $2,525
  • Lutheran Services of Iowa: Furniture, Equipment for In-house Training, $14,658

Civic, Public, Patriotic, Charitable and Religious: $94,167

  • Calvary Cemetery: Increase Parking Area by Mausoleum, $14,124
  • Little Lambs Preschool & Child Care: Purchase New Flooring, $10,000
  • Cord Memorial Library: Website for Town Weekly Digital Library, $13,413
  • Westminster Presbyterian Church: Stock Shelves of Neighborhood Food Pantry, $ 5,000
  • City of Hinton, IA: Replace Ballfield Fencing, $15,000
  • Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church: Update Audio/Visual System, $15,000
  • Siouxland Human Investment Partnership: New Office Furniture for New Office, $10,000
  • City of Smithland, IA: Park & Ballfield Improvements, $11,630

Leisure, Cultural, Historical: $82,217

  • City of Pierson, IA: Tuckpoint 1940 Park Shelter, $15,000
  • Sgt. Bluff Historical Museum: Heat Pump, Computer, Printer, Display, $12,917
  • Sioux City Railroad Museum: Purchase Pre-Owned Skid Loader, $13,500
  • City of Sloan, IA: 8-Foot-Wide Sidewalk in Park, $15,000
  • Urban Native Center: Sustainable Cultural Garden Project, $11,000
  • Rural Woodbury Co. Historical Society: Cement Pad and Roof for Railcar Project, $14,800

Education: $75,000

  • Lawton-Bronson Community School District: Latex Printer, Plotter for Student Print Shop, $15,000
  • Remsen St. Mary’s Schools: Highschool Kitchen and Cafeteria Upgrades, $15,000
  • Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa: Install New Flooring, $15,000
  • Sioux City North High School Band: 2 Conn 20KW Sousaphones, $15,000
  • Mary Elizabeth Child Care & Preschool: Update Dining Room, $15,000

Since its grant program began in 1994, MRHD has awarded 981 Micro Grants totaling more than $7.2 million. Additionally, MRHD has pledged $1 million to the Sioux City Riverfront and $1.2 million in economic development grants and is the major supporter of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center and Betty Strong Encounter Center on the riverfront.