Skip to Main Content
News story web photo

Over $140,000 in Grants Announced at Celebration of Community

November 4, 2019

Nearly 350 people attended the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa’s annual Celebration of Community event on Friday, November 1, at the Diamond Event Center in Cedar Falls where the Foundation announced seven grants totaling $143,408.

“In the Cedar Valley, and across our 20-county region, CFNEIA is partnering with thousands of people and hundreds of organizations to make where we live stronger for everyone,” said Kaye Englin, CFNEIA president and CEO. “The grants made tonight will have a significant impact on the nonprofits and the people they serve. We are extremely grateful for people whose generosity allows us to grant over $6 million every year to projects like these that create impacts across our communities.”  

Special mission fulfillment grants were awarded to Grin and Grow Child Care, Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center and Cedar Valley Air Services. These three grants totaling $120,000 aligned with the CFNEIA’s community initiatives of child care and nonprofit capacity building.

Grin and Grow Child Care received a $50,000 CFNEIA grant which will be used to begin a matching gift campaign to support the organization’s operations including non-budgeted projects to ensure increased safety and quality of care for children. Grin and Grow Child Care has served the Cedar Valley for over 76 years, currently serving 85 children. The preschool is key to the success of this group of children, 75% of which live in households below the poverty line. Questions about Grin and Grow and the matching gift campaign can be directed to Ed Gruenwald, director of operations and development, at 319-291-2425. Gifts can be made on their website at

"I wish there were a stronger set of words in our language, but the only thing I can think of to say is 'thank you.' Thank you to the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa for its incredibly generous grant of $50,000," said Erin Lyons, Grin and Grow board treasurer. "This is a great day for Grin and Grow, but we remember there is work left to be done. The Foundation's support makes Grin and Grow’s future possible!"

The mental health crisis is impacting Iowa, and Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center (BHGMHC), Unity Point Health, is striving to reach even more people in need of assistance. To support their efforts, CFNEIA granted $50,000 to BHGMHC to support the organization’s campaign to raise funding to grow their capacity to serve the growing number of individuals seeking assistance with mental illness. These funds will be used to establish a matching gift challenge to enhance this campaign. BHGMHC provides comprehensive and accessible mental health services for children, adolescents, adults, older adults, couples and families. According to BHGMHC, one in every five people struggle with mental illness. Questions about BHGMHC and the matching gift campaign can contact Anesa Kajtazovic, development director with the Allen Foundation, at 319-235-3960 or A designated gift to Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center can be made on the Unity Point Health website at

Cedar Valley Air Service, a committee of Grow Cedar Valley, is working on behalf of the Waterloo Regional Airport to improve commercial air service in the Cedar Valley. The Cedar Valley Air Service Improvement Fund was established with the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa in 2019 to help support the committee’s efforts to expand and strengthen local air service. A CFNEIA grant of $20,000 was awarded to establish a matching gift challenge to assist in launching this campaign that significantly impacts the Cedar Valley economy. Questions about Cedar Valley Air Service and the matching gift campaign can contact committee member, Dave Beaty, at 319-2771059. Gifts to the fund can be made on the CFNEIA website at

CFNEIA also announced four Women’s Fund grants totaling $23,408 at the event. Women’s Fund grants are selected by CFNEIA’s Women for Good group consisting of women who want to empower and improve the lives of women and girls in Black Hawk County. Waypoint Services received a $9,653 Women’s Fund grant to support its building a safety net for women fleeing domestic violence program. Lutheran Services in Iowa received an $8,000 Women’s Fund grant for its Black Hawk County HOPES program, an evidence-based service for parents of children 0-5 years old to reduce abuse and promote health families. The UNI Foundation received a $3,500 grant for hydrant installations for its Community Producers program that build economic opportunities for refugee women in Waterloo by providing access to a community garden and supplemental educations workshops. The final Women’s Fund grant was to Delta Kappa Gamma, Iota Chapter for its collaborative program with Heartland Habitat for Humanity. The organization provided learning shelves, bookcases filled with books, games, puzzles and more, for children moving into Heartland Habitat for Humanity homes. 

Celebration of Community is an annual event of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. CFNEIA was established in 1956 and has since grown to serve 20 Iowa counties, partnering with 24 affiliate county and community foundations to create local impacts. Since 1956, CFNEIA has distributed over $95 million in grants to nonprofits and now holds over $115 million in assets to support causes in communities across its region forever. CFNEIA is a nationally accredited community foundation and employs 12 staff to help people support the causes they care about and collaborate with nonprofits to enrich communities in its region. Go to for more information.

Back to News & Events

Connect on Facebook