Larchwood, Iowa — Over $206,500 in grants were given to non-profits and government entities Thursday night, November 8th, by the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation.

The foundation is the non-profit license holder for the Grand Falls Casino near Larchwood. State law mandates a certain percentage of the casino’s gaming take has to go back to the community. The agreement between the casino and the non-profit stipulates that for the first $20 million the casino collects in gambling winnings in a year, they will give the foundation 4.5 percent. When they get up to $20 million, the percentage goes up to 4.75 percent; and when they get up to $30 million, it goes to 5 percent.

The Lyon County Riverboat foundation is set up to give half of the money in grants to county government subdivisions and schools, and the other half to non-profit projects.

The largest grant given on Thursday went to the Lester Fire Department, who got over $54,000 for a safety update. The next largest grant went to the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, who got nearly $43,000 for laptop computers. The Little Rock Fire Department received $35,000 for turnout gear. Next highest was a grant of nearly $29,000 to the City of Rock Rapids for a traffic signal override project. City officials say the town’s traffic signals would hear an approaching emergency vehicle’s siren and change the traffic signal to green for the emergency vehicle and red for the three directions. It is hoped to be installed next year. The Riverboat Foundation gave the Inwood Fire and Rescue Department over $18,000 for an SCBA (That’s Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus) update, and the Lyon County Auditor’s office over $10,000 for voting tablets.

The foundation also gave $10,000 to the G.I.V.E. Foundation, which, according to their website, is a not-for-profit organization to provide a structured golf program for injured Veterans. “G.I.V.E.” stands for Golf for Injured Veterans Everywhere. The Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort works with the Sioux Falls VA and the Area PGA (the Professional Golf Association) with this program.

Smaller grants of around $2,000 were given to the Lyon County Fair Association for security cameras, Lyon County Economic Development for their Career Exploration Day program for high school freshman and sophomore students, and to the Rock Rapids Kiwanis Club for concession stand equipment such as a new popcorn machine, a new refrigerator, and a larger-capacity hot dog machine for their stand at Borman-Forster Fields in Rock Rapids.

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