The DRA, a leading gaming and entertainment organization in Dubuque, released today the list of 52 organizations in the tri-state area that will receive grants through the organization's Core Grant program. The total amount to be distributed to recipients in 2023 is $1,078,077.
"As an organization, I am proud to say the DRA has been providing much-needed funding to communities and organizations throughout the tri-state area for more than three decades,” said Mike Donohue, Chair of the DRA Board of Directors. “It is important that we continue our efforts in investing in people, places and programs, as we want these awards to help be a catalyst for even bigger and better things throughout the region.
The Core Grant program targets grant requests up to $50,000 from communities or non-profit organizations with programs or initiatives that focus on people attraction initiatives, such as population growth, retention and tourism; and a preference is given to capacity building opportunities alongside material purchases.
This year's Core Grant process attracted 150 total requests, all of which were reviewed by DRA staff and a grant committee before a final decision was made on final awards. Of the 52 recipients awarded grants this year, 47 were from Iowa, four were from Wisconsin, and one was from Illinois. Twelve of this year's recipients received 100 percent of their requested amount, while 36 of the 52 organizations received at least 50 percent or more of their respective requests.
“Our intent with these grants is pretty straightforward – we want to be impactful with organizations in communities throughout the tri-state area. We accomplish this by providing much-needed funding for programs, initiatives or services that align with our overall goal of supporting efforts that help communities grow and prosper,” explained Kathy Buhr, Director of Strategic Philanthropy & Schmitt Island Development for DRA.
As a result, the DRA is committed to utilizing a focused and strategic approach to how grant funds are awarded. This process helps ensure that any financial assistance provided to organizations can have a more positive and permanent impact throughout the tri-state area.
"Identifying and aligning with key organizations and then supporting a variety of different causes and initiatives has a big part of what DRA has been all about since its beginning,” said Wendy Runde, Vice President and General Manager of the Diamond Jo Casino. “Looking ahead, we will continue to focus on supporting forward-thinking efforts designed to address some clear needs, while also working to foster positive growth and change in communities throughout the region.”
DRA’s commitment to the community is made possible by proceeds that come from both Q Casino and the Diamond Jo Casino – both of which attract thousands of visitors to Dubuque each year from Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and beyond. The DRA is the non-profit entity that owns and operates Q Casino and is the co-licensee for Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque.
Since 1985, the DRA has awarded more than 5,000 grants – totaling more than $57million – to well over 1,500 organizations in the tri-state area (Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois). The organization has pledged over $1.3 million in 2023 for community organizations to tap into for grant opportunities.