DRA Awards More Than $1.13 Million to 2022 Core Grant Recipients

Dubuque, IA – July 26, 2022 – The DRA, a leading gaming and entertainment organization in Dubuque, released today the list of 59 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 2022 is $1,134,846.

"The DRA has been providing funding to communities and organizations for more than 35 years, so I am pleased we are able to continue our efforts in investing in people, places and programs throughout the tri-state area ," said Alex Dixon, president and CEO of the DRA and Q Casino. "Our hope is that these funds will be a catalyst for growth and jumpstart even bigger and better things for the organizations receiving awards this year."

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. Under the new grant guidelines, a preference is also given to capacity building opportunities alongside material purchases.

This year's Core Grant process attracted 157 requests, all of which were reviewed by DRA staff and a grant committee before a final decision was made on awards. Of the 59 recipients awarded grants this year, 52 were from Iowa and 7 were from Wisconsin. Twenty one of this year's recipients received 100 percent of their request, while 44 of the 59 organizations received at least 50 percent or more of their respective requests. In addition, the average award this year was over $19,000, which is significantly higher than last year's average award of $8,960.

“With the recent changes to our grant process, we are being intentional about awarding fewer grants. Our goal is to be more impactful by providing a greater number of grants at the 100 percent level, or at least offer higher dollar amounts for each request than we may have in the past," said Dixon.
The DRA is committed to taking a more focused and strategic approach to how grant funds are awarded, so as to ensure the financial assistance provided to organizations can have a more positive and permanent impact throughout the tri-state area.

"For years, the DRA has gladly partnered with many different organizations and helped support a host of causes and initiatives. Now we really want to begin focusing more on forward-thinking endeavors - ones designed to spur growth and change in our area communities and address some clearly identified needs,” said Wendy Runde, Vice President and General Manager of the Diamond Jo Casino.

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 5,000-plus grants – totaling more than $60 million – to over 1,500 organizations in the tri-state area (Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois). The organization has pledged $2,976,000 in 2022 for community organizations to tap into for grant opportunities.

DRA 2022 Core Grant Award Fact Sheet 

  • 59 organizations were awarded $1,134,846.50
  • Organizations in Iowa were awarded 91% of the funds
  • Organization in Wisconsin were awarded 9% of the funds

The following communities received grants


  • Andrew: 1
  • Cascade:
  • Dubuque: 39
  • Dyersville: 2
  • Epworth: 1
  • Farley: 1
  • Guttenberg: 1
  • Maquoketa: 3
  • Monticello: 2
  • Sherrill: 1


  • Benton: 1
  • Darlington: 1
  • Dodgeville: 1
  • Platteville: 4

The following is the breakdown based on organization type:

Animal Welfare:
1 organization | $20,000 

Arts, Culture and Recreation:
24 organizations | $382,120

Civic & Community:
11 organizations | $142,752

8 schools/organizations/districts | $278,945

Emergency Services:
3 organizations | $14,029

2 organizations | $100,000

Health & Human Services:
9 organizations | $186,600

1 organization | $10,400 

About the DRA

The DRA, through its gaming and entertainment facilities provides for social, economic and community betterment and lessens the burden of Dubuque city and area government, while contributing to the growth and viability of Dubuque area tourism.

The organization has been a vital part of the community since its inception in 1985 and is operated by a volunteer board comprised of 21 directors who work together to guide operations of Q Casino. The DRA holds the license for casino-gaming operations of Q Casino and is also the co-licensee for the Diamond Jo Casino, both of which are located in Dubuque. For more information on DRA and its community-minded mission, visit