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Coliseum will still get grant

AP PHOTO
The Native Fund was founded by Iowa natives Ashton Kutcher and Dallas Clark.

The Marshalltown Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum’s is not in danger of losing the $100,000 Native Fund grant.

Officials with the Iowa Native Fund announced this week that they are suspending operations.

Geoff Hubbard, Parks and Recreation Director for the city of Marshalltown, said even though the $100,000 check for the Coliseum has not been received, the city was assured it will be sent shortly.

The Native Fund is a non-profit organization that was founded by actor Ashton Kutcher and former NFL player Dallas Clark, both Iowa natives.

It operated under the motto of “Iowans helping Iowans,” but received backlash when it was discovered that the director was making more money annually than the organization had donated to charities. The suspension was announced as a result of that realization.

When Hubbard first heard the news that Native Fund was being suspended, he was concerned because the funds had not been received.

“We got an email from Native Fund saying we were still good to go,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard had no indication there was anything wrong with Native Fund when the grant was awarded. He was surprised at the amount.

“We thought we were going to get $25,000 or $50,000, not $100,000,” he said.

Hubbard wondered if there was any connection between the Native Fund trouble and the grant for the Coliseum.

The grant is to be used for a renovation on the Coliseum, which was damaged in the July 2018 tornado.

The Coliseum was built in 1928 and dedicated after its completion in 1929.

Since its creation, the Coliseum has acted as the site of many community events. Marshalltown High School used the building as its gymnasium until 1964, and events like the Optimist Pedal Tractor Pull and community educational programs have also taken place there.

In 2017, the city hired architects to study how best to renovate the building. The next year, however, the renovation plans were put on hold after the building sustained significant damage from a tornado.

The total cost of the project is an estimated $3.6 million, and the fundraising goal is $1.35 million, of which 93.5 percent has been collected.

Native Fund grants

Since the Native Fund’s founding, many Iowa causes have received grants:

2017

• University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital: $150,000 for satellite clinics

• Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque’s Restore McGregor 2017 Tornado Fund: $10,000 for community center/public library project

• Wayne Community Foundation’s Seymour Disaster Relief Fund: $15,000 for backup power supply to emergency response facilities

2018

• Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation’s Westside Rising 2008 Flood Memorial: $10,000 for city park memorial

2019

• Hartley Community Center: $25,500 for flood-damaged flooring

• Carson King/Venmo/Anheuser-Busch fundraiser benefiting University of Iowa Stead

• Family Children’s Hospital: $10,000 contribution

• Marshalltown Veterans Memorial Coliseum: $100,000 for rebuild after damage sustained in 2018 tornado

• Blank Children’s Hospital: $10,000 for access to health care project

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