2017 Ribbon Cutting at Dallas Center Bike Trail


It was a chilly Tuesday morning, but there was a great turn out for the Dallas Center Bike Trail Restroom ribbon cutting ceremony.

Dallas County Foundation board members, Butch Niebuhr, Teresa Wichtendahl and Vicki Lage along with former DCF board member Linda Nelson. Linda worked closely with Bob King during this process.

The project received the first Grow Greene County grant. Dallas Center received the whole amount of the first year grant, $18,200 along with other grant monies constructed this facility.

Bob King has kept amazing data and reported that it takes .86 gallons per rider to use the toilet and take a drink of water. He estimated that there are an approximate 209 people per week using the building.


Butch and Teresa were impressed with the mechanical room.  Many pipes, shut offs and gauges in such a small space.

Team RunFree Custom Run Cart Update


Our goal was to acquire a custom built run cart. This would allow us to run with taller and older Captains (riders) who were too big to comfortably fit in our standard run carts. Additionally, the custom cart is better suited for distance running and would allow us to take part in races longer than 5K distances. We took part in 16 races and numerous fun runs and training runs in 2017. Many runs were in Dallas County, and several others were in the Des Moines area. Our custom cart, Big Red, was used in 6 or 7 of these races, and most of the other outings. A highlight was having 4 carts (including Big Red) and 7 runners at the Adel Sweet Corn Festival 5K race in August. We do love running locally, and are looking for ways to increase that in 2018.


Visually and logistically, it was obvious that some Captains were too tall for the standard carts.  Much online research was done, and I spoke with various vendors by phone and in person.  The info narrowed down our match to one specific custom cart which matched our requirements for rider size and comfort.  Additionally, it had a proven record in distance races.

TeamRunFree-5In our research we saw that some carts were much heavier and bigger.  

That brought some small ride advantages, but at the cost of weight and pushing difficulty for heavier Captains.  

There are not a lot of manufacturers who produce these larger carts, but there is a large difference in functionality, comfort and ease of use.  

We were able to add some custom padding to boost the ride comfort and fit for our Captains. Additionally, these padding items help us meet specific needs for the physical disabilities of some Captains.

We used the custom cart in several 5K races with great success and without incident.  However, 2 weeks prior to the IMT Des Moines half marathon race, a training run revealed that some spokes were loose.  A local bike shop donated their services to correct this, and they verified that the cart was in top condition.  We went on to run the half marathon and the cart met (and exceeded) our hopes and expectations.

TeamRunFree-2Team RunFree experienced growth in 2017 (our 2nd year as a nonprofit), and we limited it so we can improve our organizational plans to keep up with the demands and scheduling.  

We will allow more growth in 2018 for both our Captains (riders) and Navigators (runners).

We will continue to provide our running and race entry at no cost to the families we serve.  

We now have 5 standard carts and 2 custom carts. Our plan is to match these resources with our 2018 races in a way that will not require additional carts. We will evaluate during the season and see if that will hold, or if we need to add more carts and team members.

As a 100% volunteer driven organization which is dependent upon donations, we love to recognize those who help us reach our goals.  In 2017, we gave Facebook recognition to the Dallas County Foundation for making this dream a reality.  This was mentioned on various occasions. Additionally, I noted it on my own Facebook page, and I frequently tell others how we were able to acquire the custom cart.   As we end our 2017 season and work towards our 2018 goals, we will again recognize the Dallas County Foundation for their generosity and support.

 TeamRunFree-logoKevin Hircock
Team RunFree
(515) 238-6121

Waukee Trailhead Project Nearing Completion


Waukee Railroad Pergola – “In The Shadow Of The Rails” Raccoon River Valley Trail – Public Art Initiative Update

Have you been to the Waukee Trailhead of the Raccoon River Valley Trail recently?  The public art project made possible through your support is nearing completion and the results are amazing! The installation looks remarkably like the artist’s drawings, but is even more impressive now that the scale, colors and artistic detail can be seen and experienced. This project has truly established a culturally unique gateway and identity for the Raccoon River Valley Trail corridor. 


Final work which needs to be completed includes installing the solar and shade panels over the plaza, wiring for the LED lighting and landscaping details. This work is in progress and will be finished soon. A grand opening and ribbon cutting event will be held in the spring. We will be notifying you of that date and look forward to having you there to help celebrate this great achievement.


As the Waukee project nears completion, efforts are now focused on bringing elements of the “In The Shadow Of The Rails” theme to the other RRVT Communities.  Support is strong and growing for the completion of public art structures along the entire trail corridor. Six additional projects that replicate the Waukee design are now in progress and planned for completion in 2018. These include installations at Dallas Center, Minburn, Perry, Cooper, Winkleman Switch (the trailhead north of Cooper) and Jefferson. A third phase is also now ramping up to bring the public art initiative to the communities located along the trail’s western route. When complete this initiative will have established one of the nation’s longest linear public art installations; creating national level recognition and identity for the RRVT corridor and the central Iowa region. 

Thank you for your past and continuing support as we work to raise funds for completion of this exciting vision for the Raccoon River Valley Trail corridor.   

If you have any questions or would like additional information please let us know by replying to this email or contact.

–  Jim Miller, RRVT Public Art Project Committee Chair

New Hope Bargain Shoppe – Display Racks and Point of Sale iPad


The New Hope Bargain Shoppe in Perry was a 2017 Dallas County Foundation Grant Recipient for Display Racks and a Point of Sale iPad.

Both have been purchased and are now in use at the Perry location.

New Hope Bargain ShoppeThe mission of New Hope is To enrich the quality of life for individuals with disabilities by offering opportunity, choice and support… in an environment which promotes dignity, and self-fulfillment.

All of the quality items at New Hope Bargain Shoppes are generously donated by people from the community. If you wish to make a donation of clothing or other used items you may take these items to the Perry store, located at 1010 26th St., Perry, IA 50220


Forest Park Museum 2017 Grant Recipient

Forest-Park-MuseumForest Park Museum at the One Room School House in Perry Iowa.

The Museum is a 2017 Grant Recipient from the Dallas County Foundation (DCF) for recording the histories of those attending and teaching.

Their have been numerous field trips to the school this fall – as evidenced by many Dallas County town names on the school buses in the parking lot.

There have also been additional funds donated to the group of teachers working on this project.

DCF approved $3,630.47 from Grow Greene County grant monies to the Nu Alpha Gamma Chapter for recording those living Dallas County one room school teachers in the area.


Taping in Alton of One Room School Teachers

Not only the teachers, but they have been able to interview students of the Alton school. In the process, the retired teachers have cleaned, painted and provided chalk boards and chalk to the visiting school kids.

They are working on the plaque to recognize the improvements.

2018 Dallas County Foundation Grant Cycle Begins

The Dallas County Foundation 2018 grant application materials will be available on December 1, 2017.

They may be found on the DCF Grant Information page.

DCF will fund grant requests that impact the lives of Dallas County residents in the areas of health and human services, arts and culture, youth development, education, recreation, environment, and community betterment.

DCF-1 Applicants must be a 501(c) 3, 5 or 6 organization or 107(b) unit of government; or be affiliated with another organization that has one of these designations.

The grant application deadline is Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Thanks to the generosity of the Grow Green County Gaming Corporation, the Dallas County Foundation will be able to award additional dollars this year.

DCF grant application instructions and requirements will be explained at a grant workshop:

  • Adel Public Library, 303 South 10th St.,
  • Adel Tuesday, January 9 Lunch 11:30
  • Grant Information 12:00 – 1:00
  • RSVP by December 21,2017 to: hchill@minburncomm.net
  • Limited seating available – workshop is free

For those unable to attend the face-to-face workshop, a training video will be posted on the Dallas County Foundation Grant page that covers the same information.

The Dallas County Foundation, an affiliate of Greater Des Moines Community Foundation was established in 2005 to foster private giving, strengthen service providers and improve the conditions of the communities and rural areas of Dallas County, Iowa.

For more information and grant application materials please visit www.dallascountyfoundation.org/grant-information.


Perry Industrial Tech Program – Update

Perry-Industrial-Tech-01The Perry Industrial Tech program has been utilizing the GGC/DCF $5,000 grant to teach students how to use the mobile welding cart.

Calvin Smith reports that the attached student photos are with the fabrication table Growing Greene County/Dallas County Foundation granted in the 2017 cycle.

They will be discussing the grant and the tables with their advisory board this next month as well as announcing the GGC/DCF grants and what they purchased at the fall industrial tech BBQ.

The fall BBQ is a public event where they showcase what the students have been working on and what is new in the department.

DeSoto Speed Trailer

The De Soto Police Department has deployed a speed trailer at the north edge of town encompassing the entrance to DeSoto and the I-80 Interchange.

The De Soto Police Department was a 2016 Dallas County Grant Recipient for their speed trailer.

The goal of the project was to improve the overall safety of roads in De Soto by reducing the speed of individuals traveling on the roadways.


With the help of the speed trailer they have been able to slow the overall traffic and cause people traveling through the city to be more mindful of their speed.

The DeSoto Police Department plans to continue the project for the foreseeable future. Experience from the past year will allow them to better plan sites for the speed trailer and possibly using the trailer for different traffic enforcement projects. 

Bouton Veteran’s Memorial – Progress to Date

2017-DCF-Bouton-Vet-MemorialThe Bouton Veteran’s Memorial was a $5,000. 2017 Grant Recipient of the Dallas County Foundation.

The grant went towards the reconstruction of the Bouton Veteran’s Memorial.

The group continues to raise funds to complete the project.

It is a welcome site to see the new structure and we look forward to when the names are adde t honor those who proudly serve in our Armed Forces.