Hutchinson Community Foundation grants awarded

Hutchinson Community Foundation grants awarded

Hutchinson Community Foundation awarded Fund for Reno County grants totaling $56,947 to seven nonprofit organizations in March and May.

Established in 1990, the Fund for Reno County serves as a permanent resource for the changing needs of Reno County. Grants represent an innovative approach or collaboration, a new efficiency, a critical need that requires funding or an opportunity that needs a bit of local support to leverage resources for the community.

Proposals for the grants are accepted year-round, with awards decided in January, March, May, July, September and November.

The following organization received a grant in March:

Dillon Nature Center, $5,000: The nature center will use grant funds for a peer consultation through the Association of Nature Center Administrators. A panel of experienced nature center professionals will conduct an analysis over an intensive two-day onsite visit, touring the grounds and facilities and meeting with board members, staff and stakeholders to gain an understanding of the hopes and possibilities for future developments at the nature center. The peer panel will synthesize information and observations into a report aimed at better preparing Dillon Nature Center for its upcoming strategic planning sessions.

The following organizations received grants in May:

Emanuel Lutheran Church, $12,000: Each month Emanuel Lutheran Church distributes dry and frozen food provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to 300 to 350 low-income families in the Hutchinson area. A necessary relocation of the distribution site left the program without a freezer. Kansas Health Foundation Public Health Endowment funds, through the Fund for Reno County process, will allow the purchase of a secure, outdoor walk-in freezer, ensuring continuation of a valued community program.

Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation, $5,964: Grant funds will allow installation of fiber optic internet in the Lair White House, building the capacity of the foundation’s director and board to more effectively communicate with potential donors, thereby increasing the foundation’s potential to support a greater number of improvements to the fairgrounds. The installation will also make internet available to community groups, who may use the conference room in the building.

Reno County Boxing Academy, $14,208: The Reno County Boxing Academy seeks to give participating youth a positive physical outlet at an affordable price while increasing their engagement in the community. Grant funds will be used to purchase additional workout equipment and upgrade the facility door with a key-fob system, making the gym available 24 hours a day as a workout facility. The additional membership fees generated will create an income stream, allowing the academy’s team to travel to more tournaments while keeping team membership fees affordable for area youth.

Reno County Museum, $1,500: Funds will support the Reno County Museum’s renovations to the children’s play area, creating a fresh, immersive and historically accurate space for Reno County children and families.

Salvation Army of Reno County & Aging Projects Inc., $12,775: The Salvation Army houses Friendship Meals, a valuable community program of Aging Projects Inc., in its dining room and kitchen. Grant funds will allow for the purchase of a commercial dishwasher, increasing the capacity of this mostly volunteer-run program to serve the community more efficiently and effectively.

Youthrive, $5,500: Grant funds will support the partnership Youthrive has developed with Hutchinson Community College to help support foster youth who are transitioning into adult and college life by creating nurturing relationships with college staff and helping students aging out of foster care navigate the college application process and identify supports that are in place for them, such as financial literacy programs and community mentors.

Read more about other projects that have received grants this year.