Grantmaking Impact

Grantmaking Impact

Through Hutchinson Community Foundation, donors have made millions of dollars of grants—and priceless impact.

Over $93.9 Million

Total grants since founding

Over $7.7 Million

Granted in 2021

Fund for Reno County Grants

Established in 1990 by the founding Board of Directors as a permanent resource for the changing needs of Reno County, the Fund for Reno County, formerly known as the Fund for Hutchinson, has awarded over $3 million to more than 170 area organizations and agencies serving Reno County.

In 2022, Hutchinson Community Foundation awarded Fund for Reno County grants totaling $202,441 to area nonprofits. These organizations provide a wide variety of services and programs in Reno County.

Grant recipient organizations for 2022:

ARTS & CULTURE

Family Community Theatre

Award: $15,000

Grant funding will support the replacement and upgrade of the front panel of the Flag Theatre’s marquee, which was damaged in a recent storm. The new panel will be digital and allow for more effective use of the marquee for publicizing Family Community Theatre’s shows and community events, and it will also allow the theater space to share messages welcoming groups to town.

Hutchinson Art Association Inc.

Award: $4,330

Funding will support Hutchinson Art Association’s collaboration with diversity-driven and arts-focused organizations to host a juried exhibition featuring artists of color, highlighting under-represented artists in Kansas and surrounding states. The exhibition will also provide an opportunity to diversify Hutchinson Art Association’s permanent collection and give the community an opportunity to discuss representation issues during a public forum at the Hutchinson Art Center.

Hutchinson Symphony Association

Award: $4,230

Grant funding will support the payment of two guest performers and the music rental fees for several pieces in this dream-themed series of performances, which will take place at Hutchinson’s Historic Fox Theatre through April 2023.

CIVIC IMPROVEMENT

Buhler Public Library

Award $500

The library staff member and volunteer board are working toward a more effective and sustainable organization. Funds will be used for costs associated with producing and mailing the library’s first-time annual appeal letter.

Dillon Nature Center

Award: $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.

Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation

Award: $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 Museum

Award: $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.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

The Father’s House-Hutchinson

Award: $15,000 per year for three years

Funding will support establishing the Reno County Chaplaincy Coalition, an effort to recruit, train and effectively organize a network of volunteer chaplains. The Chaplaincy Coalition will be available to provide both spiritual support and connections to additional community resources to people experiencing individual crisis situations and will also be prepared to serve in times of natural disasters, pandemics or major accidents when first-responders must focus on the direct physical care and safety of the people involved.

Healthy Families of Reno County

Award: $9,500

Funding will provide Kansas Children’s Service League staff training specific to the newly adopted Healthy Families curriculum, which helps the staff effectively address the developmental needs of a wider age range of children and their families that the program now serves. Funding also allows for the purchase of two tablets for use by staff in the office, on home visits and during group experiences.

Holy Cross Conference of St. Vincent de Paul

Award: $15,000

Holy Cross Conference of St. Vincent de Paul is a volunteer-run organization that addresses the most basic needs of community members. While St. Vincent de Paul has been able to meet many needs solely through donations in the past, these grant funds will allow volunteers to continue assisting with food, utilities, rent, gas/transportation and other needs that individuals and families face during these particularly challenging economic times.

Hutchinson Breakfast Lions Club

Award: $5,000

In 1925, Helen Keller asked Lions Clubs to be knights for the blind, and ever since, eyesight has been a focus of all Lions Clubs. Grant funds will be used by the Hutchinson Breakfast Lions Club to purchase a new piece of equipment called a Spot Screener, which is used by school nurses as they perform eye exams on students throughout Reno County.

Milestone Clubhouse

Award: $15,000

Funds will be used to provide intensive employment supports to participants in a newly created Transitional Employment Program through Milestone Clubhouse, a local branch of Breakthrough (Episcopal Social Services Inc.), addressing the needs of those in Reno County who experience severe mental illness.

New Beginnings, Inc.

Award: $7,000

Grant funding will cover the costs of exploring and working with an attorney to develop a land trust, which would allow a split between a piece of land and the housing on that land. This legal structure enables people in the housing development to be members of the land trust while making the cost of the housing itself more affordable.

RSVP-The Volunteer Center

Award: $15,000

The Volunteer Center has provided free tax form preparation for qualified community members through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program for 48 years. In 2022, volunteers prepared 1,279 federal tax returns and 1,212 state tax returns. Funding will cover the cost of replacing 10 outdated laptops, allowing VITA volunteers to effectively provide this service to Reno County families with low to moderate incomes.

Salvation Army of Reno County & Aging Projects Inc.

Award: $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.

Wichita Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)

Award: $10,000

Funds will be used to support WIN’s purchase of a van as they begin a Dress for Success Mobile Van Program, allowing expansion of its career readiness program to rural communities, including those in Reno County. The van will make monthly trips to provide work-appropriate clothes and other resources for disadvantaged women, eliminating transportation and financial barriers. Women leave dressed for success and feeling confident.

EARLY CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Emanuel Lutheran Church

Award: $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.

Guardians of the Children-Salt City

Award: $5,300

Guardians of the Children aims to recognize and react to child abuse and to educate the public to do the same. Through their advocacy, they create a safer environment for abused children and provide strength and support to families in crisis. Grant funds will be used toward production of promotional/educational materials as well as costs associated with monthly outings and celebrations for children “adopted” by Guardians of the Children and travel costs associated with monthly visits to the children and their families, building trusting relationships.

Hutchinson Regional Health System

Award: $9,634

Hutchinson Regional Health System (HRHS) and Our Redeemer Lutheran’s Early Learning Center (ELC) are developing a plan for collaboration that will allow high-quality child care for up to 39 children at the existing ELC facility while the new HRHS Child Care Academy is constructed on the hospital campus. To prepare for this bridge project, staff are required to complete two weeks of training. Grant funds will help support the costs associated with the training sessions.

Kansas Food Bank Warehouse

Award: $5,000

Grant funds will help cover the costs of weekend food backpacks provided to the more than 330 Reno County students who might otherwise go without food until their next meal at school.

Salthawk Community Support

Award: $10,000

Salthawk Community Support is a ministry program of Trinity United Methodist Church and receives volunteer and financial support from other local churches and community members in addition to grant funding. The goal of Salthawk Community Support is to work together to remove barriers to education for students at Hutchinson High School and Hutchinson Middle School-8 through mentoring, character development activities and financial education alongside offering basic needs supplies. This is year one of a three-year $10,000 per year grant.

Reno County Boxing Academy

Award: $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.

Youthrive

Award: $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.

Changemakers at Work Grants

Changemakers at Work Grants make a big difference in Reno County Communities through supporting projects that:

  • Bring people together and provide opportunities for positive social interaction and benefit through volunteer work or community-building efforts.
  • Connect people to the environment around them in new ways to increase community pride and identity.
  • Build on our communities’ assets and unique qualities.

For 2022, the eight grants awarded range from $915 to $2,500, totaling $15,000. Changemakers at Work Grants are made possible by the Fund for Reno County and our Donor Advised Fund holders who choose to partner with us on these exciting projects through our Giving Together program.

Grant recipient organizations for 2022:

GRABER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Award: $915

Funds will support the addition of permanent musical instruments, such as hand drums, chimes and bells, in Graber Elementary School’s outdoor classroom, providing yet another reason for students to make use of and enjoy this educational space.

HUTCH IN HARMONY

Award: $2,500

Hutch in Harmony, in collaboration with Hutch Rec, the Reno County Museum and Darrell Pope, is developing a series of videos capturing stories of the civil rights struggle and progress as it was enacted and witnessed by Reno County residents. Funds will allow for a professional media company to edit the videos into a feature-length film that will be shown locally and then housed at the Reno County Museum.

HUTCHINSON FRIENDS OF THE ZOO

Award: $2,170

Funds will support the purchase of a spiderweb climbing feature that will be part of the new Nature Play area at the Hutchinson Zoo. The area will also include other features and opportunities for children and families to interact outdoors and will be open to zoo visitors in the fall of 2022.

MORGAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Award: $915

The school is in the process of constructing an outdoor classroom, which will provide a new learning experience for the students and allow them to experiment with growing plants and tending flower boxes and the butterfly garden. During this first phase of construction, grant funds will support the purchase of supplies to build the concrete story stage planned for the outdoor classroom.

PARTRIDGE COMMUNITY CHURCH

Award: $2,500

Partridge Community Church is beginning a three-phase project to create an outdoor community venue for music, storytelling, gardening, learning and fellowship. In addition to providing a space to bring area residents together, community members hope to share the harvest from the future community garden plots with families in need of fresh produce. Funds will support installation of electricity and water.

RISE UP RENO PREVENTION NETWORK

Award: $1500

YES! is an all-day event led by Reno County high school students and Rise Up Reno staff for students in fifth through eighth grades. Through a series of activities and discussions with community members — including business owners, a mental health professional, a sheriff’s officer and a motivational speaker — students will become better equipped for transitions into middle and high school. They will learn about dealing with stress and anxiety and how to access leadership opportunities all while beginning to build relationships with caring adults and older students. The grant will support the cost of the youth motivational speaker.

SW BRICKTOWN NEIGHBORHOOD COMMITTEE

Award: $2,500

The SW Bricktown Neighborhood Committee is organizing and hosting two events in 2022 in celebration of Hispanic heritage: a Cinco de Mayo event in May and the second-annual SW Bricktown Fiesta in September. All Reno County community members are encouraged to share in the celebrations. Funds will be used to support the costs of entertainment and logistics, such as security and waste management, for the Cinco De Mayo event.

UNITED WAY OF RENO COUNTY

Award: $2,000

Reading Under the Lights is an evening event designed to encourage summer reading opportunities and maintain or improve reading levels among children ages 5 through 8 during the break from school. Students and their families will find opportunities to participate in story walks, hear stories read by community celebrities, share dinner with their family and friends, sign up for library cards, and leave the event with free books to begin their summer reading.

Youth Philanthropy Council Grants

Armed with $5,000, high school students from across the county discuss local issues of concern to youth, learn about grantmaking, and award grants to youth-serving organizations. The Dillon family established the Youth Philanthropy Council Endowment to provide money for the grants and program administration, in honor of Dick Dillon’s extensive philanthropic work in our community.

Grant recipient organizations for 2022:

BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF HUTCHINSON

Award: $850

In this mentoring program, older student members of the club who meet at the Shadduck Park location will be matched with younger students at the Avenue A location. These pairs will do activities, share snacks and build relationships. At the end of the school year, they will choose a field trip celebration experience. Funds help support purchase of matching T-shirts, activity supplies, snacks and travel, and entrance fee costs for the celebration.

Award: $900

Funds will allow the club to purchase a 32-inch Infinity Game Table that will bring the fun of board games back to the youth. The electronic table stores over 40 favorite board games that youth can access and enjoy without the pieces to keep track of and boxes to store. Old favorites like Operation and Clue will make a comeback, and youth leaders envision developing leagues for various games, promoting good strategy, teamwork and sportsmanship in addition to fun.

BRIGHTHOUSE, INC.

Award: $600

BrightHouse has been providing relationship safety training to high school-aged students for several years, and this grant will allow the organization to purchase developmentally appropriate curriculum for teaching younger students about healthy and safe friendships and relationships. BrightHouse’s goal is to help youth recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships, help them build skills for responding to dangerous situations, and instill the understanding that they can seek help if involved in abusive relationships.

BUHLER PUBLIC LIBRARY

Award: $300

Buhler Public Library will begin offering a Lego Club, encouraging children to practice scientific and spatial reasoning skills along with building cooperation and problem-solving skills while facing the challenges of designing, constructing and communicating. Lego Club also gives children and families an added reason to visit the library, reminding them of their opportunity to read and check out books and other materials. Grant funds will support the purchase of Legos, base plates and character/structure-shaped Lego pieces.

GRABER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Award: $400

Funds will be used to help the newly formed Graber Student Council begin an entrepreneurial project designed to engage students with real-life experiences while building meaningful connections and developing long-lasting skills to apply throughout life. The students, with support from the principal, counselor and sixth-grade teachers, will lead the decision-making process and plans regarding merchandise sold, how to allocate funds earned, etc.

TRINITY CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL KEY CLUB

Award: $630

Trinity High School’s Key Club makes felt blankets to give away to community members who may be hospitalized, going through medical treatments or for new babies whose mothers are receiving services from Open Door Pregnancy Care Center. Youth not only make the blankets, but they also deliver them out into the community, practicing philanthropy throughout the entire process.

UNITED WAY OF RENO COUNTY

Award: $885

Summer reading is an important part of helping youth reach and surpass a third-grade reading level, which is an indicator of continued success in school and linked to high school graduation. Funds will support a free, family friendly, summer reading kickoff event targeting USD 308 children from age 5 through third grade. It will be an interactive event with dinner for all attendees, reading circles, celebrity readers, library card sign-up, a storybook walk and a free book for all students.

WILEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Award: $435

Mini Sweet Treat at Wiley aims for students to become young entrepreneurs. They work to sell healthy products and become fiscally responsible. The grant funds will allow for the purchase of a mini fridge, allowing students to sell items that must be kept cool. It will also cover the cost of a rolling cart large enough to display items for sale, so the younger, non-reading students at Wiley are able to view items and make purchase decisions.

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Learn More

Let’s talk about your ideas for making Reno County even greater.

Sarah Blake, Program Officer
sarah@hutchcf.org