Grants at Work: Floyd Redd Community Center, Plevna

Grants at Work: Floyd Redd Community Center, Plevna

By Wendy Skellenger | Hutchinson Community Foundation

In this western Reno County town of approximately 100 people, nestled along the quiet blacktops south of U.S. 50 where one is just as likely to see a steer wandering loose along the roadway as another passing vehicle, the buildings have faded with the population.

A red-brick city hall and large red-brick building labeled “Auditorium” stand prominent among the few that remain in Plevna, where the post office was first established in 1877.

However, the community, and all that word embodies, remains along with a need for a place to gather.

For years, the post office served as the unofficial town hub, where news was passed and posted flyers advertised upcoming events. But the building that housed it wasn’t always a post office. Among its uses was as a filling station owned by the Floyd Redd family.

When the post office went away five years ago, the need for a real place to congregate – an essential fiber in the community fabric – grew. To fill the void, the building was donated as the Floyd Redd Community Center to continue serving as the town gathering place.

A leaky roof and subsequent water damage, however, threatened the building’s new purpose. So in March 2018, a committed group of Plevna citizens applied for a Hutchinson Community Foundation Make It Greater grant to help pay for a new roof and save the center’s future.

Make It Greater grants come from the Fund for Hutchinson, an endowed grantmaking tool that allows the foundation to address ever-changing community needs. When donors designate money to the Fund for Hutchinson, that money may help support a variety of larger community or organizational initiatives. Among the 29 Fund for Hutchinson grants awarded in 2017 were ones that supported the statewide early childhood intervention pilot program known as ABC; Trinity United Methodist Church’s youth development program, Salthawk Community Support; Hutchinson Recreation Commission’s Neighborhood Development initiative; and Arlington City Library’s digital literacy program aimed at seniors and residents with limited computer and internet access.

Fund for Hutch donors also support Make It Greater grants, a smaller subset awarded each spring. With those grants, donors have a hand in projects that bring people together, increase community pride and identity, and build on the community’s assets – such as the Floyd Redd Community Center Roof Replacement project in Plevna.

In April 2018, the city of Plevna received a $2,500 Make It Greater grant that helped fund the cost of the roof repair. The new roof, installed over the summer, now protects a community resource that can hold showers, receptions, reunions and weekly community social gatherings.

“There’s always a group of people there putting together a puzzle,” said David Green, Plevna grant committee chairman.

And the space continues as the place to share news, alert residents and bind a rural community together.

“It’s pretty vital,” Green said.

Wendy Skellenger is the communications officer at Hutchinson Community Foundation. Email: