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Foundation awards grants

From playground equipment to senior citizen programs to chess lessons to the food bank, candidates applied for assistance but only six were chosen.

Six local and area entities received $6,000 in grants from Hillsboro Area Impact Fund/Hillsboro Community Foundation. A presentation was made Friday evening during halftime of the Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball game.

This is the second year the foundation has awarded grants from the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund which began in 2007. More than $266,000 was raised in donations and pledges.

Board members of the foundation selected recipients from a pool of applicants.

Following are the grant recipients for 2009.

Hillsboro Elementary School After-School Program, $1,000

For the past 16 years, the school has been able to provide after school programs to students and help fund other activities through Hillsboro Recreation Commission, including other community activities, and summer camps.

For the past six years, the program has solely depended on community support through service clubs and individuals to fund the activities. With the money the program received last year from the Hillsboro foundation, it was able to fund most of its projects.

Mike Moran, counselor of MES, accepted this year’s grant which will be used to fund school activities, supplies, fees, and personnel for a variety of clubs, classes, and projects.

Hillsboro Senior Center, $1,500

Because of a decrease in revenue, the current level of services provided by the center was in jeopardy. The senior center board members do not want the funds to deplete to the extent that services would need to be cut.

The grant money will help to cover costs of operation and preserve programs currently being offered. Executive director of the center is Karly Winter.

Hillsboro High School Chess Guild, $500

The grant will provide chess lessons to HHS students by a coach approved by the Kansas Scholastic Chess Association. Private lessons provide the necessary advanced skills and game strategies enhancement needed for success in tournament settings.

Janet Whisenhunt is the club sponsor.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Marion County, $1,000

“Bigs in Schools” is a mentoring program that offers one-on-one, site-based matches with at-risk children. The volunteer mentors meet weekly with the children at the children’s schools. Steady growth in this program is requiring additional funding to meet the needs of the children.

The grant will support the “Bigs in Schools” program at schools in the USD 410 district.

Jackie Rice is director of the county organization.

Kids Connection Pre-School and Day-care, $500

Director Tracy Hefley wrote in the grant application that the existing playground does not contain any large play equipment or swings. Kansas Department of Health & Environment also requires shade on the playground.

The grant will be used toward the purchase of new playground equipment.

Main Street Ministries, Inc., $1,500

The food bank, located at the ministries, has provided food to the Hillsboro community and surrounding areas from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday morning.

Requests for food have steadily increased the past two years with more requests anticipated in the coming months.

The grant will be used to purchase food for the food bank.

Lillian Bookless is the director of the ministries.

About the foundation

Hillsboro Community Foundation was created to help provide resources for existing and future charitable needs in Hillsboro and surrounding communities. The foundation established the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund as a starting point for an undesignated endowment that will enhance the quality life in the Hillsboro area.

Board members of the foundation are Jared Jost, Jayson Hanschu, Brad Bartel, Mike Kleiber, Jim Brennan, Delores Dalke, Keith Harder, Kim Kaufman, Clark Wiebe, Marilyn Ensz, Bill Fish, and Eileen Unruh.

For more information about the being a donor, contact a board member.

Last modified Jan. 14, 2009

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