Hillsboro foundation awards nearly $16,000 in grants

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Hillsboro Community Foundation board members presented grant checks totaling nearly $16,000 Feb. 14 to 13 area public-service organizations and causes.

The presentation occurred during halftime of the Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball game against Hesston.

This was the second year grants were awarded through the Kansas Health Foundation Fund, which was established about four years ago and has grown through annual contributions to the required $150,000.

The other 10 grants came through the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund.

Following are the recipients of this year’s grants, with an explanation from each organization about its work and its intention for the money.

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marion County, $1,000. Bigs in Schools is a one-on-one mentoring program that matches at-risk children with carefully screened, caring volunteers, many of who are high school students.
  • Circles Marion County, $2,000. This initiative to end poverty through relationships between those with low resources and those with adequate resources will establish a second Circles site in 2014.
  • City of Hillsboro youth/bowling center, $1,000. The goal of the project is to provide a venue for community youth to spend free time in a safe environment. It also will provide a home for the Tabor College inter-collegiate bowling team and a facility for community bowling leagues.
  • Families and Communities Together, $1,000. Through Hillsboro Area Family Financial Assistance Fund, FACT provides emergency financial assistance to families that reside in the USD 410 school district. Payments are used for utilities, rent, medical services or other critical services.
  • Hillsboro Elementary School after-school program, $1,000. The program provides healthy, enriching and emotionally developing activities for at-risk students between first and sixth grade who may be without adult supervision. The grant will help continue this service and provide financial assistance for students to participate in community activities.
  • Chess Guild (kindergarten through 12th grade), $250. The funds will cover the entry fee for 12 students to participate in the state championship chess tournament.
  • Hillsboro Elementary School / Tabor College School-to-Farm, $2,000. This project will serve three student populations: elementary, high school and Tabor College. The funds will help get the project started and acquire a portable henhouse to be able to introduce chickens as the initial farm project.
  • Hillsboro Museums, $1,200. The funds will provide “A Day in the One-Room Kreutziger Country School” experience for teachers and students in grades three and four as they study a unit on prairie pioneer days.
  • Hillsboro Police K-9 Unit, $500. The funds will be used to pay vet bills, shots, checkups and dog food. The canine plays an important role in fighting crime and battling drug use and sales in Hillsboro and surrounding communities.
  • Hillsboro Senior Center, $2,500. The center serves the communities of Durham, Lehigh and Hillsboro. These funds will be used to replace old counter tops in the kitchen. Meals are served five days a week.
  • Marion County 4-H Council, $500. This grant will provide funds to send older 4-H youth to a leadership workshop. This will enable the older youth to help the younger 4-H youth develop new skills.
  • Marion County 4-H Endowment Fund, $500. This grant will offer larger scholarships enabling more youth the opportunity to attend camp. This will especially help families with multiple children.
  • Hillsboro Recreation Commission and Tabor College, $2,500. This grant through the Kansas Health Foundation Fund will provide a touch-pad timing system for the Tabor swim team and Hillsboro Recreation Commission summer youth team. The two entities are working together to purchase the system for practices and meets of both programs. The HRC program serves youth within a 10- to 30-mile radius of Hillsboro. The program normally enrolls 40 to 75 youth for swim team. With the touch-pad system, HRC will be able to host swim meets with fewer volunteers.

Don Ratzlaff / Reprinted from the Hillsboro Free Press