HCF to host giving event Nov. 28

The Hillsboro Community Foundation is hosting Giving Tuesday, a community event, November 28, 2017, from 4-6:00 p.m. in the Hillsboro City Building west meeting room. $4000 matching funds will be available, and refreshments will be served.

The event will feature three ways to partner through charitable giving to make an impact to the community and support causes that matter:

  1. Donate to the Hillsboro Community Foundation funds: Learn about HCF and its funds. Total donations up to $4000 will be matched.
  2. Donate canned food for Main Street Ministries.
  3. Donate new stocking caps, gloves, and socks for Hillsboro students.

Donations made by check can be made payable to the Hillsboro Community Foundation, PO Box 273, Hillsboro, KS 67063. If no fund is indicated, donations will go to the Hillsboro Impact Fund.

Click here to download the event flyer (PDF).

The public is asked to please enter through the north door of the west room.

Wishes granted

Hillsboro Community Foundation board members presented grant checks totaling a record $18,300 Jan. 26 to 10 area organizations and programs serving Marion County children and families.

The presentation occurred during halftime of the Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball game with Marion.

Of the total distributed, $12,000 came through the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund and was distributed among eight entities; five grants totaling $6,300 came through the Kansas Health Foundation Fund and was divided among five entities.

Through the nine years HCF has provided grants, $114,500 has been distributed. This was the fourth year grants were awarded through KHF, which was established about six years ago.

Following are the recipients of this year’s grants, with a brief explanation how the money will be used.

  • Circles of Marion County ($2,000 Impact Fund) is an initiative to eradicate poverty by building relationships across class lines. Circles defines persons caught in poverty as Leaders, and trains them to lead their families out of poverty.
  • City of Hillsboro ($1,000 Impact Fund; $1,000 KHF). The city acquired Bluejay Lanes several years ago and has done extensive remodeling. Two rooms are dedicated for youth activities. The grant will be used for the purchase of “cosmic” lighting and sound.
  • Families and Communities Together ($1,000 Impact Fund, $500 KHF). The Hillsboro Area Family Financial Assistance Fund provides emergency funds to families that reside in the USD 410 school district. Payments will be provided for utilities, rent, medical services or other critical services.
  • Hillsboro Senior Center ($1,300 KHF). Funds will be used to replace the fresh-air vents for the kitchen exhaust fan. The Senior Center serves meals five days a week and averages 80 meals per day. The center also is used for community events.
  • Marion County 4-H Development Fund ($500 Impact Fund): The Marion County 4-H Development Fund supports and assists Marion County 4-H members, youth leaders and adult leaders in the areas of education, citizenship and leadership development. The grant will be used for scholarships to help 4-H youth attend camp at Rock Springs Ranch.
  • Main Street Ministries Inc. ($1,000 Impact Fund, $1,000 KHF). The $2,500 will go toward the project to update the Upper Room, main building, third floor, which is used primarily for gatherings and children’s ministry. The project involves purchasing cabinets and bookcases for children’s toys and books, and repurposing two of the small rooms into exercise rooms and two other rooms into sewing/craft rooms for Sojourners’ use.
  • Trinity Mennonite Church ($2,500 KHF). Last year, the congregation organized a “Food 4 Kids” program. They served meals to an average 22 children and some parents five days a week. They plan to offer the program again this year and will use the grant to give the children a safe place to play by creating a playground consisting of swings, a climbing unit, glider, etc.
  • USD 410 After School Program ($1,000 Impact Fund). This program is available for first through sixth graders. It provides healthy, enriching and emotionally developing activities for at-risk students who may be without adult supervision.
  • Tabor College ($1,500 Impact Fund). The funding is for the Signature Campaign for the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts to meet the needs of the college and community. This will be a place for learning, a worship center and the enhancement of liberal arts education for students.
  • USD 410 Technology Student Association ($2,500 Impact Fund). Hillsboro TSA is the local chapter of a national organizations. The mission of TSA is to foster growth, leadership and opportunities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The grant will be used to update software used for design, analysis and construction of solution for competitive events.

Don Ratzlaff / Reprinted from the Hillsboro Free Press

HES playground project awarded $25,750 grant

The parent-led effort to renovate the playground at Hillsboro Elementary School took a big step forward last week with the announcement that Hillsboro Community Foundation will be awarding a grant of $25,750 toward the project.

The amount of the grant was a surprise for members of the HES site council committee that has set a goal of raising $150,000 to upgrade the playground surfaces and add new pieces of equipment.

Erin Beavers and members of the playground committee presented the project last Wednesday at a meeting of the HCF board.

“Dr. (Steve) Noble (USD 410 superintendent) had told us there was around $5,000 in the Kansas Health Foundation Fund,” Beavers said. “He said if we would come and present that information, maybe we could get that for sure.

“We went in thinking around $5,000. It was well past our expectations.”

Bryce Wichert, HCF board treasurer, said the committee presentation prompted them to go beyond the minimum.

“After hearing her presentation and seeing the efforts that they’ve already made toward this project, we as a board decided that making a grant to this project would give them a great boost toward their goal and a boost toward increasing the possible matching grant they potentially could receive from (the Kansas Department of Health and Environment).

“The funds are coming from two funds, $20,000 from the Marga Ebel Health Fund and $5,000 from the Kansas Health Foundation Fund for Hillsboro, for a total of $25,000,” Wichert said.

“The HES playground needs significant improvement to provide our elementary children with a safe environment to play in,” he added. “Both of these funds were established to meet physical health needs in our community.”

Prior to last week, the playground committee had managed to raise a little over $8,000 by sponsoring a soup supper, a fall carnival and a farmers market meal.

The biggest part of the renovation project, estimated to cost around $80,000, is installing an all-weather play surface to replace the deteriorated dirt grounds that make the current playground unusable when it rains and generates dust when it’s dry.

Beavers said the significance of the HCF grant award is more than its face value.

“KDHE does a recycle-tire grant,” Beavers said. “If we’re going to do rubber chips, or poured-in-place (with a concrete base), which is what we’re looking at, they’ll do a matching grant based on how much you’ve raised.

“People who get the grant have to show that they have done some significant fundraising on their own,” she added. “So this was huge for us.”

Beavers said the KDHE grant would double whatever the committee has raised through the end of the calendar year, so private gifts are welcomed.

HES Principal Evan Yoder said he hopes the grant will spur additional gifts and grants. He said the school board has made the project a priority but has not yet decided how much funding the district can designate toward the project.

“I think things will move quickly,” he said. “Kids that are in the upper grades now will get to use a new playground before they’re out of here–that’s what I’m hoping and sensing now.”

Don Ratzlaff / Reprinted from the Hillsboro Free Press

A beautiful thing

The grants coming through the Hillsboro Community Foundation make a difference.  

It was striking to watch the Hillsboro Community Foundation distribute a record $16,900 to 11 area organizations and programs serving Marion County children and families. Of the total, $13,400 came through the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund; the remaining $3,500 came through the Kansas Health Foundation Fund. It’s clear the efforts of the volunteer HCF board are paying off, not just in the growth of endowment earnings, but more so in the assistance HCF is able to pass on to valuable programs that meet the needs of many, ranging in age from children to seniors.

We salute the HCF board for its hard work navigating this important program. What long-term impact will these funds make in the lives of those who benefit from them? We may never be able to measure it fully, but it’s clear that many lives will be made better in the short run, and that’s an investment worth making.

As present and former residents take advantage of this philanthropic tool, more money should come in to the HCF, more grants can be distributed and more lives will be touched for the sake of community. It’s a beautiful thing.

By Don Ratzlaff / Reprinted from the Hillsboro Free Press

HCF awards $16,900 in service grants to 11 groups

Hillsboro Community Foundation board members presented grant checks totaling a record $16,900 Feb. 20 to 11 area organizations and programs serving Marion County children and families.

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

Of the total, $13,400 came through the Hillsboro Area Impact Fund and was distributed among eight recipient groups; $3,500 came through the Kansas Health Foundation Fund and was awarded to three groups.

Through the eight years HCF has provided grants, $96,200 has been distributed. This was the third year grants were awarded through KHF, which was established about five years ago.

Following are the recipients of this years grants, with an explanation on how the money will be used.

Impact Fund

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters serving Marion County: $1,500. “Bigs in Schools” is a program matching children kindergarten through eighth grade who face adversity in their daily lives with carefully screened volunteer mentors. They meet weekly.
  • Circles of Marion County: $2,000. An initiative to eradicate poverty by building relationships across class lines, Circles defines persons caught in poverty as leaders, and trains them to lead their families out of poverty.
  • Families and Communities Together (FACT): $2,000. The Hillsboro Area Family Financial Assistance Fund serves families that reside in the USD 410 district. Payments will be provided for utilities, rent, medical services or other critical services.
  • Chess Guild, kindergarten through 12th grade: $500. The Chess Guild provides students with chess lessons from a chess master, and encourages students to grow in their chess skills. The grant will provide the means for students to compete in area tournaments.
  • Hillsboro FFA: $900. The grant will help to fund FFA blue jackets for members. This will allow students access to jackets to wear at chapter banquets, leadership activities, career development events, state and national conventions.
  • Main Street Ministries, Inc.: $2,500. The funds will go toward the food bank that serves people less fortunate in the community and surrounding area. Food is provided by donations and purchased at our local grocery store. Records are kept on the families who receive food and recipients are allowed to receive food once every four weeks.
  • Parkside Homes, Inc.: $2,500. The grant will fund implementation of an interactive, adaptive computer system that provides person-centered experiences and enhances quality of life utilizing an “It’s Never 2 Late” computer. Residents will use technology that increases social activities, improves staff interaction, stimulates memory recall, and shares information with caregivers. iN2L is designed to inject joy, fun, adventure, challenge and learning into activities and therapy.
  • Tabor College, Signature Campaign for The Arts Center: $1,500. The funds for the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts will meet the needs of the college and community as a place of learning, a worship center and enhance the liberal arts education for students.

KHF Fund

  • USD 410 After School Program: $1,000. This program is available for first through sixth grade. It provides healthy, enriching and emotionally developing activities for at-risk students who may be without adult supervision.
  • City of Hillsboro Recreation Commission: $500. Funds will be used to upgrade summer volleyball camp by purchasing volleyballs that are 25 percent lighter. This will make it easier for beginning volleyball campers.
  • Hillsboro Senior Center: $2,000. The funds will be used to replace the heating and air conditioner for the main part of building. The Senior Center serves meals five days a week, averaging 1,823 meals a month.

Don Ratzlaff / Reprinted from the Hillsboro Free Press

Hillsboro foundation awards nearly $16,000 in grants

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