For the fifth time in three years, Heartland Community Foundation has awarded grants in Ellis, Rooks and Trego counties. The grant cycle ended May 15. Sixty applications totaling $517,527.44 were received during the application period which ran from April 1 to May 15. Forty-three grants totaling $147,933.00 were announced this week. Funding for the grants again was made possible by dollars from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. The foundation is committed to the sustainability of rural America and supports 26 counties in northwest Kansas.

The Dane G. Hansen Foundation was established as a charitable organization in 1965, with the primary goal of making the communities of northwest Kansas better places to live.

Established through a generous estate donation from Dane G. Hansen, the foundation awards grants and scholarships every year to qualified recipients in northwest Kansas who demonstrate a strong desire for community improvement.

“Again in 2017, we are seeing the needs of our communities continue to grow,” said Sandy Jacobs, executive director of Heartland Community Foundation. “We work to diligently and prudently review grants to make awards but leave the table having much yet to do. In September, Heartland Community Foundation will be partnering with the Hansen Foundation on ‘Strategic Doing,’ a project to bring together civic leaders in each of our three counties to form collaborations, even complex ones. We are excited to share more on this strategic effort during the summer months.”

Grants awarded in Ellis County were to Learning Cross Preschool for Fitness: Forging Friendships, Finding Purpose and Forever Playing Active; Hays Area Children’s Center for an infant toddler playground project; Early Childhood Connections' Munjor site, Early Headstart AED; First Call for Help of Ellis County's Distribution Room; Holy Family Elementary's Kinder Prep classroom supplies; Dialogue Ministries Breathe Coffee House  Interactive Technology Volunteer Project; Hays Symphony Orchestra Guild, Children’s Halloween Project; Herzogfest Inc., performing artists; Kiwanis Club of Hays, Kiwanis Park Fitness Trail; Jana’s Campaign, Building on Success: Continued Work to Reduce Teen Dating Violence in Ellis County; Hays Arts Council, professional theater for children and families; USD 489 Connections, preschool library; USD 432, Victoria High School Agriculture Program; USD 489 Hope Pantry, boxes of food for USD 489 students; USD 489 Drivers Education, scholarship assistance; Hays Community Theater, Final Touches; CASA of the High Plains Inc., and Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center basement renovation.

Rooks County awards included: Stockton Grade School Tinkering Tigers; USD 281 Reading Initiative; City of Stockton Pocket Park, Phase 2; Plainville Fire Department protective gear; Sacred Heart Parish Plainville Food Pantry; Damar Community Historical Society automatic external defibrillator (AED); USD 271 Tiger Marching Band; City of Plainville mosquito sprayer; CASA of the High Plains, Defending Rooks County Children; Rooks County Healthcare Foundation Business Office Modernization; and Solomon Valley Manor, Resident Living Experience Enhancement.

Trego County awards were to Trego Arts Club, children’s theatre performances; ?Trego County Health Department medical equipment grant; Zion Lutheran Church, Trego Food Pantry; WaKeeney Housing Authority; Catholic Charities of Northwest Kansas Mobile Outreach; Prairie Faith Shared Ministry, Get Up, Get Out, Get Fit 2017; Trego County Historical Society research renovation project; and Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center basement renovation.