Special to The Hays Daily News

Ten non-profit local and area charities and organizations have been awarded Healthy Living and Area Action grants by the Heartland Community Foundation.

"We were very excited to receive 25 applications for the eight grants we had planned to award," said Mike Koerner, board chairman of the Heartland Community Foundation, which encompasses Trego, Rooks and Ellis counties. "Because some of the grant requests were for less than the total available, we used the extra funds to support two more organizations. Selecting the recipients was no easy task. All of the applications were well done."

Susan Bowles, grants committee chairwoman, said, "We are extremely happy to award Healthy Living Grants to First Care Clinic of Hays; the Rooks County Health Center; Hays Recreation Commission; North Central Kansas Technical College; and Lincoln Elementary School. And we awarded Area Action Grants to USD 489; Friends of the Hays Dog Park; Smoky Hills Public Television; CASA of the High Plains; and the Kansas State School for the Blind."

Koerner said the First Care Clinic will use its grant for a tobacco cessation program; the Rooks County Health Center will use its award for a youth track and field program; Hays Rec will use grant funds for a family exercise program; NCKTC will use its grant for a community health fair, and Lincoln Elementary School will use grant monies for classroom crisis kits.

Bowles said USD 489 will use its grant for technology for Head Start classrooms; Friends of the Hays Dog Park will use grant monies to help with phase three of the park; Smoky Hills Public TV will use its grant for literacy leadership in Trego, Rooks and Ellis counties; CASA's grant will be used for technology for CASA volunteers, and the Kansas School for the Blind will use its award to support low vision services for youth in Trego, Rooks and Ellis counties.

Bob Lowen, executive director of the HCF, an affiliate of the Greater Salina Community Foundation, said the HCF has awarded 25 grants to local and area charities in the past five years.

For more information about the HCF, see its website or call Lowen at (785) 621-4090.