Registration open for FHSU’s fall picnic

Registration is now open for organizations, including churches, that would like a table at the Fort Hays State University 2019 Back to School Picnic. It is scheduled from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 on the FHSU Quad.

There is no registration fee for nonprofit organizations; the fee is $50 for a for-profit business.

“The picnic is your first opportunity to effectively gain awareness for your organization and the services it provides,” said a news release from the Center for Student Involvement. More information and a registration form are available at

Questions may be directed to 785-628-4664 or


Churches set vacation Bible school dates

• Hays Christian Church, 1318 E. 22nd — 6:30-8:45 p.m. July 8-12, with a closing program and picnic on Sunday morning, July 14. Theme: “Hero Headquarters.” For children ages 3 through entering fifth grade. Teen program for students entering grades 6-12 meet from 9-10 p.m. each night. Register online at

• First United Methodist Church, 305 W. Seventh — 5 to 7:30 p.m. July 15-18. Theme: “To Mars and Beyond.” For children completing pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Register online through the church’s Facebook page or its website,


‘Project Suitcase’ seeking donations for foster kids

The Salvation Army is asking Ellis County residents to donate items for “Project Suitcase,” which helps foster children in the community.

“We rely on donations only — basically what we get through the red kettles at Christmas time. All the funds we get in Ellis County stay in Ellis County,” said Julie Smith, Ellis County Salvation Army coordinator. “Donations were way down this year.”

Each month, Smith said, she likes to give eight suitcases each to the Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center, 135 W. Eighth, and the KVC Wheatland Hospital in the Hadley Center.

Each of these suitcases is stuffed full of hygiene items, school supplies, clothing and toys for the children in these agencies’ care.

Haley Rutherford, child and family advocate for WKCAC, said often when children are removed from their homes by authorities, the children are able to take few, if any, of their personal belongings with them.

The suitcases the children receive through the Salvation Army change that. The bags provide the children with the basics, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and socks, as well as small games and coloring books.

The children take these bags of items with them when they leave WKCAC. It serves children ages 2 through 18 who are suspected victims of abuse.

Items needed for Project Suitcase are 22-inch sports duffle bags, backpacks, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, toothpaste and toothbrushes, deodorant, hair brushes, combs, hair ties, crayons, markers, pencils, coloring books, playing cards, small games, lap blankets, socks and twin-size blankets. Gently used bags and backpacks are acceptable, Smith said.

In addition to this project, the Salvation Army assists with rent, utility bills, clothing, prescriptions, school supplies and transportation to individuals, based on need. The agency also partners with the Lions Club for vision screenings for children and adults, again based on need.

Individuals may drop off any of the items listed above at the Salvation Army office, 203 E. Seventh, but Smith asks that donors call 785-621-2794 first to make sure someone is available to accept delivery.

Monetary donations are also greatly appreciated, Smith said. She may be reached at


FHSU to offer class on world religions

The Department of Philosophy at Fort Hays State University will be offering a class on world religions in the fall.

The on-campus class, Phil 179, will focus on Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism. It will meet from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Aug. 20 and running through Dec. 12.

Rob Byer, assistant professor, will be the instructor. He said the class will focus on such questions as what is a religion, what are different religious doctrines, and what are the historical beginnings of religion?

The class may be taken for three hours of college credit, at a cost of about $515. Or, Byer said, he is willing to allow people to audit the class for free.

“If someone is interested in attending, doing the reading, and joining in on the discussion, but doesn’t need or want credit and doesn’t need or want to do assessments related to the course, then auditing would be a fine option,” he said. The book costs about $15.

The registration deadline is Aug. 7. More information is available by contacting Byer at or 785-628-4727.