The Republic County Community Foundation (apply here www.republiccountycf.org) has distributed $102,000 to local projects since 2008. The next round of grant applications is due October 1, and the RCCF has more than $80,000 to distribute.
Projects funded in the Spring 2016 disbursement include:
- Narka Volunteer Fire Department, $5,000 to purchase five large doors for the openings for fire trucks in the building that has been started with volunteer labor, fundraisers and donations. Organizers said once the doors are installed finish work can begin inside.
- USD 109 Science Department, $4,585 to install a digital meteorology program that can be used to enhance curriculum in grades K-12 as well as be used by the public on mobile apps. The system is named WeatherBug.
- Courtland PRIDE Club, $3,600 to assist in the purchase of a speaker system for downtown Courtland to replace the current system and a mobile speaker system for special events.
- Republic County Hospital Wellness Committee, $3,576 for a combination drinking fountain and water bottle filling station to benefit visitors, community members and staff.
- Belleville Chamber and Main Street, $3,250 towards Welcome signs and new planters with historic photos.
- Republic County Historical Society, $2,500 for an educational landscaping beautification project. The museum will landscape with native prairie plants after removal of a large tree and installation of a donated limestone sign.
- Rocky Pond Christmas Lights, $2,400 to purchase a 10×18 storage shed for large light displays which are now stored outside. The group also plans to purchase 2,000’ of electrical cord and four light controllers.
- Pike Valley Elementary, $2,449 towards the creation of Panther Alley, an outdoor learning space that will include building and harvesting a garden and a recreation center.
- Courtland Community Arts Council, $2,100 towards Phase 4 of the Arch Garden, a downtown space. This phase will install an irrigation system, lay down sod and landscape the area.
- Belleville Ball Association, $1,560, to purchase three aluminum scorer’s table and bench to put at the three ball diamonds in Belleville.
- Belleville Parks and Recreation, $1,500 towards replacement of equipment for the summer baseball/softball programs. More than 230 children from across the county participate.
- Belleville Public Library, $1,500 to help support the summer library program. This year’s theme “Get in the Game: Read” incorporates health, fitness and sports.
- Pike Valley Summer Baseball, $1,200 towards the purchase of an outfield fence in Scandia, and pitching machine for the batting cage at Courtland.
- Scandia Community Club, $800 for a Scandia Park Fence to block the creek from the park for safety purposes.
- Republic County 4-H Council, $750 towards a landscaping project for the Republic County 4-H Building on the NCK Free Fairgrounds.
- Republic County Jr./Sr. High School, $600 for the annual cost of the ImPACT computerized neurocognitive assessment tool to gauge an athlete’s ability to return to play after suffering a concussion.
Multiple awards Board members of the RCCF point out that many of the nearly 50 organizations that have received funding for projects have been grant recipients multiple years. Some of the larger recipients of total grant funds since 2008 include:
- Blair Theater which has received a total of $8,175
- Agenda Booster Club, $4,500
- Belleville Chamber and Main Street $6,950
- Belleville Public Library $5,284
- City of Narka, $2,900
- Courtland Parks and Recreation $3,123
- Courtland Pride $4,075
- Hillcrest Library $3,000
- Pike Valley Preschool $3,250
- USD 109 1-to-1 Technology project $5,000.
Community foundation has $80,000+ to distribute
By Deb Hadachek Telescope editor
And dream bigger.
That’s the message the Republic County Community Foundation wants citizens to hear as it prepares to distribute another $80,000 in grant funds to qualifying projects in Republic County this fall.
“We’ve got a lot of money, and we want to help people make the best use of it,” says Tim Gottschalk, Belleville, RCCF board member.
Republic County is one of 26 counties that benefit from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, which last year began to make large donations to individual counties to divvy up for a wide array of community development projects.
A free grant writing workshop is scheduled for Thursday, September 8 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Astra Bank basement meeting room in Belleville.
Topics will include:
- How to use the simple, online application form to apply for grants.
- How to target applications to focus on the objectives of the grant.
- How to make your grant application stand out from the rest.
“Previously there was a limit to how much organizations could receive,” says Brent Scott, an RCCF board member. “But now there is no limit. If someone has a big project in mind they should apply, and maybe not only do we help fund their project, we can also help them apply directly to the Dane Hansen Foundation for additional funds.”
At least two projects in Republic County have received direct allocations from the Dane Hansen Foundation: the new Munden Community Center, and assistance for new radiology equipment at Republic County Hospital.
Benefits entire county The RCCF has $2.4 million in assets, and since its inception has awarded nearly $354,000 in grants and scholarships in Republic County. Since 2008, some 50 different organizations and projects have received grant funding through the RCCF, and many have received multiple grants.
The workshop comes just ahead of the deadline to apply for the latest round of awards, which is October 1. Gottschalk said the RCCF will continue to consider applications for projects of all sizes, all across the county.
“We want the grants to be spread across Republic County,” he says. “One of the neatest projects I thought we funded last year was to help Narka with their fire station.” (See a complete list of spring grant awards at above).
But Scott says the RCCF also wants citizens to imagine more beyond regular maintenance of programs and project needs in the communities. “The Dane Hansen Foundation hopes to make lasting changes in the counties it serves,” he says.
Successful projects will address:
- Health and human service needs
- Arts (including visual and performance),
- Education *Spirituality
Grant applications are first reviewed through the Greater Salina Community Foundation to ensure they fit the grant criteria and all necessary information is included. If applications are submitted early enough, staff will contact organizations to request any additional information that might be necessary. Grant applications that meet the criteria are then forwarded to the RCCF which makes the final decision on awards.
“The Foundation considers whether the project for which funding is requested is sustainable,” Scott says.
“Will the initiative continue after the Foundation support ends?” Gottschalk said that in particular the Dane Hansen Foundation wants to encourage projects that promote volunteerism and a broad range of support from individuals and organizations within a community.