25th Anniversary Grant Awards
Legacy Foundation presented 25 area nonprofit organizations and charitable projects each with a $2,000 grant for a grand total of $50,000 in celebration of its 25th Anniversary at an event September 24. View video presentations.
Angels in the Attic. Angels in the Attic, Inc. was founded with the help of an anonymous donor through Legacy Foundation to fill a void left by the departure of The Salvation Army from Arkansas City. Angels in the Attic has grown to serve the entire region by networking with other area groups, businesses, churches and organizations to assist individuals and families that are struggling. Through case management individuals are provided resources and assisted in setting attainable goals to help them to become more independent. A thrift store support the programming including commodity program, food pantry, Back-to-School supplies, Cowley County Santa’s Kids, utility and rental assistance. The Angel Closet provides free clothing and household items for families and individuals in need.
Arkansas City Habitat for Humanity. In Cowley County a significant portion of the population are working poor, due to their lower paying jobs. As a result, families tend to live in substandard housing and spend between 45-70% of their income on rent. Arkansas City Habitat for Humanity partners with qualified families in need and provide them the opportunity for safe, decent, affordable housing. Once the homes are completed they are sold to families at no profit and are financed through an affordable, no-interest loan. In addition to a small down payment and the monthly mortgage payments, each homeowner family invests a minimum of 300 hours of labor into the building of their own home. Arkansas City Habitat for Humanity has built one house each year since 2000, improving the health and prospects for many partner families and their children while providing a positive influence in the neighborhoods.
Arkansas City Public Education (ACE) Fund. The ACE Fund, officially known as the Arkansas City Public Schools Enhancement Fund, is a collection of funds that was established in 2005 for the purpose of supporting students and teachers in USD 470. Teachers can apply for grants for innovative classroom projects and Ark City High School seniors are awarded scholarships to help advance their post high school educations. Endowed scholarships with ACE Fund have been established by the K.E. Bryant Family, Gene and Sally Burr, Robert and Marcia Childers, Janet English, Angela Harding, Norman and Joline Iverson, Nick and Christie Rogers, Jay and Nancy Warren and Robert Warrender and Class of 1955, Class of 1957, Class of 1959, Friends of A.F.S., and ER Chapter of P.E.O. The scholarships awarded range from $300 to the Robert Warrender scholarship of over $1,000 which is renewable for four years.
Arkansas City Public Library. Established in 1908, ACPL serves the entertainment, recreational and educational needs of the Arkansas City, KS area. In 2019, the library circulated more than 101,256 items from a collection of 39,784 holdings that includes books, ebooks, audio books, Playaways, DVDs, periodicals, and non-traditional items. On average 183 patrons per day came through the library. In 2020, WiFi traffic increased 54%, digital circulation increased 90%, and adult programming increased 26% as patrons and community members navigated new ways of accessing information and recreation due to the pandemic.
Camp Horizon (above). Established in 1947, Camp Horizon has as its primary mission summer camp programming for children and youth ranging from 1st-12th grade intentionally providing inclusive access and opportunities to camp experiences for young people of diverse backgrounds. Throughout the year the camp is busy hosting groups of all shapes and sizes - from family reunions, corporate retreats and individuals seeking day passes for a variety of activities. Horizon welcomes them all, including Leadership Cowley County.
Autumn's Gifts (left). Jessica O’Donnell started Autumn's Gifts in August 2015 in honor of her cousin, Autumn Terrill, who succumbed to cancer when she was just 13 years old. Autumn's Gifts began with the intention of helping only one hospital, the one where Autumn received care, with a fundraiser to provide entertainment for the children. Since 2015 Autumn's Gifts has raised and donated thousands of dollars in children’s entertainment to five Kansas hospitals as well as establishing an endowment at Legacy Foundation so the giving can continue.
Cardinal Corner Playground. A new playground project is coming to our South Haven community. It is a playground and space designed for inclusivity, imagination, and enjoyment for all members of our community to be a community landmark where families and friends gather safely while having fun and making lasting memories. The South Haven Community’s first playground was established over 30+ years ago and has been loved and enjoyed for generations but as time moves on, the equipment has begun to show its age. South Haven has a growing number of young families living in the community with a need for a safe playground space.
Cowley County Children's Assistance. The CMN motto “Change Kids’ Health. Change the Future.” is embraced by our school nurses. At one time our local school nurses were able to leverage grants from the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) to help in making sure every child received the best possible care. Unfortunately that is no longer true as Cowley County is now outside the service area. When it comes to student health you don’t tell a school nurse “No.” Led by Lorri Greenlee, an always resourceful countywide coalition of our local school nurses, established the Cowley County Children’s Assistance Fund to help students in need. Numerous school clubs have helped to raise money for the fund. The fund is in the process of awarding their first grant.
Cowley County Emergency Managment Auxiliary. The work of Cowley County Emergency Management is succinctly stated in their vision and mission. The vision of Emergency Management is that Cowley County, KS will be a community of cities and citizens who are disaster aware and disaster prepared. And they hold true to their mission “to save lives, protect property, and reduce the impacts of disasters through the mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery phases of Emergency Management. The Cowley County Emergency Auxiliary is an organization that consists of trained, dependable volunteers who assist in protecting and preserving the life, limb and property of the citizens of Cowley County, Kansas, during times of natural and man-made disasters.” Volunteers have the opportunity to serve their community in by performing a variety of duties: Storm Spotting, Emergency Operations Center Support, Field/Event Support, and Auxiliary Communications. The leadership and work of Cowley County Emergency Management is always valued, but it has been especially valuable in response to the pandemic.
Cowley House of Hope. Cowley County House of Hope is an initiative started in January 2017 that is bringing together people who care about homelessness in Cowley County. The goal is to establish temporary housing and provide resources (work, food, living skills) for those who are in need in order to create a sustainable means to aid our homeless neighbors. Currently their efforts are focused toward establishing a shelter in cold weather months allowing for a warm and safe place for our local homeless to sleep. Rural homelessness isn’t always visible. Information gathering shows over 150 students in Cowley County are homeless. Last year Cowley House of Hope in cooperation with area hotels, local churches and local law enforcement provided lodging for 102 people.
Domestic Violence/RESPECT (SANE). The RESPECT team is a countywide coalition of healthcare providers, law enforcement, the county attorney's office, victim's advocates, and social service agencies. The RESPECT team focuses on providing support to all victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in South Central Kansas, including children. The RESPECT team includes a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE Program, from the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Additionally, a Victim Advocate is available to talk with individuals about their situation and the violence inflicted upon them. Victim Advocates will listen and respect the victim and their dignity.
Eagle Nest, Inc. In 2000, Gayle McPherson saw a need in our community and did something about it. In a message from Gayle posted on the Eagle Nest Inc. website she writes, “Eagle Nest, Inc., continues its mission ‘To help women become successful in life and reach their full potential.’ We do this by helping our clients raise their self-esteem and by giving them tools to achieve economic independence. We also find that to do this we must help the whole family. We help our clientele make positive changes, by providing employment preparation training classes, which include resume development, interview preparation, professional clothing choice, and classes that offer assistance to remove barriers to employment success and start goal setting with a financial plan. ENI gives a hand up to people and not just handouts.”
Eagle Nest (School Food Pantry) - Udall USD 463. School Pantry Programs, like Eagles Nest in Udall, help alleviate child hunger by providing a readily accessible source of food assistance to students and their families in need of support. On-site food pantries are convenient for students and their families to access throughout the school year and during school breaks. By locating pantries inside the school, students have easier access to food assistance and often feel more comfortable in accessing this help.
Elevate Cowley County. Modeled after Circles USA, Elevate Cowley County gathers middle-income and high-income volunteers to support families in poverty. Surrounded by people who have landed jobs, negotiated a lease, or managed credit card debt, for example, people experiencing poverty are more equipped to achieve long-term financial stability. Elevate Cowley County offers participants the powerful combination of education and long-term intentional relationships to help them rise up out of financial struggle. Leaders meet weekly with a meal and age-appropriate children's programming provided.
Friends of Cowley County Extension. Friends of Cowley County Extension is a group open to all with a general purpose of raising funds and advocating for Cowley County Extension's educational programs. K-State Research and Extension of Cowley County is Kansas State University in our local community. Their agents serve Cowley County as valuable community partners providing information, leadership, coalition building, grant facilitation and being a "Knowledge for Life" headquarters. Becky Reid of Cowley County Extension is an important partner with many Legacy initiatives. Additionally, she was instrumental in addressing critical issues throughout the global pandemic making sure that our community members had food to eat by shoring up countywide food pantry commodity and product access and designing the CARES Act Quarantine Boxes (Q-Boxes).
Kansas Pride Burden. The Kansas PRIDE Program is a partnership of K-State Research and Extension, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Masons and Kansas PRIDE, Inc. Kansas PRIDE is dedicated to serving communities across the state to encourage and assist local government and volunteers in making their community a better place to live and work. Through the PRIDE program, local communities identify what they would like to preserve, create, or improve for their future, then working with the resources of K-State Research & Extension and the Kansas Department of Commerce, community volunteers pull together to create their ideal community future. In addition to other activities, Kansas Pride Burden has instituted the Burden Helpline, facilitated a community garden and completed basketball court improvements.
Oxford Play Destination. Napawalla Park is located in the southwest section of Oxford at the intersection of Napawalla Road and West Clark. In addition to camping opportunities with electric hookups there is a shower house and restrooms. Two shelters in the park may be reserved. For recreation there is a basketball court and an out-dated playground. The mission of Oxford Play Destination is to create a safe and healthy outdoor space for children of ALL abilities to be active, build friendships, and simply be kids.
Spiritual Life Center. The intention of the Spiritual Life Center is to assist residents to prepare for life. Many incarcerated residents have multiple addictions to alcohol and/or other drugs, weak problem-solving and self-management skills, poor parenting skills, and low self-esteem. Residents have also typically established poor priorities in life and are involved in dysfunctional relationships. The Winfield Spiritual Life Center (WSLC) provides opportunities for inmates from diverse faiths to develop themselves and restore relationships.
Storbeck Fund. The Storbeck Fund was established by Helen Storbeck for the purpose of providing assistance in educational opportunities for any age. The Storbeck Fund is just one of the many funds directed by the Legacy Board of Directors upon recommendation of the Legacy Grants Committee. The Grants Committee meets each month to review submitted grants applications, to discuss needs throughout our region and recommend grant awards to the board for approval. In recent years, the Grants Committee has taken a proactive stance in announcing invitations for proposals for projects addressing issues such as childhood obesity, public school playground improvements and COVID-19 assistance. The Grants Committee is also the primary connection to our Kids Impact Cowley County (KICC) programming in area high schools.
Suicide Prevention Coalition of Cowley County (a part of Cowley Affinity Project - CAP). Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States. In 2017, over 47,000 Americans died by suicide. The national suicide rate has been rising steadily since the mid-2000's. The increase in suicide rates is not distributed equally among regions, or demographic groups. Unfortunately a number of Cowley County residents, including youth, ended life by suicide in recent years. Organized this summer as part of the Cowley Affinity Project, the “Suicide Prevention of Cowley County” coalition see its mission as one to raise suicide awareness by providing education and support to residents with the goal of empowering people to seek help.
Sunflower Outreach Services/Joseph's Storehouse. Joseph's Storehouse is a non-profit thrift store serving the communities of Eastern Cowley County. The thrift store provides sustainability for Sunflower Outreach Services organization with the mission of helping people in need with supplies, food, and clothes.
Winfield Arts & Humanities Council. Since 1989 Winfield Arts & Humanities has creating a vibrant, vital and active arts environment nurturing a love of the arts through education, exploration and expression. Whether visual arts, performing arts, pottery, creative writing, songwriting, photography, or varied crafts, the Winfield Arts & Humanities Council believes arts education and artistic development benefits everyone. Winfield Arts & Humanities carries out their mission by serving over 1,000 of community youth with a variety of summer programs. Winfield Arts & Humanities also offers a myriad of art programs for all ages including stained glass, pottery, crafts and painting providing over 120 classes annually at an affordable price.
Winfield Community Food Pantry. The Winfield Community Food Pantry serves the north half of Cowley County to assist the people in need with quality service, useable food items, and a nurturing and caring atmosphere. The food pantry is housed in the Grace Apartments just north of the main building of Grace United Methodist Church.
Winfield Habitat for Humanity. Internationally, Habitat for Humanity is transforming the lives of more than 5 million people around the world as they strive for their vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live holding to the belief that every child needs a place to call home. A place where they can grow up healthy, be safe, learn and dream. More than building homes, Winfield Area Habitat for Humanity builds communities, building hope and the opportunity for families to help themselves by breaking the cycle of poverty and building long-term financial security. Locally, Winfield Area Habitat for Humanity has been building one home per year since the beginning of their organization.
Winfield Public Library (left). Located at 605 College in Winfield, KS on the historic Baden Square, the Winfield Public Library has had the honor of serving the local community for over 100 years, since January 1913. With the belief the circle of learning starts with parents teaching babies and comes full circle with us all learning together from each other the Winfield Public Library is dedicated to providing materials and opportunities for life-long learning. The library serves the community of Winfield offering a wide range of programs and services providing books, movies, reference, internet and more.