Community foundation announces grant recipients

Osage County Community Foundation awarded grants Thursday evening to, from left, Derald Stromgren, Osage County Fair Association, Corey Linton, Osage City Parks and Recreation director, and Linda Carson and Darrel Finch, representing Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary School.

Supporters and board members of the Osage County Community Foundation gathered Thursday evening to award grants to local recipients and to honor a man whose vision became the foundation.

Foundation board president Perry Thompson and founding board member Janet Steinle spoke about Steve Kellison, who along with other community leaders formed the foundation in 2001. Kellison died in 2012.

“It was the dream and desire of Steve to establish a non-profit foundation that would be the conduit for receiving funds from individuals and organizations that could then be given back to Osage City and the surrounding communities through grant requests,” Steinle told the roomful of supporters gathered at Osage County Senior Center, in Osage City last night.

After research into community foundations, Kellison then spearheaded the formation of the non-profit group, serving as the first president of the board of directors and providing funds to form the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, she said.

“All of this groundwork was laid for what is today, 12 years later, the Osage County Community Foundation,” Steinle said.

Thompson noted the organization’s biggest project to date has been the Veterans Memorial established at the corner of Market and Ninth streets, in Osage City. The Foundation continues to provide the financing necessary for the care and maintenance of the site through a perpetual fund established in the name of the Veterans Memorial.

“The project is one great example of a success story from the Osage County Community Foundation,” Thompson said, “with many more to be seen in our future.”

Thompson said the foundation’s assets have grown from a beginning balance of $500 to almost $1 million.

“This new total is largely due to the dollars received from the Steve Kellison estate,” Thompson said. “Without the insight and desire of one man to see the many good things that a foundation can provide for the people of Osage County, this foundation may not exist.”

Noted was Kellison’s dedication to Osage City, where he had served as a city council member, fair board president, and an active member of the Chamber of Commerce and local historical society.

“All of his volunteer hours dedicated to these various groups and here at the foundation have made and will continue to make Osage City a better place to live for many years to come,” Thompson said.

Kellison never asked for recognition or applause for efforts, he said.

“He was a plain, simple man, who went to work loyally every day, gave of his time to community projects, enjoyed time with his family, and when the day was done he walked his best friend, Daisy,” Thompson said. “Over the many years to come there will be many gifts given to groups in Osage County because of the generous gift given by Steve Kellison.”

Introducing members of Kellison’s family present at the gathering, Thompson said, “To all of Steve’s family, from all of his many friends and the Osage County Community Foundation, we say, ‘Thank you, Steve!’”

Thompson also introduced this year’s first grant recipients, who applied in November: Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary School, Osage City Parks and Recreation, and the Osage County Fair Association.

The Osage County Fair Association operates the annual Osage County Fair, at Osage City. The grant request was for seed money to engage an entertainment during the upcoming fair. It was noted that with construction of the new football field and the availability to operate inside an enclosed area, the fair board is working towards more or larger entertainment during the fair. Thompson presented $500 to Derald Stromgren, fair board member, for the project.

The next $500 grant was presented to Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary School, represented by USD 456 Superintendent Darrel Finch and elementary teacher Linda Carson. The grant will be used to supplement a grant the school received from the Jones Foundation to purchase iPads for kindergarten through fifth-grade students; applications and accessories for the table computers are to be purchased.

The evening’s third $500 grant was presented to Corey Linton, director of Osage City Parks and Recreation. The grant is to be used for equipment to help start a new football program in Osage City for third and fourth graders. Players will participate in an established football league that is currently run by the YMCA of Topeka.

Thompson said the grants awarded were from the foundation’s general fund, which can be donated according to the board’s direction. He said the foundation also has donor advised or designated funds, in which donors decide how the funds should be donated. He asked that all those in attendance consider donating to the foundation or considering the foundation during financial and estate planning.

Thompson also reminds area groups and organizations that a new grant application period will be opening March 10 and closing April 30. The foundation offers grants for innovative and creative projects and programs that are responsive to changing community needs in the areas of health, social service, education, recreation and cultural affairs. Grants will not exceed $500 and operational expenses are not funded. The foundation also continues to seek donations to continue its work in supporting countywide charitable organizations.

For a copy of the grant application visit the document center on Osage City’s website, and click on Osage County Community Foundation, or contact Thompson at 785-528-3006. Completed applications should be mailed to Osage County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 24, Osage City, KS 66523.

To know more about Kellison, see his obituary here.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas