Hillsboro Community Foundation celebrated reaching $1 million in managed assets Feb. 7 by giving away free cookies and awarding a record $14,000 to 10 area public-service organizations and causes.
The celebration occurred during halftime of the Hillsboro High School boys’ basketball game against Sterling.
Following are the recipients of this year’s Hillsboro Area Impact Fund grants, with an explanation from each organization about its work and its intention for the money.
• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Marion County, $1,000. “Bigs in Schools” is a one-on-one mentoring program that matches at-risk children with carefully screened, caring volunteers, many of whom are high school students. Mentors meet weekly with their child at school to eat lunch, do homework or just talk.
• City of Hillsboro playground equipment, $1,750. The Hillsboro Playground Committee was formed by the city to update the playground equipment at the city park. To date, significant funds have been raised and some equipment has already been installed. Funding from this grant will be used to purchase a handicap-accessible swing and rubber mulch.
• Families And Communities Together (FACT), $2,250. The Hillsboro Area Family Financial Assistance Fund provides emergency financial assistance to families that reside in the USD 410 School District. “Children and families function better in all areas of their lives if they have uninterrupted shelter with water and electricity, adequate nutrition, medical services and access to transportation.”
• Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland, $1,000. Building courage, confidence and character is the mission of the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. This organization serves 80 counties in Kansas, including the Hillsboro Girl Scout Troop. Funds provided by this grant will be used to support the development of girls in the local troop.
• Hillsboro Elementary School After School Program, $1,000. The focus of the after-school program is to provide healthy, enriching and emotionally developing activities for at-risk students between first and sixth grade who may be without adult supervision. Grant money will help to continue this service and provide financial assistance for students to participate in community activities.
• Hillsboro Chess Guild, $500. The Chess Guild provides instruction, clinics and competition in the game of chess for about 30 students, grades 2 through 12. The grant will allow the guild to provide free lessons to students and opportunities to grow in skill, self-confidence, problem-solving skills and self-discipline.
• Hillsboro Police Department K-9 Unit, $500. The K-9 Unit serves in the battle against drugs in our community, participates in drug awareness demonstrations and also acts as a deterrent to drug related activities. Rico, the current HPD canine, was retired in 2011 and a replacement has been selected. These funds will be applied to the training and equipment costs for the new canine.
• Hillsboro Recreation Commission, $1,000. Organizing and facilitating the summer recreation activities for local youth is an ongoing task of the Hillsboro Recreation Commission. Currently, the catcher’s equipment used by the baseball and softball programs is in need of replacement. This grant will be applied to purchasing the required equipment while keeping participant fees at a reasonable amount.
• Hillsboro Senior Center, $2,500. The Senior Center serves the seniors of our community by providing meals, social interaction and informative programs. Funds received from this grant will be applied to the replacement of the kitchen floor at the center.
• Main Street Ministries, $2,500. Main Street Ministries’ food bank serves those less fortunate in the community and surrounding area. Food is provided by donations and purchases from local stores and the Kansas Food Bank Warehouse. An average of 75 to 100 families use the food bank each month, which equates to 300 to 400 individuals.