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Foundation seeks support

POSTED: November 25, 2011 7:00 a.m.

To the Citizens of Ellsworth County:
The Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation (SHCF) received a $300,000 matching grant from the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) to start a Healthy Living Fund for Ellsworth County. Matching means that for every dollar the SHCF raises for either the Healthy Living Fund or the Community Fund, the KHF will contribute 50 cents. Other funds in the SHCF receive 25 cents on the $1, except scholarship funds. The SHCF has five years to raise the matching funds. Presently the foundation has raised about $80,000 of the possible $300,000. It is a good start, but there is still a long way to go.
In a recent study done on health care in Kansas, Ellsworth County ranked 12th. That is good, but No. 1 would be better. The KHF has challenged several rural counties in Kansas to improve health care through grants to community foundations. Now Ellsworth County has the opportunity to take full advantage of this challenge. Every citizen in Ellsworth County will benefit from better health care in the county. This is an opportunity to bring $300,000 from outside of Ellsworth County into Ellsworth County.
Your help is needed. There is no contribution too large or too small; each is significant. This has to be a community effort in order to be successful. I would hope every family in Ellsworth County would consider making a contribution to either the Healthy Living Fund or the Community Fund. Where else can one get a 50 percent increase on a contribution that will benefit Ellsworth County for years to come? All contributions are tax deductible.
The SHCF only makes grants to charitable organizations. Since its inception 11 years ago, the foundation has made over $48,000 in grants from the Community Fund and over $180,000 in total grants. All funds in the foundation are endowed, which means only earnings are given out for grants and the principle remains intact. The foundation, therefore, will be helping Ellsworth County forever. The SHCF expects to have grant money available next year to promote healthy living in Ellsworth County.
Contributions should be made to the Smoky Hills Charitable Foundation, designated health fund or community fund and sent to P.O. Box 245, Ellsworth, Kan. 67439. If you have questions about the SHCF or starting a fund, please call Frank Toman, (785) 472-3627.
Frank Toman
SHCF board member

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