Leighty Trust hands out $29,000 in grant money
Christmas came more than a month early for some local groups.
The Pete and Margaret Leighty Trust awarded $29,000 in grants among 12 groups this past week.
Julius “Pete” and Margaret Sanders Leighty created a charitable trust before their deaths in order to provide funds to benefit organizations and people in Tonganoxie and the surrounding area.
Representatives from many of the groups met at the First State Bank and Trust on U.S. Highway 24-40 on Wednesday, Nov. 9, for the announcement of the grants. The bank administers the trust, which is in its second year of awarding grants.
In total, there were 21 grant applications submitted by local organizations, requesting more than $146,000 altogether.
“It was a difficult decision, as interest in the grant was high and the applications were very strong,” said Shawna Gilmore, trust and financial services officer with First State Bank and Trust. “There are many people in our community leading constructive projects. It’s very inspiring to see all the good work being done here and exciting to be a part of it. Pete and Margaret would be very pleased with the type of projects the grant will fund.”
The proposed projects for which grants were awarded ranged from interactive technology for special education and elementary students to the purchase of updated microfilm equipment for the public library.
Here is the list of grant recipients and for what the money will be used: Tonganoxie Fire Department, advanced life support equipment; Genesis Christian Academy, gymnasium chairs; Good Shepherd Thrift Shop and Food Bank, heating and air-conditioning system upgrade; Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative (serving USD 464), iPad learning opportunity; Tonganoxie Community Historical Society, PastPerfect upgrade; Tonganoxie Public Library, microfilm reader and scanner; Tonganoxie Elementary School, interactive whiteboards; Tonganoxie Middle School, Destination Imagination; Tonganoxie Middle School Family, Consumer and Career Leaders of America, student assistance program; Tonganoxie High School, science department equipment upgrade; USD 464 Volunteer Center, laminator; USD 464 Education Foundation, investment project.
The Leighty Endowment Advisory Committee, a committee comprised of community members, reviewed the applications and made selections based on the interests of Pete and Margaret Leighty, which included youth, education, history, pioneerism, agriculture, women’s issues, technology and family and consumer science. Consideration was also given to long-term benefits of each proposed project, the number of individuals positively affected, budget, other resources available and the ability of those involved to complete the project.
Grant funds will be awarded on an annual basis, and in the future greater amounts will be available as the charitable trust becomes fully funded. Gilmore said the 2012 grant application process would begin in July 2012. For more information about the application process or about trust services, contact Gilmore at the bank, (913) 845-2500.