Leighty grant funding awards largest single-year amount
Trust has now awarded $225,000 over six years
Nearly 20 recipients received more than $62,000 in grants through the Pete and Margaret Leighty Trust Fund during a reception Thursday at The Jewel on Main.
It marked the largest amount awarded at a time to date. This is the sixth year money has been distributed through the fund.
Tonganoxie USD 464, Genesis Christian Academy, 4-H clubs and the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission were some of this year’s recipients.
Sam Spiker of Boy Scout Troop 357 received an activity board for the Tonganoxie Public Library, while the city of Tonganoxie received funding for Gallagher Park.
Kansas State University Research and Extension for Leavenworth County livestock committee was awarded $4,500 for a livestock scale at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds.
Funding will benefit other areas at the fairgrounds.
Leavenworth County 4-H Poultry Club will receive funding for poultry facility improvements and the Leavenworth County Fair Association will get new walk doors ($2,620) for the Administration Building through this year’s grant funding. Reno Bobwhites 4-H Club, meanwhile, will be replacing a stove thanks to Leighty funding.
Tonganoxie Community Historical Society will make improvements to the Honey Valley School exterior on its historic site campus, thanks to nearly $5,500 in grant money, while Tonganoxie Public Library is receiving about $5,200 for equipment to facilitate technology classes for senior citizens.
Tonganoxie Recreation Commission was awarded $1,000 for trainer and T-shirt costs for its Families Actively Strengthening Tonganoxie, a group that started in the fall to encourage local residents to get active. The group met on Sunday evenings in late summer/early fall and plans to start up the outdoor program in the spring, again in Chieftain Park.
Gallagher Park, which continues to take shape south of Tonganoxie Water Park, received $5,275 for continued work.
Genesis Christian Academy received money for tables and benches, while the Leighty committee also awarded seven grants to Tonganoxie USD 464.
The Tonganoxie High School debate program received $6,600 for six new laptops, while the THS science department received $7,665 to enhance its technology equipment.
The THS book club received $1,000, Tonganoxie Elementary School music department just more than $550, TES $500 for sensory room essentials and TMS $2,000 for a landscaping project. That project will be done as an educational enrichment for students.
As for the USD 464 Education Foundation, it received $1,500 for a THS business class to use for investment instruction. Students will use the money to make actual investment decisions on the education foundation’s behalf.
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.
The Leighty Endowment Advisory Committee, a group comprising community members, reviewed the applications and made selections based on the interests of Pete and Margaret Leighty. Those areas of interest were 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.
The fund now has given about $225,000 to local organizations.
“It’s just exciting to see the funds going to the community and being put to work,” said Shawna Gilmore, senior vice president and trust officer for First State Bank and Trust.
Applications for 2016 Leighty grant funding will be available next summer through the bank, with the deadline likely being in October. For more information, contact Gilmore at 913-845-2500.