Pony Up Marysville Community Contributions Top $300K

By Bruce Dierking – KNDY News

The annual Pony Up match day Friday, hosted by the Marysville Community Foundation totaled contributions topping $300,000. Thirty-five organizations received donations, with the Blue River Rail Trail garnering top gift counts with 65, and a second-high donation total just over $17,000 which will be used to complete the trail link to downtown Marysville this summer. With just half that number of donors, the Koester House Museum and Gardens were the top fundraiser, with over $18,000 that will go toward renovation of the gardens at the museum.

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The top ten by dollars contributed were the Koester House, and Rail Trail, Pony Express Partnership for Children, Marysville Historic Union Pacific Depot, Marshall County Arts Cooperative, Lakeview Sports Complex, RSVP, Marshall County Historical Society, MCAC, and Marshall County youth and 4H programs.

The top ten by number of donors were the Blue River Rail Trail, Marshall County Arts Cooperative, Kansas Honor Flight, Marysville Historic Union Pacific Depot restoration, Marshall County Historical Society, Koester House Museum and Gardens, RSVP, Lakeview Sports Complex, Pony Express Partnership for Children. Fundraising totals are listed online at marysvillecf.org.

Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.