Norton County Community Foundation Awards $4,200 in December Grant Cycle


Norton, Kansas, December 2021 – Norton County Community Foundation (NCCF) awarded $4,200 in the December grant cycle. Funds were part of the Dane G. Hansen Community Grant Fund, which offers financial support to qualifying and deserving projects and programs in Northwest Kansas. Grant funds supported the following project:

  • Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center received $2,700 for the WhyTry Mentoring program in Norton County. 
  • Norton Community Schools received $1,500 for the NCHS Science Olympiad club. 

The mission of the Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center (WKCAC) is to heal the trauma of abuse to children and adults through prevention, support, and services. One of their services is the WhyTry Mentoring program, which provides early intervention for at-risk children and adolescents in rural communities that lack the resources to provide what this specialized program delivers. The program utilizes a Youth Advocate, who meets with the children in one-on-one mentoring sessions. WKCAC lost funding for the program, which is why they applied for grant funding from NCCF to keep the program in Norton County.

NCHS Science Olympiad is a club at Norton Community High School that started during the 2019-2020 school year. It is a competitive and creative outlet for students who excel in the classroom and are interested in pursuing STEM fields after high school. The Science Olympiad competitions cover more than 20 events that range in topics from engineering and physics to ornithology (the study of birds). Grant funds will help cover the cost of materials and supplies needed to prepare for and excel in the different competitions, as well as hotel room costs for the state competition in Wichita.

The guidelines and application for the Hansen Community Grant can be found on NCCF’s website at Applications are due the last day of the month to be considered for the next month’s funding. For more information, please contact Tara Vance at 785.874.5106,, or visit the NCCF office at the Heaton Building in Downtown Norton, KS, located at 112 S. Kansas Street.

About Norton County Community Foundation

The Norton County Community Foundation was established in 1994 for the purpose of supporting local charitable activities in Norton County through endowments made to the foundation. Dedicated to serving today for tomorrow, to make our community a better place in which to live. Connect with the Norton County Community Foundation at

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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.

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