Norton County Community Foundation Awards $8,500 in February Grant Cycle

Norton, Kansas, February 2022 – Norton County Community Foundation (NCCF) awarded $8,500 in the February 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:
  • Norton County Horse Council received $8,500 for equine facility upgrades.
The Norton County Horse Council (NCHC) board of directors was created in 2002. The group’s mission statement is “To promote equine activities, provide alternative entertainment for Norton County residents of all ages, and bring economic advantages to the community through scheduling of events.” NCHC is solely responsible for scheduling events as well as the costs of maintaining and improving the facility.
Assessment of the arena footing, as well as input from participants, has revealed the need for updated arena grooming equipment to provide better footing for livestock. With the help of NCCF grant funds, NCHC plans to purchase a used International 966 tractor with cab and a Black Widow arena worker.  A tractor and grooming equipment that is readily available to the volunteer(s) that take care of the grounds at the arena will improve the footing for livestock and assist with keeping volunteers.
NCHC’s goal for the project is to improve the functionality of the arena.  In doing so, it will make utilizing the arena easier for participants and volunteers, as well as draw more events, which has a positive impact on the community. “Horsemanship is a culture all its own, rooted in full-family participation, and could disappear if not encouraged,” wrote Cindy Wegener in the grant application.
“We intend to do our part to ensure that future generations develop a love of all things equine! Toward this goal, admission fees have never been charged for any event held by NCHC. We want families to be able to come and enjoy the facility, the atmosphere, and the events with minimal expense.”
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 Bethany Shirk 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 2020 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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