Norton County Community Foundation Awards Two Grants in May

Norton, Kansas, May 2023 – Norton County Community Foundation (NCCF) awarded $3,050 in the May 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 projects:
  • Humanities Kansas, Inc. received $550 for their “Talk About Literature in Northwest Kansas” program
  • USD 211 received $2,500 for Weight Room Improvements
Humanities Kansas, Inc. will use grant funds to support their free book discussion program. Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) provides educational opportunities, primarily for senior citizens, throughout Northwest Kansas. Tracy Quillin, associate director at Humanities Kansas, Inc. says, “The majority of TALK book discussion participants in northwest Kansas are over the age of 55. Humanities Kansas knows from research that reading and companion group discussions support good health and keep aging Kansans socially and cognitively engaged. Participating in book discussions combats social isolation, facilitates discussions that promote new perspectives, and helps to improve and maintain communication skills.” The $550 awarded to TALK will be used to purchase 50 books to be housed at the NWKLS in Norton. Within the TALK program, there are currently 29 themed series for readers to explore. With the help of grant money, seven new series will be added, including Native American Identity, Turning Points: Stories of Women Choosing Their Own Paths, Family Land, and The Kansas Experience. To get involved with Talk About Literature in Kansas, contact NWKLS in Norton.
USD 211 will use grant funds to upgrade their outdated weight room equipment. Due to an influx of athletes and students interested in strength and conditioning, the weight room is in need of updating and replacing equipment to better suit the athletes’ needs. The first phase of this update was completed last year through the redoing of the weight room floor. Funds will now be used to purchase new power racks, benches, and plyometric boxes. With over 100 students circulating through the weight room each day, it is important to have safe, updated equipment to ensure a quality experience.
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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