Halstead Community Foundation Hires New Director

Welcome, Macey Mueller!

We are pleased to welcome Macey Mueller as the new director of the Halstead Community Foundation. She is married to Josh, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher in Halstead, and the couple stays busy raising cattle, crops and their children Conway, Raleigh and G.G. Macey’s career experience is in communications and public relations, and she looks forward to helping strengthen HCF’s presence and impact in the community.


CKCF Achieves National Standards Accreditation

Central Kansas Community Foundation recently received accreditation with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere.

“Meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process,” said Randy Royster, board member of the Council on Foundations. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that indicates Central Kansas Community Foundation demonstrates a commitment to transparency, quality, integrity and accountability as it carries out its mission.”

The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. With over 500 community foundations already accredited nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.

“This is critically important to our donors,” said Angie Tatro, Central Kansas Community Foundation executive director. “When people make a charitable bequest or establish a fund, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely, honor their charitable wishes and, in some cases, provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards accreditation says our house is in order.”

Central Kansas Community Foundation works to meet critical community needs and support local causes, including supporting the arts, cultivating gardens, expanding literacy and feeding children.

Central Kansas Community Foundation offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the accreditation validates Central Kansas Community Foundation’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.

“Grantmaking is a lot like investing,” said Joel Gaeddert, Central Kansas Community Foundation board chair. “We need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. With our National Standards accreditation, you can be assured that we’re doing just that.”

National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® is the first program of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.

Through philanthropic services, strategic investments and community leadership, Central Kansas Community Foundation helps people support the causes they care about, now and for generations to come.

The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations and is responsible for the quality, value and integrity of compliance with National Standards. For more information on the National Standards Board, visit its website at www.cfstandards.org.

Menocause Awards $18,265 in Grants

Valley Center Menocause awarded 11 grants in the amount of $18,265 January 27. Eighty men joined the giving circle in 2018 and contributed to the fund – a complete success!

Sarah Warren of Hornets’ Hanger accepts a $3,000 grant from Menocause: Ignite Valley Center. Warren and her colleagues will use the funds to offer clothing for all students in the district through VCIS. Also pictured from left are Menocause members Chiefs Superfan Larry Hall and Greg Lehr.

Read more and see a complete record of the awards on the Valley Center Facebook Page!

Complete Grant Listing

1 Main Street Threads $   1,500.00
2 Hornet Cupboard Food Pantry $   1,000.00
3 VC Cares for Kids $   2,000.00
4 VC Community Scholarship Fund $   3,000.00
5 Friends of the VC Library $   1,000.00
6 VCHS Student Advisory Leadership Team $       500.00
7 VC Historical Society & Museum $   1,756.00
8 VC School District Education Foundation $   1,500.00
9 VCIS Technology Makerspace for Media Center $   2,500.00
10 Hornets’ Hanger $   3,000.00
11 Serve VC $       500.00
 $ 18,256.00

Welcome, Melinda and Becky!

Central Kansas Community Foundation is excited to announce the addition of Melinda Newell and Becky Nickel to our staff team. We are looking forward to a greater opportunity to serve both our affiliates and our donors.
Melinda Newell is an Accounting Clerk at Central Kansas Community Foundation.  She will work primarily with deposits, but will also be in a supporting role for Brenda Eitzen with many other accounting duties.  Melinda will work closely with affiliates in making sure all forms and details are being handled correctly and will be present at all CKCF board and finance meetings for recording purposes.

Melinda graduated in 1998 from Wichita State University with a Business Administration major and a Management minor.  She has worked in sales, bookkeeping and administration in the past.  Melinda and her husband Pete live on a farm outside of Newton and have four children ranging from age 19 to age 5 and has been fortunate to be able to spend most of the last decade at home raising them.  Now that her children have reached school age, Melinda is very excited to be taking on this part-time position as a support role for CKCF.
Becky Nickel has been working with Peabody Community Foundation since 2016.  She co-founded and co-owned Prairie Harvest Market & Deli 2000-2014.  She has two adult children.  Becky enjoys being active, especially riding bicycle and gardening, but spends most evenings in winter reading near the wood-burning stove.

The Affiliate Liaison position at CKCF allows Becky to meet people on affiliate boards who are engaged in bettering their communities, something she finds fascinating.  She is excited to learn more about what Affiliates have been doing and hopes to be helpful to them in their endeavors.

Now Hiring

Halstead Community Foundation Director

Halstead Community Foundation (HCF) is hiring a quarter-time executive director.

Primary Responsibilities

Work in conjunction with the local board of directors to raise funds for HCF endowment, managing grant opportunities, building relationships with grantees, engaging with HCF board of directors and Halstead community, and work as the liaison between HCF and Central Kansas Community Foundation.

Applicant must be a self-starter with communication skills and proficiency in computers.



Please send cover letter and resume to Angie Tatro at angie@centralkansascf.org or call Central Kansas Community Foundation at (316) 283-5474.

Latest CKCF News

CKCF Celebrates Bill Hake’s Retirement!

CKCF staff recently celebrated Bill Hake’s years of service as the affiliate staff program officer. He has been a servant leader in numerous capacities at CKCF – he served 9 years as board member and held the chair position; he has worked as our affiliate liaison as staff for over 4 years and has been a dedicated donor with his daughters, sharing his story as an example for familial philanthropic giving!

Valley Center Community Foundation raises $12,000 with Pie Auction

Two pies sold for more than $1,000 each. A third went for $3,000.

The second annual Community Pie Auction Nov. 20 saw 20 homemade pies raise $12,641 for the Valley Center Community Foundation.

“We continue to be impressed by our community members. It’s amazing how much Valley Center folks support each other year after year,” said Spike Anderson, president of the foundation. “We appreciate the hard work and effort that the pie bakers put into creating these masterpieces that attracted the pie buyers. The decorations were incredible and we even had one superhero show up for the event.”

Read More of the Ark Valley News Article Here

CKCF Attends PPREP Conference in Oklahoma

November brought the community foundations from the PPREP cohort sponsored by the Funders’ Network together in Oklahoma City for two days, which included a tour of the National Weather Service on the OU campus in Norman. While the group received behind the scenes opportunities, public tours of the facility are available. Key presentations during the sessions centered around public policy and its role in disaster response.  As communities respond to a variety of disasters, the implications of policy are important considerations.

As the CKCF affiliates continue to navigate next steps in disaster preparedness, it is worth noting that a majority of our affiliates have response funds in place and are holding conversations at the board level to determine how best to make communities aware of this important work.

Dick and Dorothy Miller housing fund established through El Dorado Community Foundation

Friends and family of Dick and Dorothy Miller gathered recently to celebrate Dorothy’s decision to establish a fund thru the El Dorado Community Foundation, with the primary purpose to help children avoid being homeless.

Read More about the event in the Butler County Times-Gazette

CKCF Hosts Annual Meeting, Elects New Officers

Monday, October 22 brought about change for the Foundation. CKCF hosted their annual meeting and performed a changing of the guards, electing new officers and welcomed new members to the board. Welcome to CKCF, friends. We look forward to a spectacular year under your leadership.

2018-19 Slate of Officers and Members at Large


  • Immediate Past Chair, Carrie Herman (Halstead)
  • Chair, Joel Gaeddert (North Newton)
  • Vice Chair, Jennifer Vogts (North Newton)
  • Treasurer, Todd Kasitz (Newton)
  • Secretary, Amy Budde (Newton)
  • Finance Chair, Rod Kreie (Newton)

Members At Large

  1. James Regier (Whitewater)
  2. Jason High (Newton)
  3. Tim Hodge (North Newton)
  4. Colin Bailey (Halstead)
  5. Brad Bartel (Hillsboro)
  6. NM Patton (Peabody)
  7. Marge Warta (Newton)
  8. Ron Lang (Newton)
  9. Linda Ogden (Marion)
  10. Jon Zerger (Newton)
  11. Rachel Swartzendruber Miller (Hesston)
  12. Becky Wolfe (new) (Andover)
  13. Amy Mitchell (new) (Newton)
  14. Myron Schmidt (new) (Goessel)
  15. Mary Martha Good (new) (El Dorado)


  • Angie Tatro, Executive Director

Community Foundation Hosts Eastern Mennonite University Trainers

Harvey County continues to have individuals and organizations working in the area of trauma awareness. Central Kansas Community Foundation, in partnership with Eastern Mennonite University, the Harvey County Health Department and Offender Victim Ministries are host two training opportunities. Funded by a $50,000 grant from the Funders’ Network to Central Kansas Community Foundation in June of 2018, training in STAR (Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resiliency) and ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) will be offered in Hesston, KS at Dyck Arboretum of Plain the week of October 8-12th.

Area First Responders, Excel employees, health and human service providers and other invested partners are coming together to gain understanding and skills to use in the work place but also in their personal realms.  “The STAR and ACEs trainers are highly skilled professionals” shared Susan Lamb who is working contractually with Central Kansas Community Foundation to coordinate both trainings, and we are confident our county is ready for the information that will be shared at both events.”

“The relationship with the Funders’ Network with a grant focused on disaster preparedness and response began for Central Kansas Community Foundation early in 2017, and an opportunity to receive additional funding for an extensive project prompted CKCF to apply for support in the area of trauma,” shared Lamb.   “We continue to be committed to caring for our County as individuals and groups continue their journey through the recovery associated with the Excel shooting, but we are also keenly aware of the need to be educated about potential trauma associated with future disasters – be they natural or human created,” commented Angie Tatro, Executive Director for Central Kansas Community Foundation.

Trainers for STAR bring strong experience to their work.  Annette Lantz-Simmons is the Executive Director for the Center for Conflict Resolution in Kansas City, MO, and Katie Mansfield is the lead trainer for STAR at Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

Local facilitators leading the ACEs training are Lynnette Redington, Director of the Harvey County Health Department and Laurel Woodward-Breckbill, Executive Director of Offender Victim Ministries of Harvey County.  Woodward-Breckbill is also trained in the STAR curriculum.  “We have such a strong community of support for this work and believe that this is another progressive step for our County”, said Lamb.

The mission of Central Kansas Community Foundation is “Building Stronger Communities Through Charitable Giving”, and CKCF is the host foundation for 20 regional affiliate foundations including 15 communities in central Kansas.

Hillsboro Community Foundation Hires Director

Hillsboro Community Foundation and Central Kansas Community Foundation are pleased to announce the hiring of Bonnie Darwin as the Foundation’s new Director in Hillsboro.

Bonnie replaces Cynthia Fleming who served as Hillsboro’s Director from 2015 to 2018 and oversaw the growth of the Foundations assets to the 2.5 million.  This year the Foundation distributed $64,000 in grants to various nonprofit organizations and $9,200 to individuals in scholarships.

After attending Jost family reunions in Hillsboro for the past twenty-five years, Bonnie moved to Kansas. from Sacramento, California to be closer to her extended family. During her professional career in Sacramento, Bonnie worked with rural hospitals at the California Hospital Association and served as the Chief Consultant to the Committee on Aging for the lower house of the California Legislature.

Todd Jost, President of HCF, says “We are thrilled to have Bonnie join us as we strive to expand HCF’s work to enhance and sustain our community. We will miss Cynthia’s experience and knowledge, but we are excited by the passion and different perspective Bonnie is bringing to the post.”

Angie Tatro, Executive Director of CKCF, says “We are delighted to have Bonnie join us to continue the outstanding work of Hillsboro’s Foundation and look forward to the ideas she has to help rural communities thrive.” Tatro went on to say Hillsboro Community Foundation was established to promote and facilitate charitable giving in support of project/programs that enhance the quality of life in Hillsboro, Kansas. Then ended by stating “I am confident Bonnie will contribute greatly to this purpose.”