Marion County Leadership Program to begin in September

Thanks to funding from the Marion County Leadership Endowment held by CKCF, Marion County residents have an opportunity to participate in a county Leadership Program, a program designed to teach leadership skills while learning about the county’s needs. The eight-week program will be facilitated by the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) and include tours or the county, and discussions about how to apply learnings at KLC to opportunities and challenges in Marion County.

“The Marion County Leadership program holds great potential to enhance the county’s assets and address some of its challenges. CKCF is proud to partner with KLC in this endeavor to bring local leaders together and cultivate their skills,” said Angie Tatro, CEO of CKCF. She went on to share without initial financial support from the Kansas Health Foundation, this program would not be possible.

More info and an online application may be found at under News and Announcements.


Photo: (Left to right) Bonnie Gaeddert, USD411; Tracy Lowe, Marion County Core Community; Sara Hiebert, Bethesda Home; Lori Soo Hoo, Marion County Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

(Goessel, KS) The Goessel Community Foundation, an affiliate of Central Kansas Community Foundation, is pleased to announce the recent awarding of four 2022 Community Grants.  Through the generosity of community donations to our Impact Fund, the Foundation was able to “give back to the community” through these local non-profits.  Awards were presented at a Spring Celebration & Recognition Dinner at Goessel Elementary School on April 30, 2022 hosted by the Foundation Board.  A complimentary meal prepared by Goessel Grocery & Deli and a skit “Leave 5 in Goessel” given by Matt Lehman Wiens and Matt Voth were also part of the event.  

$1,100—Bethesda Home $970 from the Goessel Senior Endowment and $130 from the Impact Fund to supplement expenses for the Friendship Meal Program.  The recipients pay for one-third of the cost, with the remainder covered by grants, donations, and Bethesda. 

$1,000—Goessel USD411 for Early Childhood Family Engagement Night from the Impact Fund for family engagement opportunities and education activities for parents of pre-school age children.  It is an evening with many hands-on activities that allow families to get acquainted with resources which can assist educational needs early in life.  

$500—Marion County Core Community from the Impact Fund for a “Getting Ahead Scholarship” for educational opportunities to find solutions for families facing poverty.  Classes are offered to help end the cycle of generational poverty by building resources to lift themselves out of poverty. 

$500—Marion County Dolly Parton Imagination Library from the Impact Fund which provides families with children ages 0-5 a free age-appropriate book each month until the child reaches age 6.  The program provides books, directions, and activities so parents have the means to read, interact, and connect with their children.  

Each year, our Impact Fund continues to grow.  Our goal of reaching $125,000 for our Impact Fund, would allow for larger grants in the future.  To help us reach this goal, donations should be sent to GCF, PO Box 244, Goessel, KS 67053 or on-line at

2022 Newton Area Women of the Year

Since 1956, our program has honored Newton area women who give freely of their time and talents to make our community a better place to live. Clubs, organizations and individuals are asked to nominate women from the community involved in community and civic service, education, religion, the arts or business, who have made a positive difference in the community. Each year, three outstanding women are chosen by a panel of judges to be honored as Women of the Year. The WOY Advisory Committee oversees the Women of the Year program and hosts the recognition event. Newton Area Women of the Year is a component fund of Central Kansas Community Foundation, meaning it is managed under the foundation’s 501(c)(3) umbrella for the benefit of our mission to honor Newton-area women making a positive difference

Susan Lamb
A formal and informal educator that genuinely cares about all community members, with a mission for creating community resiliency.

Susan is a dedicated and passionate volunteer. She cares deeply about the community and organizations of which she’s a part. Her care is shown thru active involvement and engagement. Though her past volunteer roles would be too numerous to name, she is currently involved in the following volunteer capacities:

  • Hesston Board of Education Member
  • Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale Board Member and congregation liaison
  • Hesston Mennonite Church JYF co-coordinator
  • Hesston Mennonite Church Hospitality Chair

Susan is a very enthusiastic leader in Hesston – the community we both live in. She is always brainstorming and implementing fun events to enhance community. For over a decade, she has coordinated a summer weeklong camp for 6th and 7th graders, called H-Town. The group tours a variety of businesses in Hesston and eat lunch each day at a local restaurant. Both of our boys participated in H-Town and really enjoyed learning why Hesston is such a great place to live.

Further, Susan is assisting to get permanency for the Harvey County Drug Court by organizing an advocacy team. This team will share the hopes and challenges of court participants. Giving people who made a poor choice some local supports and not jail time will ultimately create more contributing members of our community.

She is also currently in a contractor capacity for Disaster Response coordination at CKCF. Following the 2017 shooting event in Hesston, Susan was determined to add man-made incidents as part of preparation and preparedness for disaster response. She far exceeds her contribution of time the grant allots to this role, going so far as reaching out nationally to local community foundation after mass shooting events occur to lend a message of compassion but also making herself a known resource to share community resiliency strategies to guide their recovery.

Susan is married, has two grown children and loves being a grandmother.

Tami Lakey
A visionary entrepreneur giving back to our community and providing space for youth and families to succeed.

Newton is Tami’s hometown, and she loves this city with her whole self. She is giving of her time, energy and resources as she innovatively cares for this community. When Tami worked as a library aid at Slate Creek Elementary in 2015-17, she recognized a growing desire to provide a space in her hometown where youth could gather for needed community and connection. Out of that desire came a much-needed program for the Newton community: Later@Norm’s. Norm’s Coffee Bar was for sale at the beginning of 2017, and So Shine Foundation saw an opportunity to invest in a business that could fund the initiative. Santa Fe students have now been hanging out after school in her spaces (now @ The Porch: 724 N Main, having outgrown the coffee bar’s capacity for the amount of students!) for five school years, and there has been a fantastic overflow of life produced from it! 

Later@Norm’s is cultivating a multigenerational atmosphere that is uniting high school students (some former attendees!) and adults to volunteer their time, investing in this next generation of Newtonians. She has donated generously of her time, too many occasions to count, as this business has grown deep roots and seen much fruit. Norm’s mission statement of Coffee, Community, and Connection has Tami’s DNA all over it. 

The Table is a weekly free community dinner at The Porch, that seeks to build meaningful community within families, build a deeper sense of belonging TO our families AND our town, and build a stronger future FOR our families and town. She is the visionary leader behind all of it, but you will see her at Norm’s cashiering, after school playing UNO with students, and serving up a delicious plate of dinner at The Table… every.single.time. 

With all this she is deeply invested in her faith and family as a wife, mom and newly a grandmother!

Sandie Kueker
An innovative health professional, civic member, wife and mom that makes a difference in our community because she cares.

Sandie and her husband, Adam, own Hesston Pharmacy and Harvey Drug, two successful locally owned pharmacies in our community. Even before the pandemic, it was fantastic to see their success and know that local business owners were making a real impact on the health of our community members. This work of Sandie’s alone is an outstanding contribution to the Newton area. 

Yet, in addition, Sandie’s work during the pandemic has been beyond any expectation. Once vaccines were available, it was a real issue (on the local, state, and national levels) to best understand how to get vaccines to as many people as soon as possible. Our local health department did not have the capacity to do this work alone and Sandie and her staff at Hesston Pharmacy and Harvey Drug really stepped up to provide broad access to those in our community.

Sandie’s compassion for helping those in our local community and the state is unparalleled and the compassion shines through in her work. In addition to vaccine distribution clinics, she has worked with local schools to make sure children had access to the COVID-19 vaccine and worked with other pharmacies to teach them how to successfully run large-scale vaccine clinics in their own communities. She also utilized the pharmacy to serve as a COVID testing site through the state program and this has led to a large increase in access to free testing for our area.

In addition to all this she is involved with Newton Lions Club and is an active wife and mother.



December 20, 2021


The Prairy Foundation has awarded two inaugural grants in support of the Tallgrass Prairie and its historic communities. Kauffman Museum at Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas and the Drinkwater & Schriver Mill in Cedar Point, Kansas, are the first recipients. The mission of Prairy is rooted in the Gaeddert family’s love of the Flint Hills located in the heart of the United States.  Aaron Gaeddert, CEO, says, “As our family became more involved in building the Prairy brand, we knew we wanted any potential impact to contribute to the conservation of this incredible remnant of native prairie and to the communities that share in its history. Hence, the creation of the Prairy Foundation and the commitment of one percent of brand sales to its cause.”

The first gift is intended to support the Kauffman Museum’s field trip program, which includes curriculum and transportation for students from Newton and surrounding communities to visit the wonderful stand of Tallgrass Prairie on the Museum’s grounds and to participate in their accompanying learning activities. “We at Kauffman Museum are so honored to receive an inaugural gift from the Prairy Foundation as it establishes itself as a core supporter of healthy communities and the Tallgrass Prairie. As field trips to the museum pick up again after the first 18 months of the pandemic, we will use the grant provided by the Prairy Foundation to bolster our current educational offerings and provide reimbursement to schools for travel expenses. These funds will allow us to expand learning experiences for elementary students about the prairie ecosystem, Native Peoples, and pioneers in central Kansas”, says Andi Schmidt Andres, Director of Kauffman Museum.

“With a focus on children, we are focusing on our future…and hopefully the future stewards of the Tallgrass Prairie and its communities,” says Terri Gaeddert, “At Prairy, we also consider this first gift a tribute to our longest tenured employee, Carol Sue Stayrook Hobbs, whose passion for local education is ever-present – from years of service on the Newton School Board to numerous ongoing acts of school support and volunteer dedication!” 

The second gift is to support the Drinkwater & Schriver Mill, also known as the Cedar Point Mill, located in a historic community with deep ties to the Tallgrass Prairie. It is also connected with a recent Prairy employee, Cassie Roberts.  Cassie has worked in the Prairy Production and Deli kitchens and is the great-great granddaughter of O.H. Drinkwater, a founder of the Cedar Point Mill and the town of Cedar Point itself. The mutual attraction to Cedar Point was a fun discovery for the Gaeddert family and for Cassie during a casual conversation one afternoon at Prairy. The mill is owned by Drinkwater & Schriver Mill Inc., a Kansas non-profit corporation dedicated to saving the mill and maintaining it as an historic site, celebrating this exceptional grist mill.  Dan Clothier, founder of the organization, said, “We at the Drinkwater & Schriver (Cedar Point) Mill are thrilled to receive this gift. The commitment to historical preservation and generational ties is strong. I especially appreciate the connection to Prairy and the use of Kansas Turkey Red Wheat flour. I look forward to the continued restoration of the mill and celebrate the support from the Prairy Foundation.”

The Prairy Foundation extends appreciation for all who share a strong passion for a deeply-rooted, widely-shared mission, focused on healthy food, people and communities committed to the Tallgrass Prairie.  

One percent of Prairy® brand proceeds is dedicated to the foundation.  We invite you to give to the Prairy Foundation at or call us at 1-833-4-PRAIRY.

The Prairy Foundation is a component fund of the Central Kansas Community Foundation.

CKCF Board of Directors Annoucement of Service 2021-2022

Newton, Kan. (December 13, 2021). The Central Kansas Community Foundation held their Annual Meeting on October 25, 2021 to celebrate achievements as they bid farewell to outgoing members and hello to three elected members. The  Governance and Compliance Committee brought forward for consideration these nominees which were voted in unanimously.  On December 13, 2021 they attended their first meeting as members at large.

The 2021-22 Board of Directors now is structured with Rachel Swartzendruber Miller, Hesston, assuming the chair position. In fact several officer positions are now being held by new members. The Foundaitons Executive Committee now includes, Miller as Chair;  Jennifer Vogts (North Newton) as Immediate Past Chair; Becky Wolfe (Augusta), Vice Chair; Anthony Roy (Hillsboro) Vice Chair Elect;  Amy Budde (Newton), Secretary; Rod Kreie (Newton), Treasurer, and Ron Lang (Newton), Finance Committee Chair.

Please see more information about the three new members of the board as they accept this community service.

Heather Porter is the chief clinical officer at NMC Health. She joined NMC Health in 2003. She has served in a variety of roles including medical case manager, director of case management, and associate chief nursing officer of population health. She will bring a lense of health and wellness, plus business achumen to the foundaiton board.

Further, Porter graduated from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and has a Masters of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Health Care Administration from the University of Phoenix. Porter is specially certified as a Nurse Executive and accredited case manager-registered nurse.   She recently served on the Governors Alzheimer Disease Plan Working Group to begin development of a state Alzheimer plan. She and her husband, Bob, have four grown children.

 Keith Martens is employed by Beneficient Company Group and is based in Hesston, Kansas. Martens has a General Studies Degree from Hesston College  and earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Marketing from Wichita State University. He has served  three years on the Hesston Community Foundation Advisor Board, an affiliate of  Central Kansas Community Foundation. Martens has an expertise in marketing and healthcare. He is  deeply engaged in community service in Hesston and has a desire to serve the Central Kansas Community Foundation for engagement as a link to an affiliate community. He and his wife, Sandi, have 3 grown children.

 Carol Knolla is employed by the  Kansas Department of Credit Union. Knolla is a 1993 Graduate of Wichita Heights and she further gained her Bachelors Degree from Baker University in 2010. Knolla has an extensive career in banking. A resident of Bel Aire she has previously serviced on the Butler County Community Foundation as a board member. She has been engaged in fundraising efforts for several events in activities in the Butler County area and beyond. Additionally noteworthy is a past Honored Queen, Majority Member, and Recipient of the Lily of theValley award from the International Order of Jobs Daughters, BethelNo. 74. She and her husband, Brian, have three children.

As three new members start, the Annual Meeting also said farewell to full term service members – Todd Kasitz, N.M. Patton, Brad Bartel, Tim Hodge; and also accepted the resignation of Jason High.

Please see the full list of Central Kansas Community Foundation Board Members below:

Board of Directors 2021-22


  1. Chair, Rachel Swartzendruber Miller (Hesston)
    Hesston College
  2. Immediate Past Chair, Jennifer Vogts (North Newton)
    Wild Prairie Event Center
  3. Vice Chair, Becky Wolfe (Augusta)
    Andover Chamber of Commerce
  4. Vice Chair Elect, Anthony Roy (Hillsboro)
    Hillsboro Community Foundation
  5. Treasurer, Rod Kreie (Newton)
    Newton City Commissioner
  6. Secretary, Amy Budde (Newton)
    Citizens Bank
  7. Finance Chair, Ron Lang (Newton)
    Midland Bank

Members At Large

  1. James Regier (Whitewater)
  2. Marge Warta (Newton)
    United Methodist Church
  3. Linda Ogden (Marion)
  4. Carrie Herman (Halstead)
    Kansas Learning Center for Health
  5. Joel Gaeddert (North Newton)
    Flint Hills Design
  6. Jon Zerger (Newton)
    Excel Industries
  7. Myron Schmidt (Goessel)
  8. Don Voth (Newton)
  9. Allen Wedel (Newton)
  10. Carol Knolla (Bel Aire)
    Kansas Dept of Credit Unions
  11. Keith Martens (Hesston)
    Beneficient Company Group
  12. Heather Porter (Newton)
    NMC Health

For more information or if you have interest in serving, please contact Angie Tatro, CEO,  at 316-239-9451. Specific areas of interest for recruiting presently is young professionals, faith based, agriculture and finance.


New Interactive Calendar

CKCF is excited to announce our NEW Interactive Calendar is now live on our website! You can view the entire month at a glance, hover over an event for a snapshot, or click on the event for ALL the details. CLICK HERE to try it now!

CKCF Downsized Office Space

NEWTON. On August 1st, CKCF downsized our office space!
We still remain at the same mailing address, but our smaller office space will allow us to meet with you where it matters most – in the community!
Contact us at (316) 283-5474 to arrange a time and place for any in-person meetings. Thank you.



Kim Stahly has lived in Newton, Kansas all her life. As a Railroader of Newton High, she was active in swimming and cheerleading and eventually coached both sports after she graduated from high school. She is married to BJ Stahly and has two children, Alec (married to Emily (Runge) Stahly) and Taylor. With an undergrad and graduate degree in Education, she decided to stay home to help raise her two children and started a home photography business which is still going 21 years later. Being able to work from home as her kids grew up was a blessing and provided an opportunity to watch the kids in their baseball and basketball pursuits in high school as well as in college. After her kids left home, she decided to get out into the community more and worked 4 years part time with Mirror Inc., in Prevention. This was a great opportunity to be part of a coalition of community members who work to advocate for the youth in Harvey County. This past July she decided to apply for a position at a different non-profit organization and is now the Program Officer for Scholarships at Central Kansas Community Foundation. The non-profit work at both Mirror and CKCF has provided a way to give back to the community that she loves and is proud to be part of.

Newton Area Women of the Year

Left to Right: Back Row: Christa Jahay, Lynette Smith Hendrickson, Abigail Hisel, Ada Schmidt-Tieszen, Mallory Seirer, Shelby Spreier, Casie Powell, Dede Trumble, Front Row: Angie Tatro, Jennifer Vogts, Ashleigh Lakey, Marilyn Wilder, Pam Stevens.


The Newton Area Women of the Year board hosts 2020-2021 Newton Reception

Congratulations to Ashleigh Lakey, Casie Powell, and Ada Schmidt-Tieszen were recognized as this year’s Newton Area Women of the Year on June 8th at the Wild Prairie Event Center.