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Barton County Quality Of Life Endowment announces 2016 awards
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 Employees from CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions in Great Bend recently presented checks to grant recipients of the Barton County Quality of Life Endowment, a donor advised fund at the Golden Belt Community Foundation. After reviewing the letters of interest and funding requests, CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions awarded grants to the following: Central Kansas Dream Center, Ellinwood Rotary, and the Great Bend Community Theater.

“CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions is committed to improving the quality of life in Barton County. These projects will provide a boost to a variety of people in the area, and we’re very pleased to be able to help with funding for these very worthy efforts,” said Erika Brining, member of the endowment committee. Other members of the committee include Linda Sherman, Marge McGee, Erika Brining, Geralyn Wegener, Chris Krueger, Lynae Curtis, Jeanette Corbett, Kristi Drewel, Teresa Asper, and Christine Wondra.

Since establishing the Barton County Quality of Life Endowment Fund in 2009, the endowment has awarded over $79,000 to charitable projects in Ellinwood, Great Bend, Hoisington and Claflin. With each grant awarded, CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions will further its corporate philanthropy and community involvement. CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions hope other firms in the area will take the initiative to establish their own donor advised fund and provide future funds for charitable giving.


Central Kansas Dream Center – Second Floor

Central Kansas Dream Center will soon complete construction on the second floor of their building. The completion of the second floor will allow the men’s discipleship program to serve up to 24 men. The floor will also include a dorm to start a new program for boys aging out of foster care, a multi stall bathroom, staff room, and a staff apartment.

In completing this phase of construction, the house and duplex currently housing staff and the male disciples will make room for a men’s homeless program and victims of human trafficking.

Through helping individuals get healthier and become productive citizens, generational cycles can be broken. Doing so will assist in less children entering into the foster care system here in Barton County and across Kansas.

Ellinwood Rotary (GBCF as fiscal sponsor) – Community Splash Pad

Collaboration between The Ellinwood Rotary Club and community partners will soon bring a splash pad outdoor play space to the Ellinwood community and greater Barton County area. A splash pad combines water movement and interactive play elements in a safe zero depth water play area. With no standing water, children of all swimming abilities and ages can enjoy a safe cool experience on hot summer days. 

The new splash pad will encourage all children to explore and play in a safe, inclusive environment, regardless of skill, ability, or cognitive development. The splash pad will be free and accessible to the public.

Great Bend Community Theatre – Renovations

The Great Bend Community Theatre is well known for providing a space for entertainment, community education, and charitable opportunities. Due to infrastructure safety concerns, renovations will begin with the installation of new carpet, acoustic panels and electrical equipment.

The building upgrades will add appealing value to our community and assist in attracting new families to the local area. In addition to providing a venue for artists to perform, the theatre also serves as a resource for educational opportunities as well as activities that generate revenue for charitable organizations and draws people to downtown Great Bend.

For questions, call the foundation at 620-792-3000 or email