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Great Bend Foundation donates to GBED
Courtesy photo The Great Bend Foundation donates $5,000 to Great Bend Economic Development Inc. (GBED). From left to right are: Mark Calcara, GBED chairman of the board; Mark Mingenback, Foundation chairman of the board; and Jessica Milsap, GBED executive director.

The donation to Great Bend Economic Development (GBED) Inc. came as a complete surprise and it has already been earmarked for upcoming needs, said Jessica Milsap, president.

The Great Bend Foundation recently contributed $5,000 to GBED. The gift is unrestricted, meaning the GBED Board of Directors may determine what it is used for.

Since the GBED office will be moved during an upcoming remodeling project at the Great Bend Events Center, the donation came at a great time, Milsap commented.

“The project will result in our office moving from the front to the rear of the building,” she said. “This wonderful gift will help finance additional office supplies and furniture.

“We appreciate this gracious donation from the Great Bend Foundation,” Milsap continued. “The Foundation has our sincere appreciation and our assurance that it will be money well spent. It is gratifying when two local entities can team up in support of the community as a whole.”

Any individual or business interested in learning more about how to donate may contact Milsap by calling 620-796-2407.

Mark Mingenback, Foundation chairman, explained that the purpose of the organization is to support city of Great Bend projects and relieve the taxpayers’ burden.

“Great Bend Economic Development is a fairly new community organization whose sole purpose is to improve the economic base of Great Bend,” Mingenback said. “Since it is dealing with many start-up costs, our board believes it is appropriate to help with some of these financial responsibilities.

“We didn’t want to restrict how the funds were spent because the GBED board can determine how to make the best use of the donation,” he added.

The Foundation is funded by traffic-law violators who choose to accept diversion settlements with the city.

It was chartered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in 1995; Downtown Streetscape was its first project. Other projects have included the B-29 Memorial, Dog Park, Holiday Spirit, Jack Kilby Memorial, Farmers Memorial and the upcoming Bill McKown Memorial.

“Our board is constantly looking for city-related projects,” Mingenback noted. “The city administration advises our board about these needs. When a project is identified, we evaluate it and decide if we can support it.”

Board members must have previously served on either the Great Bend City Council or the USD 428 Board of Education. In addition to Mingenback, other members are: David Holste, secretary/treasurer; and Doug Keiswetter, John Cross, David Thill and Ken Roberts.