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Kans for Kids Fighting Cancer expands to Pawnee County
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A portion of the Kans for Kids Fighting Cancer Foundation "family" is pictured in this file photo from the 2018 Hoisington Labor Day Parade.

The Kans for Kids Fighting Cancer Foundation announced the expansion of Kans for Kids Outreach into Pawnee County. The organization provides emotional and financial support to families with children undergoing treatment for cancer. 

Kans for Kids was established in 1994 by 8-year-old Shane Reif and 11-year-old Sarah Reif in Hoisington, in an effort to provide funds for their infant cousin who had been diagnosed with cancer. The nonprofit organization has served over 30 families in Barton County for nearly 25 years and over the past three years has expanded with an Outreach program for Russell, Rice and now Pawnee County. 

The mission of Kans for Kids is to provide funding for families with children who are living with cancer, create public awareness of childhood cancer, and offer hope to families who are affected by childhood cancer, Director Debbie Reif said.

Kans for Kids was recently contacted about a young boy in Larned who has been diagnosed with cancer.

”We’re very eager to get the ball rolling in Pawnee County so that we can provide assistance to this family,” Reif said. “It breaks our hearts when we learn of yet another child in our area who has cancer. Our motto is ‘No One Fights Alone!’ And we try to live by that motto.”

Kans for Kids Outreach will provide up to $2,000 annually in matching funds for fundraisers held in Pawnee County for a family with a child living with cancer. The child must be 18 years of age or younger and undergoing treatment for cancer and a legal resident of Pawnee County. 

“Each county has its own pool of funds within Kans for Kids,” Reif explained. “Funds in each pool are generated from recycling aluminum cans, monetary donations, fundraisers, or memorials for Kans for Kids in each particular county. We will provide a family with a $500 donation after the family has completed our application. After that initial donation, the matching funds will go into effect.” 

In addition to matching funds, the organization also provides a great deal of emotional support for families that includes Christmas for current families, ‘surprises’ for hospital stays, get-togethers with all of the families that have been assisted by Kans for Kids, a great deal of one-on-one communication by the directors, board and families. 

Kans for Kids also offers two scholarships for any child who has been assisted by Kans for Kids. The Becky Nicholson Scholarship and Jan Aylward Memorial Scholarship are both renewable scholarships for up to five years of education following high school, whether it be college, vo-tech or trade school. 

In addition, the Dade Cannon Memorial Scholarship was recently created for the siblings of kids who have been assisted by Kans for Kids. Dade Cannon, 14, lost his nine-year battle with leukemia in January of 2018. With his memorial, which was designated for Kans for Kids, a one-time scholarship will be given to siblings when they graduate from high school.

“Dade worried so much about the financial strain of his illness on his family and the impact it might have on his siblings,” Reif said. “His family, along with our board of directors, felt this would be the perfect way to memorialize Dade while helping out the siblings in the Kans for Kids Family.” 

For more information contact Debbie Reif at 620-653-2210. Contributions may be made to Kans for Kids, Pawnee County Outreach, P.O. Box 178, Hoisington, KS 67544; email or online at