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Evergy Community Investment Fund at WCF awards more than $375,000 in first year of grant competition

September 03, 2019

The Evergy Community Investment Fund at WCF is granting $376,100 total to 13 Wichita nonprofits serving zip codes 67208, 67214 and 67219. The funded projects will support either community and environment enhancement or youth enrichment and development.

“These initiatives will impact Northeast Wichita for years to come,” said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. “Community and environment enhancement paired with youth development are key drivers for the city’s growth.”

Westar Energy, an Evergy company, invested $1 million to establish the Fund at WCF earlier this year. Applications were reviewed and selected by the Evergy Community Investment Advisory Board, consisting of 14 people who live, work and/or serve in Wichita’s District 1.

The 2019 grants will support the following projects:

Children First CEO Kansas | $6,600
  • Support “Shoe Night,” a program that provides new shoes to children in the designated zip codes
Create Campaign | $75,000
  • Develop a dedicated training and education space for community businesses, curriculum design, instruction and funding for the community-sanctioned improvement projects
Destination Innovation | $35,000
  • Transition Camp Destination Innovation into a year-round program
Dress for Success Wichita | $14,000
  • Support Lyft rides, the Suiting Program and Thursday Thrive, a professional development course
Griots Storytelling Institute | $15,000
  • Expand its programs with the objective of helping at-risk students increase reading skills
Racial Profiling Citizens Advisory Board | $5,000
  • Provide workshops and advertise on a wider scale to promote positive community and law enforcement relationships
Real Men Real Heroes | $75,000
  • Provide opportunities that engage grades three through 12 in placemaking, innovation and community engagement projects
Rise Up For Youth | $20,000
  • Expand their programming through empowerment workshops within five Wichita Public Schools
Senior Services of Wichita | $39,500
  • Revitalize the Northeast Senior Center to improve seniors’ safety and meet handicapped accessibility codes
Special Olympics Kansas | $5,000
  • Create five new Unified Sports teams, which partners individuals with intellectual disabilities with those who do not have disabilities
Storytime Village | $38,000
  • Provide 500 children aged six months to five years with Imagine. Learn. Grow. early literacy classroom kits. It will also help underwrite a summit for early childhood educators at preschools and centers.
Team of Hard Knox | $10,000
  • Expand the CHAMPS in the Classroom program, which provides mini workshops to students, a university tour and workshops for parents
The Center | $38,000
  • Provide space, furnishings and minimal operational resources for the Education and Computer Labs

“These Evergy grants show this area of our community – an area that is often overlooked – that Wichita is beautiful in all its parts,” said Destination Innovation Founder and CEO Marquetta Atkins. “Wichita is the heart of the state, and I always say Kansas is the heart of the country. If you heal the heart, you can heal the world. Investment in youth is the most important investment we can make and these dollars show value in that.”

The $1 million gift to WCF is a multi-year investment from Evergy to impact Northeast Wichita.

Applications for 2020 are available now at wichitacf.org.


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