In September 2019, the Wagonmasters packed our urban core as Wichitans tasted their way through dozens of types of chili for the Wagonmasters’ 14th annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off. Not even rainy weather would keep the civic-minded group from raising more than $16,000 for local nonprofits.
WCF announced in February 2020 that the Good Life Grants Fund, which is funded solely by the profits from the Chili Cook-off, would benefit 23 projects. From providing new shoes for low-income students to aiding homeless or near-homeless veterans, the grants support a diverse range of local nonprofit programs.
"We are very grateful to the Wichita Wagonmasters for providing partial scholarships to our clients with disabilities,” said Freedom Hooves Therapeutic Riding Center Executive Director Amanda Hale. “Most of our families involved in Freedom Hooves are extremely burdened by high medical costs, and insurance will not cover animal-assisted therapy of any kind. Thanks to the Wagonmasters, we can offer equine therapy at an affordable rate!"
Established in 2012, the Fund has distributed more than $124,000 to organizations across the city that enable more people to “enjoy the good life” and promote the idea that Wichita is a great place to live, work and play.
The Arc of Sedgwick County - $1,000 for the Youth Education and Summer Socialization program
Bread of Life Distribution Center – $1,000 to purchase food for 675 individuals for one week
Cairn Health - $500 to provide eye exams for low-income individuals
Camp Quality - $500 to send children with cancer to a week-long camping experience
Catholic Charities - $250 to purchase cribs for the Infant Safe Sleep project
Children First: CEO Kansas – $1,000 to give low-income students new shoes
Freedom Hooves Therapeutic Riding Center – $1,000 to cover scholarships for therapy sessions
Fundamental Learning Center – $994 for the Darrel and Dee Rolph Literacy Academy
Fuse Foundation - $500 to host events for adults with neuromuscular disease
Griots Storytelling Institute - $500 for the Books and Breakfast program
Guadalupe Clinic - $1,000 to provide patient transportation
HumanKind Ministries - $500 to offer care at Emergency Winter Shelters
Independent Living Resource Center – $500 for the Greater Expectations autism program
Kansas School for Effective Learning - $500 for the GED Preparation program
Kansas Society for Children with Challenges – $1,000 to provide medical equipment to handicapped or disabled children from low-income families
League 42 - $1,000 to assist with an education initiative to improve third grade reading scores and middle school math skills
Passageways – $500 for veterans to become independent and attain personal goals faster
Project Access - $500 to provide care for low-income, medically uninsured patients
Raise My Head Foundation – $1,000 for women transitioning out of human trafficking
Ronald McDonald House of Charities – $500 for the Adopt-A-Room program
Wichita Area Sexual Assault Center – $936 to support outreach and survivor activities
Wichita Metro Crime Commission - $500 for the Make Good Choices Career Day and Youth Court
Wichita Symphony - $500 for the Young People’s Concerts program