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Community foundation awards $6,500 in grants PDF Print E-mail

 $750 scholarship also awarded during event

By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican

    Thirty members of the community gathered Thursday evening, March 19, to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments of the Imperial Community Foundation (ICF).
    The foundation awarded two grants totalling $6,500 to support community projects underway.  The grant money was generated by the returns on funds previously donated to ICF.
    The Imperial Lions Club received a $4,000 grant to help aid their project to build new bathrooms near the picnic shelter in Campbell Park.
    The Chase County All-Stars 4-H Club received $2,500 to assist with the Chase County Progressive Agriculture Safety June 13.
    Senior Alex Sharp of Imperial received a $750 Furthering Education Grant, which was established by Kermit Karns and administered by the ICF.  
    This marks the fourth year ICF has awarded grants for community projects and programs.
    Sharp is the eighth recipient of the Karns education grant.
    Lions President Dirk Hill said the new bathrooms will compliment the picnic shelter also built by the Lions in memory of Rodney Einspahr.
    The bathrooms will be located east of the shelter near the alley. Total cost for the project is estimated at $23,500.
    Safety Day co-chairs Chris Tomky and Lisa Schilke expressed their appreciation for ICF’s support.
    They said the safety day will be a massive undertaking, teaching safety aspects on 10 different areas.
    They are anticipating more than 300 youths for the June 13 event and will have 100-150 volunteers as well.
    They said the Progressive Agricultural Safety Day is something the club has tried to land for more than two years, adding it’s a very worthwhile project.
Karns a great example
    ICF emcee Lori Pankonin recognized Karns for his ongoing commitment to the Imperial community.
    Karns established two new endowments this past year—one for the Chase County Historical Society and one for the Champion Community Center.
     This brings the total number of endowments funded by Karns to six.
    Pankonin said Karns believes strongly in giving back to the community and serves as a shining example what can be accomplished through charitable giving.
    ICF cooperated in two other key projects last year.
    They accepted a gift from the Monroe Schuler Foundation to provide a new ice cream machine and hospitality guest room at the Imperial Heights.
    The gift was made in honor of Emma Mae Colson’s 100th birthday.
    ICF received a $20,000 Peter Kiewit grant to provide assistance with food and utilities for those in need.
    ICF distributed $15,000 to the Southwest Nebraska Ministerial Association and $5,000 to the Imperial Community Center.
    ICF felt those two entities were best suited to help people in need.
New board members
    Pankonin also announced the addition of two new board members on ICF—Roger Moline and Derek Russell.
    Moline said serving on the board is a way to give back to the community and work with people who care and want to make a difference.
    Russell and his wife, Amber, and son, Destry, decided to leave Omaha and return to Imperial after the Von Maur shootings.
    Russell said Amber was supposed to be there that day.
    “That’s when we decided it was time to leave Omaha,” he said.
    Pankonin said Russell’s perspective about Imperial has been a great asset for the ICF board.
    Joining Pankonin, Moline and Russell on the board are Chair Marvin Large, Jane Moreland, Doug Gaswick, Dan Reeves, Cyndi Weiss, Elna Johnson, Elsie Newman and Nancy Weir.