Smoky Valley Community Foundation is pleased to announce that the Kansas Health Foundation recently selected us to participate in the second chapter of the Giving Resources to Our World Healthy Kansas Initiative (GROW II). Our foundation is being challenged to raise endowment dollars that will be matched by the Kansas Health Foundation up to $300,000.  With continuing community support, we will raise over $1,000,000 for the betterment of our community by the end of the initiative. This local money will stay local.

“We are so pleased to have been chosen to participate in the GROW II initiative.  Our board worked very hard to complete the application process, and we appreciate the support of the many organizations and individuals within the community who have partnered with us to make this amazing opportunity possible.” Rebecca Van Der Wege, Smoky Valley Community Foundation chairperson.

The mission of our community foundation is to establish endowments that enhance the quality of life for current and future generations by reinvesting in the Smoky Valley.  For more information on our foundation or to learn how to make a donation that will make a lasting difference in our community, please contact us at 785-227-4211 or

GROW II is focused on strengthening the community foundation field in Kansas and building endowments to underwrite solutions to local health issues.

“We look forward to this new phase of helping community foundations across Kansas grow into healthy, thriving sources of help that will stand the test of time,” says Steve Coen, president and CEO of the Kansas Health Foundation.

In addition to the matching endowed grant, our community foundation will receive training, one-on-one consulting and support and, if we meet certain benchmarks, an operating grant of 3.5 percent of the matching grant awarded by the Kansas Health Foundation on an annual basis for six years.

Twelve additional community foundations across Kansas have also been chosen to participate in the second round of GROW II. In 2009, 12 Kansas community foundations were chosen for the first round of GROW II. The Kansas Health Foundation will include additional community foundations in the GROW II program in 2011.

The Kansas Health Foundation started working with community foundations across Kansas in 1999 as a way to further its mission of improving the health of all Kansans.  The Foundation believes that strong community foundations build healthier communities. Following the first 10 years of this program (GROW I), the participating community foundations increased their assets from $19 million to about $95 million and provided $33 million in grants to their communities. GROW II will spread the benefits of strong community foundations to many more areas of Kansas.