We are Saddened by the Loss of CFSEK Founder, Grady Smoot

Joseph G. Smoot, better known as Grady, died recently at the age of 85 leaving a legacy of numerous contributions to history, education and philanthropy. Grady came to Pittsburg in 1984, after being born in Florida, raised in Tennessee, educated in the south, and having a successful early career in Maryland and Michigan as an educator and author. Grady resided in Pittsburg until his death earlier this month.  During that time, his energy and enthusiasm left many accomplishments to the Pittsburg community. A former Morning Sun Patrick's People article quoted Grady as saying, "I'm a great believer in philanthropy. It's been my life".


While living in Pittsburg, he was the Vice President of Development and Public Affairs at Pittsburg State University. During that time, he organized the PSU Foundation, established the public radio station KRPS, founded the University Magazine, and created a substantial endowment fund for University operations. He brought one of America's finest concert organs to the campus and provided funding for numerous building and renovation projects. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the University campus was a special project to him. After retirement, he returned as Assistant to the President of Pittsburg State University and vice president emeritus.

In 1994, he became a Director of Gold Bank Pittsburg and served for nine years in that capacity. In 1999, the Pittsburg City Commission appointed him to a four-year term to the Pittsburg Public Library Board of Trustees where he became a founder of the PPL Foundation in 2000 and its president in 2004. The Pittsburg City Commission appointed him to a second four-year term to the Board of Trustees in 2003. In 2001, he became a founder of the Pittsburg Area Community Foundation, now the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, and served on its Board of Trustees.


We at the CFSEK are grateful to Grady for his role as a founder of the foundation 17 years ago and for his role in philanthropy and the development of many things 'good and great' in our community. Gordon Elliott, former founder and trustee member who served with Grady on the Pittsburg Area Community Foundation board, commented, "We of course all looked to Grady for his expertise when we set up the structure for the foundation. He was always affable, helpful and a pleasure to be with. Grady's obituary outlined many of his achievements in Pittsburg and helping to establish our Community Foundation was one of the important ones. I was fortunate to work with Grady on a number of occasions so I got a clear picture of the impact he had on our Foundation and the community."


If not for people like Grady, much to be done would still be in front of us instead of already accomplished.

Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas Raises $83,000 on Match Day In support of 17 local organizations


On November 28th, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas hosted its second Match Day on National Giving Tuesday.  The purpose of the event was to celebrate giving back to the community on “Giving Tuesday”, the day proclaimed for giving and philanthropy.


The results were even greater than anticipated. CFSEK is extremely pleased to announce a grand Match Day total, including donations and match funding, in the amount of $110,339!  Private contributions raised $83,339 and an additional $27,000 in matching funds was given by the Community Foundation to the organizations on a pro-rated percentage basis.  The seventeen participating non-profit organizations benefited by increasing their endowed funds which will generate present and future income annually to address community needs.

“CFSEK is thrilled to be able to provide an opportunity such as Match Day to organizations who do so much for their community day in and day out.  It’s incredible to see so many people in our area come together in the spirit of generosity.  We are grateful to all who supported and contributed to our Match Day organizations” stated Community Foundation director, Kit Parks.






A Successful Match Day 2017 Comes to a Close

Tuesday, November 27 was a busy day at the CFSEK. Thank goodness! It was Match Day 2017 on National#GivingTuesday, the global day of giving. SEK gave big to 17 area organizations who hold endowed funds with the CFSEK. Donations were accepted on behalf of the 17 organizations and then based on a formula a CFSEK match of $27,000 was divided amongst those organizations. Some donations are still arriving via mail so the grand total is not yet avaialble. We will be sure to share that good news once the totals are final.

Thank you to all Match Day donors and organizations who participated. Match Day is one small way to preserve our community now and forever!


Good News! The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is having Match Day 2017!!!!!!

On Tuesday, November 28, a one-day event celebrating charitable giving on National Giving Tuesday, the Community Foundation will provide $27,000 to match gifts made to organizations with CFSEK endowed funds. The match will be pro-rated on a percentage basis, not to exceed 20% of the total match.

All donations to an organization and the match donation from CFSEK will be placed in the organization’s endowment fund. 

An organizations endowment fund is invested for the purpose of producing present and future income annually for distributions to be used for operating, programming or a special project.

Method of Donating On November 28th :                                   

  • On November 28, donations can be made on-line at www.southeastkansas.org. Click the Donate Now button, select the organization from the drop down menu and pay by credit card or PayPal.


  • Bring your donation to the Community Foundation office at 100 S. Broadway, Suite 100, Pittsburg, KS (Commerce Bank Building, lower level) between 8:00am – 5:30pm by November 28th.


  • Mail a check to CFSEK, PO Box 1448, Pittsburg, KS 66762. Envelopes should be postmarked no later than November 28th to be eligible for the match.


Make checks payable to the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, writing the Organization name in the memo line. Donations are tax deductible.  Receipts will be emailed or mailed to you. Donations can be made to multiple eligible organizations having endowment funds. Donors can choose to be anonymous.




The following organizations are participating in Match Day 2017:


Angels Among Us


Big Brutus 


Family Resource Center


Food Security Fund (The Lord’s Diner & Wesley House Food Pantry)


Frontenac Education Fund


Healthcare Access for All


Kansas Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Crawford County


Mount Carmel Foundation


Northeast School District 246


Pittsburg Beautiful


Pittsburg Mother to Mother Ministry


Pittsburg Public Library Foundation


Pittsburg USD 250 Foundation


Southeast Kansas Humane Society


St. Mary's Colgan Schools


The Salvation Army (Senior citizens program in Crawford County)


United Way of Southwest MO & Southeast KS  

Twelve 2017 Future Fund Grant Recipients Receive a Total of $11,500

Future Fund Grant Recipients-2017


Catholic Charities: Webcams will be purchased to aid efforts to go paperless for the SEK case management staff.


Communities in Schools of Mid-America, Inc.: STEM Student Engineers, a career exploration experience at PSU in engineering technology in March 2018, will allow 50 area students to participate and have the materials needed.


Families & Children Together Inc.: Will implement a Growing in the Garden therapeutic, psychosocial rehabilitation group for clients receiving services at the Community Mental Health Center of Crawford County.


First United Methodist Church – Wesley House: One computer for the Wesley House Computer Lab will be provided for the completion of a variety of applications and for employment classes.


Northeast School district #246: The purchase of Moby Max, an online, web based intervention program will help meet the needs of all students.


Southeast Kansas Education Service Center – Greenbush: Will purchase audiology diagnostic equipment for hearing screening and diagnostics for at least 500 early childhood aged Crawford County children.


SEK Women Helping Women: A Fairy Godmother’s Fund: Working women in need due to crisis situations will be identified with the help of employers and will be helped with one time grants.


The Lord’s Diner: Will be able to purchase kitchen equipment of a veggie slicer and veggie dicer.


The Salvation Army: Will purchase and provide hats and gloves to adults in need during the Christmas distribution.


USD 250 Crawford County Pittsburg, Interlocal 637, PHS: Two adapted 3 wheel bicycles for use by PHS students with disabilities will be purchased to expand the Project Ride program previously funded through the Women’s Health Funds.


USD 250 Crawford County Pittsburg, PHS: Will provide a master class for PHS Repertory Theatre students and a Q&A for area school theatre students and the community with Tony nominated Broadway actress Nancy Opel.


Women’s Resource Center of SEK: The purchase of a changing table with liners will meet a pressing need for families receiving services while at the clinic.