The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas Announces 2017 Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund grant recipients


In 2007, the establishment of the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Giving Circle was the philanthropic beginning for women helping women in Southeast Kansas.  “To improve the health and well being of women by supporting education, increasing awareness, and sharing quality of life opportunities to benefit all women” is the mission of the Rita J. Bicknell (RJB) Women’s Health Fund. In 2012, the Circle of Friends giving circle grew out of the Women’s Giving Circle and today the RJB Women’s Health Fund is made up of the Women’s Giving Circle and the Circle of Friends. These giving circle memberships support area organizations through a granting process to promote their mission in southeast Kansas communities. Since its inception, the Rita J. Bicknell giving circles have generously given over $133,000 impacting areas of need in our community.


The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is pleased to be the host agency for the Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Health Fund, established in 2001. The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas is a public non-profit Foundation.  Specifically, the Foundation serves the region helping individuals, businesses and municipalities fulfill their charitable giving goals in ways that benefit the common good and improve the quality of life. The Fort Scott Area Community Foundation and the Girard Area Community Foundation are affiliates. The Foundation inspires a passion for generosity in each community that we serve. The Foundation is an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.


The Rita J. Bicknell giving circles granted a total of $22,300 this year to worthy projects supporting women’s health throughout southeast Kansas. The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas would like to congratulate the following 2017 grant recipients:


Angels Among Us Inc.: Financial Needs of cancer patients will assist cancer patients, primarily women, with various financial needs, wigs, turbans, air conditioners, fans, space heaters, etc., throughout their treatment process. 


Community Health Center of SEK, Inc.: Get Tested! Get Cured! Will provide screening to 150 ‘Baby Boomer’ women in Crawford and Cherokee counties for Hepatitis C.  


Hannah’s Promise Pregnancy Life Center: Transportation for Education, Employment, and Improved Health Services  will go to the purchase of reliable transportation for the center. 


Mount Carmel Foundation: Women’s Clinic Experience Improvement Project is to purchase a state of the art Colposcope.


Pittsburg Mother to Mother Ministry: Love & Logic Early Childhood Parenting Made Fun will purchase a curriculum to teach Love & Logic and additional lending library resources. 


Women’s Resource Center of SEK: Educational Curriculum for Mothers’ Physical & Emotional Health to improve and increase resources for the Earn While You Learn program. 



Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Foundation Scholarship Recipients & Youth Volunteer Grant Recipients

Our motto this year is "Never Press Pause".

We challenge all of our GBL friends to take on the year at full speed ahead,

recording every moment, being grateful along the way, and experiencing life at its fullest.

The GBL proudly announces its second year of funding grants relating to Youth Volunteerism.

The following four grant recipients will receive matching funds to complete the following activities:

  • "Mission Trip to West Virginia", high school youth and sponsors from Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Mary's Colgan will travel to help renovate homes in depressed areas of the Appalachian Mountains. 
  • "Stuff the Bus" is a community youth effort in Labette County which collects and distributes school supplies to students in need.
  • "Growing Growers" sponsored by the KSU Wildcat Extension District and C-TEC in Pittsburg will become a "hands on" lab for local students and community members to encourage and learn about the production of local foods and vegetables.
  • "Project Patient Satisfaction" sponsored thru Via Christi/Mt. Carmel Foundation will support high school and college volunteers that donate their time to assist and comfort patients undergoing difficult medical conditions.

Additionally, the GBL Foundation wishes to announce our annual scholarship winners.

This year's six winners were selected from numerous applications

submitted by well qualified students from our Crawford County High Schools.

Each individual represents having a unique value of personal motivation with "no self-limitations".

They illustrate strong academic achievements, extracurricular participation, giving to others,

leading by example and are role models among their peers.

This years winners:

  • Lindsey Fox, Northeast High School *
  • Kelli Cuthbertson, Girard High School
  • Margaret Murray, Frontenac High School *
  • Eric Wilson, Girard High School
  • Trina Paul, Pittsburg High School *
  • Lauren Eagon, Frontenac High School

Three of these individuals (*) will also serve as our GBL representatives to a high school volunteer abroad program.

Our students will travel abroad this summer with other high schoolers completing volunteer tasks in the

Orosi Valley, Costa Rica.

Finally, our two football related scholarship awards go to;

Elijah Harris as the recipient of the Pittsburg High School Purple Dragon's Senior Award,

and the KPrep Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin' Kansas Player of the Year award recipient is quarterback

Will Schneider of Shawnee Mission North High School.

The GBL foundation gratefully thanks all our friends and sponsors who have generously contributed to our

"Never Press Pause" campaign and foundation.



The Community Foundation Announces 2017 Scholarship Recipients

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas had the privilege to assist in the granting of scholarship funds to 21 area students for the 2017-2018 school year.  The scholarships administered by the Community Foundation are funded by donors who believe in the youth of our area and support their pursuit of higher education.  A scholarship fund established with the Community Foundation is another way a family can leave a legacy and impact the future of our community.  If you would like to know more about establishing a scholarship fund, contact the Foundation office for more details at 620-231-8897 or email  The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas would like to thank the donors and congratulate the following scholarship recipients.


M. Lee and Noretta Caldwell Scholarship                            

Trenton Allison – Christian Learning Center                         

Shelby Hutchison – Fort Scott Community College                           

Dakota Lamb – Fort Scott Community College                    

Joshua Leistikow – Erie High School                                        

Lindsey Robertson – Erie High School

Commerce Bank Scholarship                                  

Austin Lindsey – St. Mary’s Colgan

Coral VanBecelaere – Pittsburg High School

Craig Crespino Scholarship                                

Dominic Piccini – St. Mary’s Colgan                     

Eric Wilson – Girard High School

Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Scholarship

Kelli Cuthbertson – Girard High School

Lauren Eagon – Frontenac High School

Lindsey Fox – Northeast High School *

Margaret Murray – Frontenac High School *

Trina Paul – Pittsburg High School *

Eric Wilson – Girard High School

*Chosen to receive Get Busy Livin’ Volunteer Abroad

Dylan Meier Get Busy Livin’ Dragon Award

Elijah Harris – Pittsburg High School

Pat Forbes Scholarship 

Bethany Elder – St. Mary’s Colgan

Tyler Jeck Scholarship

Alex Brown – St. Mary’s Colgan

Dr. Daniel & Jeannette Minnis Oral Health Scholarship

John Allen – Pittsburg State University  

Short Family Fine Arts Scholarship

Andrew Ortolani – Pittsburg High School

Lydia Winters – Pittsburg High School





Grant Writing Tips & Information

The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas 

is pleased to announce a

CFSEK Grant Writing Tips & Information meeting

Wednesday, May 17 at 10:30 am

CFSEK Conference Room

100 S. Broadway Suite 100

Pittsburg, KS


With the General Funds Grant cycle right around the corner,

we will plan to review a few changes to the application, share application  ‘likes & dislikes’ from review committees,

provide resources, and answer any questions you have.

The meeting is not required to apply for grant funding, however, your presence and input is requested.

Please join us for approximately an hour of informal grant writing discussion.

Your RSVP is requested by Monday, May 15 to

New Grant Opportunity

We are pleased, on behalf of the Elm Acres Foundation, to announce a new grant opportunity for those of you who have programs and services for at-risk youth. The grant application is open from April 17 until May 19.

“The purpose of the Elm Acres Foundation, Inc. is to provide support to at-risk youth in the Southeast Kansas community (Crawford, Cherokee and Labette counties), including supporting any entities that provide services for at-risk youth. First preference will be given to youth that are receiving services from Elm Acres Youth and Family Services, a Program of DCCCA, Inc. Funds will be granted through a process once a year. Applications should be for programs and services for at-risk youth, and not personnel costs or capital improvements.”

The grant process document and application are available at the CFSEK by contacting
Please review for eligibility requirements.
Feel free to contact the CFSEK for any questions or further information.

We look forward to receiving your grant application.