By Travis Mounts, TSnews
CHENEY – This Sunday will be the second annual community cruise night, hosted by the Cheney Community Foundation.
The evening begins with a cruise at 5 p.m. Participants will meet at the Cheney Sports Complex on South Main Street to drag Main Street.
This event is not just for antique cars or show cars, said Marcia Kampling, a Cheney Community Foundation board member.
“Any vehicle is welcome,” she said.
Drivers will cruise up the street to the Sedgwick County Fairgrounds. There will be a pulled pork meal with meat from Texas Roadhouse. Free will donations will be accepted. The night also will include live music from local performers.
Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs.
The cruise night is both a fundraiser and an effort to spread awareness of the foundation’s efforts. The Cheney Community Foundation is now in its 16th year.
“We’re focused on things that can benefit our community,” Kampling explained. The foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
Foundations like these have become fairly commonplace for communities and schools. In many towns, a community foundation exists to be a caretaker for funds that are used to help the communities and organizations within those communities. For many of these foundations, a significant financial donation leads to their creation or serves as a significant building block.
These gifts are often estate donations. That was the case for the Cheney Community Foundation, which received a significant donation from the estate of Carl Koster, who died in 2018. Koster was a Cheney native who was heavily involved in the community. He served as mayor and city council member, was active at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and with the Cheney Chamber of Commerce, and was a founding board member of the foundation.
“It was very significant as we only had around $10,000 to $15,000 until we received this gift,” Kampling said. “By getting Carl’s donatino, we were finally able to invest money and earn signficant interest.”
Small donations also play an important role for the foundation, and during its early years were the primary source of funding. There are a number of ways people can contribute to the Cheney Community Foundation.
One is through regular donations, similar to a public radio station’s “sustaining members.” These can be done automatically each month or quarter, or on an annual basis.
One-time donations are welcome. The “Amazon Smile” program allows for a 0.5 percent donation on any Amazon purchase.
“The small donations over the years have been amazing,” Kampling said. “We hope people will consider putting us in their wills.”
There is a special emphasis put on endowments, bequests and memorials because of the impact they can have. Foundation members ask people to consider donating a portion of their estate. It is a way to have a long-lasting, positive impact on the community, Kampling said. Living estate donations, where the gift is made before the donor passes – possibly many years before – are an option, too.
The Cheney Community Foundation has redistributed donations back to the community in a number of ways. In spring 2021, the foundation awarded its first scholarships to Cheney High School students. It provides two $500 scholarships each year.
Grants have been handed out to a number of organizations over the years for a variety of projects. Recently, the foundation donated money to Cash Young, a Cheney youth who has built a barrel train to give rides to children. It will be on display at Sunday’s cruise night. The foundation’s donation paid for the materials.
The Cheney Community Foundation has a webpage on the city website at www.cheneyks.org. Click on the “Community” tab, and then click on the Cheney Community Foundation link. You will be able to set up automatic donations, and you can apply for a community grant.
Additional information can be found by contacting Roger Brown at Citizens State Bank (316-542-3142), USD 268 superintendent David Grover (316-542-3512), or Cheney city administrator (316-542-3622).