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STEP Foundation awards more than $111K in grants

(MSC News)--The STEP Foundation Board of Directors has announced recipients for the first round of 2018 grants.  These grants are awarded for charitable purposes to enhance and improve the quality of life for the residents of Nemaha County. With over $234,000 being requested this round, as astounding $111,181 is being granted!! The breakdown for funding is $8,700 coming from the general undesignated fund, $39,482 from the Glen J. Meyer Advisory Fund, $37,999 from the Ronnebaum Fund and $25,000 from the Rettele Fund.  

An award of $10,000 ($8,700 from the General Fund and $1,300 from Glen J. Meyer Advisory Fund) will be used to purchase a new wheelchair van at the Apostolic Christian Nursing Home in Sabetha. Rachel Stolzenberger, grant administrator, said in the application that “having a new wheelchair van will accomplish giving our residents and their families more opportunities to regain life as they once knew it. They will be able to have the opportunity to go out for dinner in the community or to their family/friends’ homes for the holidays.” Stolzenberger shared in the application that they will know the wheelchair purchase was a success when they “see the smiles, appreciation, and peace of mind from the residents and families they serve.”

The Centralia Community Library will be awarded $8,182.00 for updating the building’s interior. The library serves residents from young children to adults in and around the Centralia area. After twenty years of wear and tear, the library will be able to place a fresh coat of paint of the walls and lay new carpet. The project will be enjoyed by all the individuals who visit the library for years to come, thanks to the Glen J. Meyer Advisory Fund.

The City of Seneca will receive two grant awards! The first grant was for $25,000 from the Nate and Bernardine Rettele Fund to move “The Fountain.” It is a piece of Seneca history currently located at the Seneca City Park. According to City Administrator, Matt Rehder, “A successful project occurs when the fountain is located in a proper place for viewing.” The second grant will be awarded to the Recreation Department in the amount of $8,000 from the Ronnebaum Fund. This grant will be used to purchase a variety of new equipment for the recreation department. It will also provide staff with the necessary training and confidence to provide life saving techniques if an emergency situation arises at the Seneca Aquatic Center.

Nemaha Central Public School Agriculture Education Program and FFA Organization will be awarded $20,000 for assistance with constructing a 30’ X 60’ greenhouse. The greenhouse will include a classroom, curriculum materials and supplies. This grant would not be possible without the Glen J. Meyer Advisory Fund. Meyer was a lifelong farmer in Nemaha County. With a total project cost of $350,000, the school will continue fundraising to reach the goal.

With exterior renovations and improved accessibility to the Temple of Honor Military Museum, the Nemaha County Historical Society will be awarded $6,979.00, the remaining balance of the Leonard Ronnebaum Fund. “When this historic building is renovated and restored, this project will benefit not only generations of Nemaha County residents for years to come, but the general public, tourists and researchers with a safe and secure military museum” shared DarlAnn Rial, grant administrator.

In order for the Nemaha County Training Center (NCTC) to provide another safe place for someone affected by intellectual/developmental disabilities, a room is being added to the Hillcrest house. With a grant of $8,000 from the Leonard Ronnebaum Fund, “an additional room will provide individuals the ability to move in, start their lives, and increase their level of independence in the community” stated Alice Lackey, NCTC Executive Director in the grant application.

According to Courtney Schmelzle, Community Relations Coordinator and Foundation Director at the Nemaha Valley Community Hospital, “Our current portable ultrasound machine used at Seneca Family Practice is no longer a functioning piece of equipment.” The Glen J. Meyer Advisory Fund will award $10,000 to assistance in the purchase of a new portable ultrasound machine. “Ultrasounds are used to diagnose, monitor and treat multitudes of medical problems from gallstones to cancer. It will allow our physicians to monitor the OB fetal heart rate and position in the clinic. The machine can also be carried to patients in emergency situations whether it be in the emergency room, surgery or a patient room.”

A $5,020 grant will be awarded to Seneca Community Television (SCTV) from the Leonard Ronnebaum Fund to purchase several pieces of pertinent equipment. The needed equipment includes video editing equipment and software, a computer, a laptop for live broadcasting, camcorders, headsets for live broadcasting and large capacity battery packs.

Electrical wiring upgrades in the entire Legion Building will be awarded to the Sons of American Legion. The Leonard Ronnebaum Fund will be awarding $10,000 to assist in these necessary upgrades. According to Vice-Commander, Mark Wessel “The building is rented to the community so the number of people who will benefit will vary greatly. Without this, the Legion may not be able to rent the space to the public.”

Leonard Ronnebaum donated $100,000 in 2014 and desired the funds to be distributed to meaningful organizations in Nemaha County within five years. After the January 2018 grant cycle, the Leonard Ronnebaum Fund was completely utilized. By making this donation, Ronnebaum was able to be actively involved in the decision making process and seeing the impact it made in Nemaha County before he passed in 2017.

Grants are awarded twice a year through the STEP Foundation, with the next deadline being July 15, 2018. For current applications and more information, visit www.nemahastep.org or contact Tory Jost at 785-410-0543. For the latest updates, like and follow us on Facebook.

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