Norton County Community Foundation Awards $10,000 in March Grant Cycle

Norton, Kansas, March 2023 – Norton County Community Foundation (NCCF) awarded $10,000 in the March grant cycle. Funds were part of the Dane G. Hansen Community Grant Fund, which offers financial support to qualifying and deserving projects and programs in Northwest Kansas. Grant funds supported the following project:
  • Northern Valley Schools received $10,000 for Exterior Grout and Sealing
Northern Valley Schools was awarded funds to help with exterior facility upgrades. The high school, built in 1923, is the “center life force” of the community, serving students and teachers on a daily basis, and also hosting regular events such as reunions, funerals, receptions, and celebrations. The building has water leaks in the mortar joints, causing damage to ceiling tiles, structural supports, and walls. The school has been patching them each year, but it’s reached a point where a full repair is necessary. Addressing the root problem will be more economical in the long run. Mid-Continental Restoration has been hired to clean the mortar joints, remove loose debris, recement and seal the joints. The project is set to begin in June.
“The Northern Valley School District is a vital part of the Almena and Long Island communities,” states the grant application. “It’s crucial that our school district maintains their property in good working order to provide a safe environment for our local students.”
The school is working to secure all funds necessary for the project and is welcoming any support from interested parties.
The guidelines and application for the Hansen Community Grant can be found on NCCF’s website at Applications are due the last day of the month to be considered for the next month’s funding. For more information, please contact Bethany Shirk at 785.874.5106,, or visit the NCCF office at the Heaton Building in Downtown Norton, KS, located at 112 S. Kansas Street.
About Norton County Community Foundation
The Norton County Community Foundation was established in 1994 for the purpose of supporting local charitable activities in Norton County through endowments made to the foundation. Dedicated to serving today for tomorrow, to make our community a better place in which to live. Connect with the Norton County Community Foundation at
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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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