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Catalyst LevelUP elevates unique downtown space to new heights When Janelle King (front and center) first had the idea of hosting an event in a parking garage years ago, she tucked it into the back of her mind. "I thought the concept was fun and have had it on the back burner to one day bring to Wichita when, or if, the opportunity arose," said King. Her idea of a multi-level parking garage party would transform the space into a dynamic, curated showcase of Wichita that included music, local vendors, food and exploration around every corner. While on a downtown walking tour during WCF's Up the Ambition gathering last April, King saw the old Macy's garage at 215 S. Market. "As soon as we entered it, I knew it was the one," said King. "It’s wacky, unique and slightly disorientating." She applied for an Up the Ambition grant and was awarded $5,000 to carry out her idea. The event, cleverly coined "LevelUP," is July 21. On page 3, read about how King's parking garage party will come together with backing from a team of hard-working volunteers.

May 2018 Newsletter

Board of Directors

WCF receives Over the Years award from Wichita Regional Chamber

Volunteer-led LevelUP collaborates with city to create vibrant, inviting atmosphere

Honors Night celebrates Wichita business leaders

Two key takeaways from organizer Janelle King

The Wichita Community Foundation was the recipient of the Over the Years award at the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce Honors Night on April 28, 2018. This prestigious award recognizes companies and organizations that have exhibited a long-standing performance as good business citizens and are major contributors to our area’s economic well-being. "We're honored to have been selected for this award in the company of so many local community leaders," said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. "We look forward to another 30+ years of transforming Wichita through philanthropy."

Pictured on front cover (L to R): Zach Wiggins, Katie Grover, Janelle King, Bree Cox, Sara Hobson, Jayson Nguyen. WCF challenged Up the Ambition participants to think differently about enhancing areas in and around downtown Wichita. "Up the Ambition took a room full of leaders, doers, great ideas and funding, and said 'GO,'" said King. Her project, LevelUP, was one of 11 grants totaling $52,000 from WCF and Knight Foundation that focused on tactical ways of improving public spaces. King's first takeaway: "Volunteer-led coordination and execution is hard— like really, really hard." She said, "It requires a high level of flexibility, leadership and sometimes just a good deal of sheer will and grit to buckle down and get it done." King's second takeaway is in reference to working with a city that is just emerging and striving to be a cultural hub at the core. "The existing processes, ordinances and old ways of doing things don’t

Clark Bastian, Chair Wayne Chambers, Vice Chair Suzie Ahlstrand, Secretary Paul Allen, Treasurer Tami Bradley Yolanda Camarena Noreen Carrocci Steve Cox Cokie Diggs Sylvia Do Tom Dondlinger Jeff Fluhr Gary Gamm Mary Lynn Oliver Dan Peare Hale Ritchie Don Sherman Tom Triplett Lyndon Wells

View our Over the Years video:

Foundation Staff Shelly Prichard President and CEO

Hector Cortez

support the new vision," said King. "As glorious as it may sound to blaze new trails, it has been an exhausting process." Ultimately, her efforts have led to an ongoing dialogue with the city to review many of its previous ordinances. Going forward, she hopes it will be easier for others to take on an event like LevelUP. Aside from the challenges of coordinating a large-scale event—nine stories, to be exact—King has been pleased with the partnerships and unity the process has created.


It brings together some amazing people. Relationships have been formed from our shared interest and passion.

Who receives funding from WCF? From Jan. to Dec. 2017, WCF awarded a total of $4.9 million to 292 nonprofits. The graphs below break down the nonprofits' geographical location, number and amount of grants.

Sedgwick County Kansas Region Out-of-state Number of Nonprofits 216

- Janelle King, LevelUP organizer



LevelUP debuts July 21. Find out more:


Chief Financial Officer

Amount Granted

Courtney Bengtson Director of Strategic Initiatives


James Woods Director of Donor Services

Mary Hetherington Communications Coordinator

Anittra Kilgore

WCF staff (L to R): Anittra Kilgore, Courtney Bengtson, Mary Hetherington, Shelly Prichard, Penny Kylar, James Woods, Hector Cortez

Executive Assistant and Scholarship Coordinator

Penny Kylar Accounts Manager

Let’s get social. Find us on:

$343,748 WichitaCF


Janelle King brainstorms project ideas with fellow attendees at Up the Ambition in April 2017


Tiller Memorial Fund at WCF helps women help themselves

Spring semester at USD 259 concludes with Next Generation of Philanthropy

Nearly $100,000 awarded in 2018 grant competition

Students engage in hands-on learning with WCF grants

In April, WCF announced a total of $97,500 in grants from the Dr. George R. Tiller, M.D. Memorial Fund for the Advancement of Women’s Health at WCF. "In its fourth year of grantmaking, the Tiller Memorial Fund has awarded more than $335,000 to nonprofits," said WCF President and CEO Shelly Prichard. The Fund continues Dr. Tiller’s vision of helping women help themselves by providing comprehensive health services, support, and compassion to vulnerable women to enhance their ability to realize their dreams. Read more about the Tiller Memorial Fund at




Offer longterm, implanted contraception to more people in Allen County

Supply providers with resources to be safer at home, work and in their communities

Implement the "You, Your Body and Puberty" program to fifth grade students in USD 259

Coleman Middle School Garden Club | Chicken coop | $900




Contribute financial assistance to patients who need to travel to obtain care

Deliver comprehensive sex education to area high school students

Provide specialized treatment for women without health insurance coverage

East High School Conservation Org. | All-school garden | $1,000

Murdock Fund at WCF awards two $50,000 grants To kick off the revamped highdollar grant competition, WCF distributed a total of $100,000 in grants to Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc. and Wesley Children’s Foundation from the Victor Murdock Fund at WCF.


The selected projects will make a significant impact to further the growth of our city, just as Victor would have wanted. - Shelly Prichard, President & CEO Wichita Community Foundation

In the fall of 2017, WCF awarded grants to 14 student organizations. $20,000 was divided to fund identified needs in 10 schools—six high schools and four middle schools. WCF asked schools to send updates

on the progression of the projects, and received an outpouring of photos via social media. Students were also asked to submit a video showing their completed projects in action in their schools. The students' videos will be posted to WCF's Facebook page in the coming months.

The grant awarded to Via Christi Hospitals Wichita, Inc. will address untreated mental health and substance abuse issues by funding a long-term facility plan, leading to the eventual design of an integrated health safety net to more effectively serve Wichitans. Wesley Children's Foundation will use its grant to develop the first music therapy program in the state by addressing the lack of outlets available beyond medicine to assist in the recovery of pediatric patients. Other finalists selected were the Kansas Hispanic and Development Foundation and the Wichita State University Foundation. Learn about the history of the Fund and the application process at

Northwest High School DECA | Project Laundry | $1,000

Victor Murdock

Wagonmasters award astonishing $24,386 Twenty six nonprofit recipients of the Wichita Wagonmasters Good Life Grants Fund at WCF gathered at LaVela to celebrate a record-breaking grant round. To make the occasion even more special, Wichita River Festival's Admiral Windwagon Smith XLV Tim Norton joined.

301 N. Main St., Ste. 100 Wichita, KS 67202

Join us as we embark on a storytelling journey of the creation, evolution and future of Focus Forward.

June 11, 2018 4:30 - 6 p.m. Advanced Learning Library Learn more: RSVP not required

Wichita Community Foundation Catalyst May 2018  
Wichita Community Foundation Catalyst May 2018