Member counties of the South Central Community Foundation won't have to travel far to learn the grants they are receiving this year.

Instead of SCCF county representatives all coming to Pratt for the annual grant ceremony, the Foundation staff will travel to each of the seven member counties and make the presentations there.

"We wanted to have smaller, more intimate ceremonies," said Maggie Southard, SCCF program director.

The seven SCCF members are Pratt, Rice, Stafford, Kiowa, Comanche, Barber and Kingman Counties. The Pratt awards will be given at 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Pratt Senior Center.

Traveling to the member counties will give the Pratt headquarters staff an opportunity to meet more of the people involved in the other counties, people who might not have been able to arrange to travel to Pratt for the presentations, Southard said.

The SCCF recently gained a new executive director, Bekki Pribil. Traveling to the county locations will also give those people a chance to meet the new director and she will get to know the people she will be working with.

Southard said Pribil has been a good fit for SCCF and she understands the importance of the grant program.

"She has a heart for it," Southard said. "We are very excited."

The Foundation works in conjunction with Youth Making a Difference, an organization of teens that helps in the grant selection process.

The Foundation and YMAD each have a committee that determines what organizations receives grant monies. The SCCF committee and a dedicated group of teens discuss every grant request based and determine what organizations receive their portion of the funding. The YMAD group has a total of 24 members this year but averages 21.

This year, SCCF/YMAD received 80 grant requests from the seven counties. The average grant is about $1,000 and the group was able to fill 70 of those requests.

"This is a great learning tool," Southard said. "It teaches the students how to give back to the community."

Besides the community grants, $100 teacher grants are also available. Teachers use the money for some classroom needs, usually a special project, not covered by state funds.

This year 117 requests were received and the organization will be able to fill 86 of those requests, Southard said.

In total, SCCF/YMAD will give out over $64,000 in grants this year.

Since SCCF was established in 2004, the organization has given out over $209,000 in grants. The foundation started with 32 founders that committed monies for endowment.

The SCCF encourages endowments that will continue to produce grant money. The SCCF has staff people that manage and invest endowment monies to get the best return possible, Pribil said.

A variety of endowment options including estate planning, plans that can go to any county or to a specific county plus other options are available.

Those interested in helping give back to the community are encouraged to contact SCCF at 620-672-7929 and visit with the staff.