By James Jordan
The annual pro-am golf tournament in Newton is not going to happen this year. There were scheduling conflicts with the Wichita Open tournament, and officials decided to cancel the tournament. It may still be held at a future time.
The proceeds from the tournament in previous years went to the Central Kansas Community Fund, which makes grants for children's services.
Fund director Sandy Fruitt said Wednesday her organization will miss the extra money, but they are still in good shape and are a growing operation.
There will be some impact, but that will be offset by an endowment established last year from the estate of Lena Marie Hann. She left the organization a sizeable amount of money and asked that it be used for children's services.
"Obviously we will miss the $10,000 to $12,000 the tournament provided, but we have another funding source," Fruitr said. The endowment has allowed the group to expand beyond what they had even hoped for.
"We were thrilled to get (the endowment). We didn't want to be totally dependent on one source, and now we have multiple sources," she said. "We have seen significant growth in recent years."
Indeed, the organization has traditionally given to groups that serve children in the Newton area, and this year has expanded to other areas, such as Butler and Marion counties. They were able to make $42,000 in grants this spring.
Fruit said her group has not been impacted by state budget cuts, but several groups they support have felt those cuts.
"We see the impact in arts and cultural areas where they have lost funding. They look to us to help them out and sometimes we can," she said.