Bourbon County Fair Association awarded $5,000 from Heartland

Pictured from left to right: Heartland REC Communication Specialist Doug Graham; Bourbon County Fair Association board members Mark Brillhart, Laura George, Wilma Hibdon and Mitch Crystal.

Bourbon County fairgoers will have an enhanced experience next year thanks in part to a $5,000 grant from Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative.


The Bourbon County Fair Association was one of six organizations to receive a $5,000 award from Heartland’s Concern for Community grant program this month. The Fair Association’s funds will be used to purchase three additional easy-access metal picnic tables for the pavilion and additional speakers for the show barn.


“As a cooperative, we understand that our success is directly linked to the well-being of our communities,” said Mark Scheibe, Heartland CEO. “We’re proud to support projects like this that will make a lasting difference in the lives of our members.”


The Concern for Community program provides grants of up to $5,000 for capital improvement projects throughout the Heartland service area, which covers parts of 12 counties in eastern Kansas.  Capital improvement projects are those that involve investment in structures or equipment that will last for many years.


As a non-profit, member-owned cooperative, Heartland issues capital credits to members each year, but sometimes those capital credits go unclaimed. Because those monies were intended to be returned to the communities from which they came, Heartland’s Board of Directors decided to use those unclaimed funds for community grants and started the Concern for Community program in 2019.

This year, six applications out of 28 received were approved for funding by the Heartland board.


The other projects selected for funding are as follows:


  • Linn County Historical Museum in Pleasanton was awarded $5,000 for numerous repairs and improvements.
  • Restore the Four was awarded $5,000 to help repair the roof of the small animal building at the Crawford County Fairgrounds outside Girard.
  • Stark 1888 Event Committee was awarded $5,000 for repairs and upgrades at the Stark community ballfield.
  • USD 101 Erie was awarded $5,000 to assist with construction of a new animal science building in the high school.
  • USD 346 Jayhawk-Linn was awarded $5,000 for lighting and sound equipment at the high school auditorium in Mound City.


Applications were accepted in the month of July and selected by the Heartland Board of Directors in August. Heartland plans to reopen applications in summer 2024 for the next round of funding.

About Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. powers rural lifestyles throughout more than 11,000 locations in eastern Kansas. Heartland’s service area includes consumer-members in 12 counties, including Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Cherokee, Coffey, Crawford, Labette, Linn, Miami, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson.

Heartland REC traces its roots back to three original rural electric cooperatives: Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company, Sugar Valley Electric Cooperative Association, and Sekan Electric Cooperative Association. Cooperative Electric Power & Light Company joined with Sugar Valley in 1975 to form United Electric Cooperative; United Electric Cooperative joined with Sekan Electric Cooperative Association in 1996 to form Heartland.




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