'Saving Our Past’s Future' has a new advocate
The Ellis County Historical Society has been awarded a grant of $84,706 from the Heritage Trust Fund for brick work on the First Presbyterian Church as one of seven projects funded by the Kansas Historic Sites Board of Review.
“We are honored to receive this grant and it is vital to our plan to fully restore and open our main campus museum with new and exciting exhibits," said Amanda Rupp, ECHS executive director." We want to be a ‘must-see’ destination for our local citizens and tourists who come to Ellis County.”
A total of 36 applicants requested over $2.78 million during this grant round. HTF grants reimburse expenses for projects that preserve or restore qualifying historic properties.
Work began at the beginning of April and should see completion in mid-summer.
Efforts to give a new lease of life to the society began in 2021 with a new board and three part-time staff.
In July of 2022, Rupp was named executive director. She is a homegrown native to western Kansas and has a vision, together with the board and staff, of what ECHS can develop from its foundation of over 50 years.
Public interest in the new direction and changes is growing as witnessed by the $190,000 of private donations given for various projects since 2021.