PITTSBURG — The Pritchett Trust grants will help museums preserve history, help create educational programming for students and keep assistance funds flowing so organizations can continue to serve the underserved community.

On September 6, BMO Trust and Custody Services, under BMO Global Asset Management, announced the grant recipients of the Pritchett Trust grants for 2018. The grants were distributed to organizations across southeast Kansas.
"The mission of Pritchett Trust is to improve the quality of life in Crawford County and Southeast Kansas by supporting initiatives that serve these populations," Pittsburg Bank Manager, BMO Harris Bank Kim Nolan said in a release. "The Pritchett Trust grants enable several local organizations in Pittsburg and the greater Crawford County to access critical funding.”

According to the release, the trust was funded in 1994 after the deaths of long-time Pittsburg residents, William B. Pritchett, veteran of World War I, and Athlyn C. Pritchett. They operated the Pritchett Insurance Agency in Pittsburg and during the 1930s and 1940s, they invested in oil and gas leases in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Since its inception, the trust has awarded a total of more than $9.3 million to organizations in Southeast Kansas and Crawford County, the release said.

Over the past few years Pritchett Trust Grants have helped — and this year continues to help — The Lord’s Diner acquire kitchen equipment and a new HVAC unit.

The Pittsburg Salvation Army provides assistance to people in need and with the Pathway of Hope family program the organization can also continue to help people to “take action to break the cycle of crisis.”

“The funding that they give us is crucial in giving clients emergency assistance,” Salvation Army Lt. Miley Madden said. “It's also a jumpstart to the Pathway of Hope program.”

The grant the Miner’s Hall Museum received will help with continuation of the renovation of the original miner’s house and restoration of a large piece from a mining company store.
“That was a great help to us, especially in renovating and restoring the miners house there,” Miners Hall Museum Board Member and Restoration Committee Member Jerry Lomshek said. “It’s exciting to get that restored and get that back open to the public.”

The following organizations received a Pritchett Grant: Boy Scouts of America-Ozark Trails Council, Cato Historical Preservation Association, Children’s Advocacy Center, City of Girard, City of Pittsburg, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, Creating Quilts of Valor, Everybody Plays, George Nettels Elementary School, Girard High School, Girl Scouts of the Missouri Heartland, Greenbush Learning Tree Institute, Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters, Lakeside Elementary School, Meadowlark Elementary, Miner’s Hall Museum, Mother to Mother Ministry, Northeast Elementary/Junior High Schools, Pittsburg Community Middle School, Pittsburg Community Schools, Pittsburg High School, Pittsburg State University Foundation, Pittsburg YMCA, R.V. Haderlein Elementary School, Safehouse Crisis Center, Salvation Army, SEK 637 Interlocal, Southeast High School Booster Club, St. Mary’s Colgan Junior and Senior High School, St. Mary’s Elementary School, Sunflower Kiwanis, The Family Resource Center, The Lord’s Diner, Unified School District #247, Vie Medical Clinic, Wesley House and Westside Elementary School.  
The grant selection process includes participation by BMO's Pittsburg Advisory Board of Directors: Jack Overman, Rick Baden, Tim Collar, Dennis Crain, Ron Marrone, Frances Mitchelson, Ray Ryan, Dr. Ron Seglie and Vince VanBecelaere.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.