PITTSBURG — For many years organizations in the area receive grants from the Leon V. & Dorothy M. Skubitz Foundation and this year the Families and Children Together, Inc, and Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation were the recipients.

The grants were awarded on Tuesday at BMO bank through BMO Trust and Custody Services. Families and Children Together, Inc. received $45,000 and Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation received $4,426. The bank is trustee for the Skubitz Foundation and the Pritchett Trust.

Advisory Board Member for BMO Harris Bank Frances Mitchelson said the organizations are not selected by application process.
“We look at what is going on in our community,” she said.

Kansas Dental Charitable Foundation hosted its annual Kansas Mission of Mercy free dental clinic in April at Pittsburg State University. According to the Kansas Dental Charitable Association, 743 patients received $1,129,211 in donated dental care over two days, including 1,342 fillings and 2,446 extractions. There were over 600 volunteers and the event was arranged by the local KMOM Chairperson Dr. Gina Pinamonti.

Kansas Dental Charities Foundation Executive Director Kevin Robertson came down from Topeka to accept the check.
“Thank you to the Skubitz Foundation in providing the money to help us out at the clinic,” he said.

He also thanked the local community for helping make KMOM happen, from high school students helping set up, local businesses and the Pittsburg Police Department.
“This community was really helpful and did a good job and stepped up for us,” Robertson said. “We had a really good event and a good time.”

Next year, KMOM will be in February in Dodge City.

Families and Children Together, Inc, — part of Crawford County Mental Health — is currently working to raise funds to create an addiction treatment center which would be located near Crawford County Mental Health.
“When we heard about the addiction treatment center we thought that sounded interesting and that members of the board most have businesses in the community, they hire employees, they have families and they have been touched in some way by issues,” Mitchelson said. “They can see the need that an addiction treatment center could provide.”

Crawford County Mental Health Board Chair Ron Womble said the addiction treatment center will be in a place where people need it the most, close to home and close to family.
“From what I know about Skubitz, they really liked this community and this part of Kansas and I’d like to think that they would be really pleased to see their foundation supporting the addiction treatment center,” Womble said. “We know how addiction affects lives.”

Rick Pfeiffer, who wrote the book ‘Trail of the Warrior’, is working to sell the book from coast to coast to raise funds for the treatment center.
“This is a progression of community awareness that is really awesome,” he said about the addiction treatment center. “One addict affects four people, to help the addict that still suffers means that we are helping the family, the children and we’re’ helping the economy of Pittsburg and people who are often very skilled or maybe a professional, back from the ravages of addiction.”

More on the addiction treatment center will be shared at a later date.

According to a release, the Skubitz’ — longtime Pittsburg residents — “left their estate in trust with BMO Harris Bank to create a Foundation that would award annual grants to be used exclusively for charitable purposes, with strong preference given to Crawford County, Kansas.”

Since its inception, the foundation has distributed over $536,000 to the Kansas community the release said. Past grant recipients include the Mount Carmel Foundation, Fort Scott Community College Endowment Association, the City of Pittsburg, Pittsburg State University, Children’s Advocacy Center, Everybody Plays, Wesley House and Safehouse Crisis Center, Inc. Crawford County Fair Association and Catholic Charities.