The VIRGINIA J. (V.J.) WILKINS FOUNDATION, a private, not-for-profit Foundation
incorporated in the State of Kansas, is seeking Grant applicants for the calendar year 2018.
The Foundation’s Mission is to maximize the value of its finances so that it may assist the
community of Arkansas City in providing a quality cultural environment of Arts, Music, language and
other endeavors, which many times are shadowed by the importance placed upon athletic achievements.
Grant awards must be in keeping with the Mission of the Foundation which is to financially
assist organizations within the community having an IRS 501 C3 designation or organizations affiliated
under an umbrella of an organization having charitable or philanthropic IRS designation or educational
The Foundation prefers projects where matching funds are contributed by the applicant. If the
Grant applicant is unable to provide financial assistance, the applicant must be willing to participate with
in-kind services and to be a willing partner in all forms of communication read by the public such as press
releases, banners, newsletters or advertising.
In 2014, the Foundation awarded $454,571.00 to the community; in 2015, the Foundation
awarded $440,777.00 to the community; in 2016, the Foundation awarded $309,450.00 to the community,
in 2017, the Foundation awarded $406,607.00 and in 2018 the Foundation awarded $609,244.00 for gifts
totaling, $2,220,649.00.
Recipients for 2018 include: The Arkalalah Executive Committee to assist in funding the concert
at the Rotunda in Wilson Park to initiate the community’s 87 th Annual Celebration of Arkalalah utilizing
as a theme “Mardi Gras Madness”; The City of Arkansas City is a recipient of a Challenge Grant wherein
the Foundation will assist in the financing of Wilson Park improvements including a water/splash pad for
children which necessitated moving playground equipment to another location, partially enclosing the
Wilson Park Rotunda to make it usable all year and to remove existing tennis courts to provide a Farmers
Market with off-street parking; The Arkansas City Arts Council has been approved a monetary Grant to
assist in funding concerts and other entertainment to support the Burford Theatre by six (6) performances
(one every other month); The Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce received a monetary Grant to
assist in renovation of the Stan Herd Mural located in downtown Arkansas City; The Foundation has
issued a Challenge Grant to the Burford to assist in renovating the old soda fountain area north of the
foyer for a catering kitchen; The Foundation has offered $50,000.00 as a Challenge Grant with the
remaining construction project cost of $25,000.00 to be funded on or before June 30, 2019; In regard to
the remaining unpaid pledge of the Foundation for the Burford Renovation Project, the Foundation and
the Board of Directors of the Burford have agreed to establish an Endowed Operating Fund with portions
of the remaining financial pledge as it is paid; Camp Horizon received a Challenge Grant from the
Foundation to assist in the financing and renovation of its recreation and performance area to become the
Camp’s “social hub”; The Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum was awarded a Grant for the development
of a 3-D replica of the Etzanoa Native American Settlement installed on a 3 x 6 foot table, including
lighted buttons and a narration to inform the patrons as to aspect of the Settlements. Additional monies

were funded to assist in renovation of the facade of the Museum; Cowley College Music was awarded a
Grant for assisting in the upgrading of the College’s Band Room with electronic equipment; Etzanoa
Conservancy was awarded a Grant to provide “seed money” to assist in the financing of a Director of the
Etzanoa Project; Southwestern College’s Twelfth Annual Music Camp scheduled in June of each year
will receive a Grant award; USD #470 School District was awarded monies to continue in providing
clinical performance opportunities by bringing renown Professionals and Clinicians to the Schools;
providing travel and off-campus training to students; providing opportunities for student performances on
the National and State levels with students matching the Foundation donation for fund raising events;
improving conservancy and inventory of instruments, music, libraries and resources; providing
professional development/training at events such as the Midwest Bank and Orchestra Clinic, the KMEA
Music Conference and a National Conference and Vocal and Instrumental Music; and providing a
Challenge Grant to the School District in regard to desired improvements at the Middle School
Auditorium. The Foundation is especially pleased with the special Music concert performed at the
Arkansas City High School composed by Gary Gackstatter and dedicated to Etzanoa: “Earth, Sky, Rivers
and People”.
Otis W. Morrow, local Attorney, assisted Ms. Wilkins in creating the Foundation and is serving
as a Member of its initial Board of Trustees. Ms. Wilkins cousin, James M. Wilkins, also is serving as a
Trustee by appointment by Ms. Wilkins. Karen E. Zeller, a local business woman and David Wilkins,
are serving as the remaining Trustees.
Under IRS Regulations, the Foundation is required to expend a minimum of 5% of the
Foundation’s account value annually and therefore each year provides an opportunity to renew funding
for projects in the community satisfying its Mission Statement.
Deadline for submitting applications is July 1, 2019, with Grant awards to be determined by the
end of summer and Grant disbursements completed before year-end. Additional information or
assistance in making an application can be obtained on the Foundation’s Website: