2019 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Marty Vanier
Marty Vanier was recognized as the 2019 Friend of the Flint Hills by the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Marty and the Vanier Family have been wonderful examples of giving back to a community, a region and a state. Marty’s philanthropic interests in the Flint Hills Discovery Center and the Flint Hills region plus a variety of other nonprofits makes a positive impact on people’s lives.
“Marty and her late husband Bob Krause were the first to provide a generous gift to the Foundation, recognizing the fundamental role of the city in creating the Discovery Center, and that gift was acknowledged with the naming of the Horizon Ranch Immersive Experience Theater,” said Bruce Snead, President of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation. “Marty’s support of the Foundation, and her recent gift, which will expand and enhance the projection system of the Theater, add to what will be a unique legacy of actions to preserve the Flint Hills.”
The Discovery Center and Foundation will be forever indebted to Marty for her vision and initiatives in support of our mission together to sustain the Flint Hills in all of its rich dimensions.
2018 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Scott and Carol Ritchie
This year, the Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2018 recipients are Scott and Carol Ritchie of Wichita, KS.
The Foundation is pleased to recognize the Ritchies for their promotion of sustainable range management practices and their desire to protect the Flint Hills Region from invasive development.
They have also supported a variety of nonprofits which utilize and advocate for the Flint Hills.
“Scott and Carol Ritchie have spent most of their adult lives enjoying the great national treasure that is the Flint Hills,” said Bruce Snead, President of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation.
Scott and Carol Ritchie were honored at the annual recognition event on Saturday, April 14, 2018, at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan.
2017 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Symphony in the Flint Hills
"The Symphony in the Flint Hills was chosen as the 2017 recipient because of the twelve year history of great concerts and educational programs that have brought significant attention to the treasures and pleasures of the Flint Hills,” said Bruce Snead, President of the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation.
The Foundation is pleased to recognize all those who have created and supported the Symphony in the Flint Hills and their contributions to the Flint Hills with this award.
“It is difficult to overestimate the value and impact the Symphony has had in growing the appreciation and knowledge of our Flint Hills, not only here in Kansas but truly around the world,” said Snead.
2016 Friend of the Flint Hills Awarded to Nancy Kassebaum Baker
The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation recognized Nancy Kassebaum Baker as the “2016 Friend of the Flint Hills," on Saturday night April 16, 2016. The award honors significant time, effort and resources devoted to the cause of conserving the Flint Hills of Kansas and northern Oklahoma and to the Flint Hills Discovery Center.
Kassebaum’s love of Kansas and the Flint Hills region was exemplified by her efforts along with that of others in the establishment of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Strong City, KS in 1996. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Park Service.
Kassebaum served three terms representing the state of Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1979-1997. She returned to her permanent home in the Flint Hills in 2014 following the death of her husband, former U. S. Senator Howard Baker.
Marty Vanier and Bob Krause Donate $750,000 to FHDC Foundation
The Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation has received a gift of $750,000 from Marty Vanier and Bob Krause. Foundation President, Bruce Snead, announced today that over a five year period, $500,000 of the gift will be earmarked for the City of Manhattan, $220,000 will establish a semi-endowment fund for upkeep of the Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater, and $30,000 will support the Foundation in fundraising efforts.
“The FHDC Foundation is thrilled to facilitate this generous contribution which recognizes the critical value of the creation and construction of these wonderful exhibits by the City of Manhattan,” said Snead, “These donors see the great regional benefits of the FHDC and especially the Immersive Experience effects on visitors and residents.” The Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater will be named in honor of this generous gift.