Donor Spotlight

Marty Vanier and the late Bob Krause donate $750,000 to FHDC Foundation

In 2017, the Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation received a gift of $750,000 from Marty Vanier and Bob Krause. $500,000 of the gift was earmarked for the City of Manhattan, $220,000 established a semi-endowment fund for upkeep of the Flint Hills Discovery Center’s Immersive Experience Theater, and $30,000 supported 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," mayor Bruce Snead said at the time. "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 is named in honor of this generous gift.

Prairie Playscape

Prairie Playscape is an interactive, hands-on exhibit for kids. It features three themed areas where children can learn about the Kansas Flint Hills. With 13 new interactive stations, Prairie Playscape will provide endless entertainment and education for children of all ages.

“Prairie Playscape was created to help children celebrate the Flint Hills,” Bruce Snead, Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation President, said. “The Foundation will be forever grateful to donors who made this project possible”.


  • Carl & Mary Ice 
  • Dan & Beth Bird
  • BNSF Foundation 
  • Deihl Foundation - Greater Manhattan Community Foundation 
  • Phil Howe 
  • Roger & Kathleen Lanksbury 
  • John & Karen McCulloh 
  • Sunderland Foundation 
  • Wallace Family Foundation 
  • Weary Foundation 
  • Flint Hills Leadership Children's Endowment Fund 
  • Jan & Frank Lyons 
  • Richard & Mary Jo Myers Family Foundation 
  • Bank of the Flint Hills 
  • Central National Bank
  • Downs Farms LLC 
  • Kent Glasscock & Janna Williams 
  • Richard Porter 
  • Roberta "Bo" & Robert Swanson
  • Mitch & Susan Adams 
  • Paul & Christine Benne
  • Nelson & Marilyn Galle 
  • James & Debra Gordon Family 
  • Dennis Hemmendinger & Sue Maes
  • Karen & Gordon Hibbard Family
  • Tom & Vera Hintz Family
  • KanEquip Inc
  • Lowell & Stacy Kohlmeier
  • Caroln S. Kruse Foundation 
  • Jack & Lindy Lindquist 
  • M.R. Metzger Family Foundation 
  • Charles & Sharon Reagan
  • John & Mary Beth Reese
  • Chuck & Sue Rice
  • Bill & Erma Riley 
  • RK Cattle Company
  • Derrick & MaryKris Roberson Family 
  • Brad & Susie Shaw  
  • Warren & Carol Weibert 

Development Committee:

  • Susan Adams
  • Stephen Bridenstine
  • Zac Doyle
  • Roy Garrett
  • Lesley White
  • Mollie Wold
  • McCownGordon Construction 
  • Dimensional Innovations
  • BBN Architects
  • Orazem & Scalora Engineering
A man and a woman standing in front of a plains landscape
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