More than six months after officially organizing, Atchison County Community Schools Education Foundation Board members’ efforts are continuing to provide solid foundation for students now and in the future.

Todd Gigstad serves as president of the 9-person ACCS Education Foundation Board. Board members are continuing to introduce themselves and the role of the Foundation to the public and stakeholders far and wide. It is a foundation to lay a foundation, Gigstad said of the Foundation’s purpose.

“Let’s make it better for the kids, ”Gigstad said. “Not just for now, but for later on.”

Early on after the Foundation was organized, Alumnus Justin Bottorff, of Bottorff Construction Inc., and Alumnus Pat Kearney, of L&L Construction, approached the Foundation members with a proposed initiative to expand the junior/high school facility. Kearney is a former USD 373 Board of Education member, and Justin Bottorff has been involved by serving on site and facility-related committee work.

ACCS Education Foundation Board members Gigstad, Vice-president David Miller, Secretary Becky Hawk, Treasurer Kristie Scholz, Mark Bodenhausen, Linda Bottorff, USD 377 Board of Education Nancy Keith, 377 Board Member Corey Neill and Chris Caplinger approved the project, which then was unanimously garnered USD 377 Board of Education approval.

Subsequently, the Foundation’s inaugural project dubbed USD 377 Multi-Purpose Addition is in progress. From zero dollars in its bank account, the ongoing fundraising efforts have netted $106,000 to its credit, according to its Facebook posting late last week.

Justin Bottorff is heading up the multi-purpose addition project. The addition is proposed to be an area for health, physical education classes, various activities and storage for sports like football, softball, baseball, wrestling, dance and cheerleading.

The initial conceptual plans presented for the addition are that it will provide a compliant safe shelter in accordance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency standards. When fundraising for the new addition reaches a $200,000 threshold it will mark a giant leap toward the project’s fruition. Preliminary cost estimates for the multi-purpose addition are more than $600,000.

For more information about the proposed multi-purpose addition and /or the ACCS Education Foundation and its fundraising can be found on the Facebook feed go to: -Foundation-562899657452808/?modal=admin_ todo_tour, or

The Foundation Board serves as a pro-active group in the community that is gaining momentum by talking to people and stirring excitement, Gigstad explained.

Within the coming months, Foundation Board members plan to continue introducing themselves and its mission to preserve, maintain and improve public education through the acceptance and distributions of charitable contributions as an exclusive non-profit charitable education foundation for Atchison County Community Schools.

They plan to reach out to alumni, stakeholders, families and friends at activities, letters writing campaigns and special events.

The Foundation is a way for interested parties to show their interest and financial support in all aspects to benefit the students and the county schools by way of charitable non-profit donations, Gigstad said. There are all sorts of endeavors like classroom or departmental upgrades, student scholarship, in tribute to teachers, or just to show a general support by way of a tax deductible contribution.

Contributions can be made by way of pledged commitments throughout a period of time, annually or single contributions. Issuance of tax receipts will be at the end of the year payments are made. Refer questions regarding contributions to your tax advisor.

Interested parties can mail contributions to ACCS Education Foundation, 306 Main St., P.O. Box 289, Effingham, KS 66023. Please print your name as you would like it to appear in formal recognitions and/or publications. All amounts of donations will be accepted, make checks payable to ACCS Education Foundation.

Contributions can be made through ways, like farmland, trusts, wills and estates, etc. Information is also available by logging onto and click on Education Foundation, there one can click and obtain some information about Multi-purpose addition, Letter of commitment and By-Laws.

Mary Meyers can be reached via or @MaryMeyersglobe on Twitter.

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