Library campaign receives $300,000 gift from Sunderland Foundation

The Sunderland Foundation of Overland Park, Kan., has generously gifted $300,000 to the WHERE COMMUNITY CONNECTS Campaign, pushing the campaign over the $2.2-million mark.

The campaign is an initiative of the Newton Public Library Foundation (NPLF), an affiliate of the Central Kansas Community Foundation (CKCF), and seeks to raise $2.7 million to help fund construction of a new Newton Public Library.

“We are grateful for the generosity of the Sunderland Foundation to this campaign and our community,” said Angela Becker, NPLF board president and campaign co-chair. “Their gift will have a positive impact on the library and Newton for generations to come.”

The Sunderland Foundation was established in 1945 by Lester T. Sunderland, who served as president of the Ash Grove Cement Co. for 33 years as a highly respected leader in the cement industry. Ash Grove was led by four generations of the Sunderland family from 1909 to 2018. The foundation assets were comprised primarily of shareholdings of the Ash Grove Cement Co.

The Sunderland Foundation focuses on brick-and-mortar projects, helping to fund construction, design, and renovations of non-profit facilities.

The gift marks the second major out-of-county gift to help Newton build a new library. The campaign has reached the 80-percent mark on that goal, with a fall 2022 deadline.

“We are excited about the opportunities a new library will bring to our community,” said Ann Adrian, campaign co-chair. “Modern libraries are about more than books. They provide the environment and technology for people to learn, connect, and collaborate.”

“We hope this gift will motivate and inspire more people from Newton and Harvey County to make their own gift and pledge to the campaign,” said Cathy Anderson, Newton Public Library Board president. “Our friends, families, and neighbors across Newton and Harvey County have gifted and pledged more than $2.1 million to this campaign. We need just $500,000 to reach our goal.”

The fundraising campaign is the third phase of the ongoing project to build a new Newton Public Library. The fourth phase, the design process, is progressing concurrently with the public phase of the fundraising campaign, as library and city staff work with HBM Architects of Cleveland, Ohio, to finalize the design and prepare the project to go to bid in late 2022.

Those wishing to learn more about the project or participate as a donor can call on Angela Becker at 707-536-7101 or Ann Adrian at 316-283-5654. A campaign gifts can be made with cash, securities, or through other gift-giving vehicles, and commitments can be made over a five-year period.