Deadlines nearing for latest round of grants from Bill Self's foundation

Assists Foundation targets youth, wellness

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self and his foundation are seeking ideas this week from organizations on how to help young people in Kansas.

The next round of Assists Foundation community grant applications from nonprofit organizations are due Saturday.

“Our charitable contributions committee looks for things that are unique or not necessarily a gift that would help a program sustain itself but more so fund a special project,” said Laura Dixon, executive director of Self’s Assists Foundation.

Self and his family started the foundation in 2006 to raise money and form partnerships to benefit young people, particularly in the area of wellness.

The foundation’s charitable contributions committee will meet after the deadline to award five $3,000 grants. The foundation awarded five grants to organizations in the Lawrence area and Kansas earlier this year, and Dixon said unsuccessful applicants from the first round still could be considered for this round.

Committee member Carol Hampton, a retired South Junior High School teacher, said the panel tends to consider applications that will help the most people.

“Just given the way our society operates right now, I think there’s just a tremendous need. Kids are our future. We’ve got to do something,” Hampton said.

Information about the grants and applications are available online at The foundation also has a Facebook profile page.

Self has made no secret about his desire to use the foundation to help raise funds and create a campus to promote child wellness in the area.

“We work pretty diligently with the different community stake holders that serve the youth in the community,” Dixon said.

Lawrence school leaders say the district is set for several years with its outdoor athletic facilities due to recent construction at the high schools. But that doesn’t mean the door has closed on a partnership among the school district, the foundation and possibly the city and county for some kind of wellness and fitness facility.

“We are still looking at an outdoor facility that would help our kids learn about the outdoors,” said Scott Morgan, the Lawrence school board president.