Bank Donates $150K to Fire Relief Funds

A Salina-based bank has donated $150,000 to help Kansas ranchers and farmers affected by the Paradise Area Fire that occurred in December 2021.

According to the Bennington State Bank, they chose three organizations to help disperse the donation to reach residents in need.

“Our hearts go out to the families and Kansas farmers who suffered extreme damage and loss caused by the
windstorm and fires. As an Ag Bank, we live, work, and serve in the communities impacted by this disaster and we
want to do our part to help,” said Darren Gragg, President and CEO of The Bennington State Bank.

The donation was split between Paradise Area Disaster Relief Fund coordinated by Paradise United Methodist Church, Heartland Community Foundation, and Russell County Area Community Foundation.

“On behalf of the Paradise Fire Relief Fund and our friends and neighbors, we would like to offer our deep appreciation for the generosity and kindness of The Bennington State Bank and their customers,” said Stacy
Ellsworth, Paradise United Methodist Church.

“We are grateful to Bennington State Bank for their generosity and kindness toward those affected by the windstorm and wildfires. The Russell County Disaster Relief Fund is available to make grants to firehouses, local government, relief organizations and other charitable entities assisting area neighbors affected by this disaster.

The fund is a permanent safety net to Russell County to aid in the aftermath of an emergency, as well as disaster
preparedness and recovery efforts,” said Angela Muller, Executive Director of RCACF.

The donation will help organizations give grants to local families, ranchers, and nonprofit organizations offering
relief services in areas impacted by the natural disaster.

“We sincerely thank Bennington State Bank for their generous donation to the Heartland Disaster Relief Funds and
all of the people who have reached out with support for those impacted. Kansans helping Kansans is one of things
that make our community so special. We will make sure that the money collected in the Disaster Relief Funds goes
to those who need it most,” said Sarah Meitner, Executive Director of the Heartland Community Foundation.

Residents and organizations working to build back after the storm and fire can use the following links and information to apply for assistance: