Hippodrome Art Center
The Foundation has given generously to support the multi-cultural Hippodrome Art Centre, a historical landmark in Sedgwick County dating back to 1919 and runs today exclusively by volunteers. Foundation grants have been awarded for building renovations, roof repair, theater seating, a state-of-the-art digital projection system, a sound system as well as funding for events such as the Missoula Children’s Theatre. Today, with the Foundation’s help, the building contains a commercial grade kitchen, a ballroom with dance floor and balcony, as well as a theater and can host special occasions ranging from wedding receptions to business meetings. The Foundation has been pleased to support this entity and recognizes its ongoing unique place in the enhancement of culture within the county.
Schools and Education
The Foundation appreciates the importance of education and has awarded grants accordingly ranging from school supplies to annual college scholarships. Funding has also been given for the purchase of such items as cameras and video equipment, musical and athletic equipment, digital signs, landscaping, computers, distant learning lab accessories and similar items too numerous to list. Funding for the formation of an entire FFA program (including the salary of the instructor) was due largely to a grant from our Foundation. iPads and/or Chromebooks were purchased by the Foundation to provide one for every student and teacher in the county. Similarly, the Foundation granted funding to purchase every student’s school supplies for an entire year for both county school districts. The Foundation is committed to helping provide quality education to the students of Sedgwick County.
Sedgwick County Fairgrounds
County fairs are a tradition for rural Colorado counties. These annual events act as a bond for the communities and encourage local residents to exhibit arts, crafts, gardening produce, livestock and the like. A large part of the fair consists of the competitive showing of livestock by 4-H members. The Foundation has awarded several substantial grants to improve the Sedgwick County Fairgrounds including, most significantly, the construction of the Stretesky Livestock Pavilion, a large modern facility which houses the livestock and provides an indoor arena for the livestock show during the fair. This structure replaced an earlier dilapidated and unsafe facility and stands as a tribute to the Foundation’s input in enhancing the Sedgwick County Fair. Contributions have also been made to the marquee that advertises fairground events.
Thompson Park Gazebo
The Town of Julesburg owns Thompson Park, a square block of grass and trees near the center of town. Although residents have always used the park, until recently it lacked restroom facilities as well as any structure to provide shade or protection from inclement weather. The Foundation was instrumental in funding the modern restroom facilities for this park as well as the construction of a large covered gazebo which stands in the center of the park. These improvements are now routinely enjoyed by visitors to our area as well as Sedgwick County residents for local gatherings, reunions, and weddings. The prominent gazebo demonstrates the Foundation’s work in enhancing recreational enjoyment in the local community.
Sedgwick County Fire and Rescue
From the outset the Foundation has treated rescue and fire protection as one of its top priorities. All three municipalities in Sedgwick County have benefited from Foundation funding for the building or improving of fire halls and rescue facilities. In addition to the modern buildings, numerous fire trucks, ambulances and other fire-fighting and rescue equipment items have been purchased by the municipalities through Foundation grants.
Obviously, such equipment is critical to the protection and well being of any community. Sedgwick County now has modern fire and rescue equipment in quality housing facilities. Fire and rescue will remain a priority to enhance Sedgwick County.
Acting with Sedgwick County Economic Development, the Foundation has funded an ongoing large project to beautify and upgrade many local businesses throughout the county. This business improvement project pays 90% of the cost for qualifying businesses to improve the frontage or facade of its business structure including such things as signage, window replacement, paint, stucco and general frontage remodeling. The purpose of the project is to assist the business owner with beautification and energy efficiency of the structure. All three municipalities have participated in and benefited from this project and its success is apparent. This project has visibly enhanced the appearance of Sedgwick County.
Sedgwick County Health Center
The Foundation is committed to quality health care for the area. The Sedgwick County Memorial Hospital in Julesburg is the only hospital in the county. It is one of the few true county-owned hospitals in the state and, since it is not a hospital district, it receives a limited amount of taxpayer funds. Two of the Foundation’s largest grants totaling approximately two million dollars have been used to expand the outpatient area and remodel inpatient areas for the local hospital and medical clinic as well as the addition of a new emergency room area. More renovations are currently underway and monies for this purpose have been pledged by the Foundation. The vastly improved health center has been renamed The Stretesky Wellness Center and is proof of the Foundation’s desire to enhance health care for the community.
The DePoorter Lake Walking Path
The Foundation’s grants are varied and diverse in nature. One place where this diversity is evident is DePoorter Lake, a quaint pond situated between Julesburg and The South Platte River. The area is a favorite local spot for fishing and recreation, having picnic tables, benches, a floating pier and bathroom facilities on site. Residents find it an ideal place to exercise their pets or enjoy a walk themselves out in nature.
The Foundation acted upon an application to replace a shallow and decaying asphalt path around this lake. Using Foundation’s funds, a professionally paved three-quarter mile concrete path was constructed over the old path. The new path is wide, wheelchair accessible and built to last. It totally surrounds the lake and greatly improves access to and enjoyment of this recreational site for years to come. Something as basic as this walking path evidences another unique way the Foundation has enhanced the local community.
William Stretesky Pavilion
The William Stretesky Pavilion was built as a gift to the Sedgwick County Community in honor of the William Stretesky Foundation’s 20th Anniversary. It was officially dedicated on September 27, 2023 and ownership turned over to Sedgwick County. This facility is available for public and private events through the Hippodrome Arts Centre. The wheat sculptures and metal work were designed and built by local metal artist Terry Hinde.