Editor's note:This is the 16th in a series of stories featuring the 21 agencies that will receive funding from the Finney County United Way in 2013.
BY RACHAEL GRAY
The Santa Fe Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America continues to grow and serve the population of southwest Kansas.
In order to better serve the Hispanic community, the SFTC added two bilingual positions to its staff in 2011.
The agency is one of 21 agencies that will receive money from the Finney County United Way this year.
That money will help fund programs and train leaders. The scouts are set to receive $15,000, which is the same as the amount given during last year's campaign.
John Hogg, scout executive director, has said an increase in the number of scouts and the addition of staff members factored in to the larger donation from United Way.
Diana Gutierrez-Sanders is the bilingual paraprofessional in Garden City. She works about 30 to 35 hours a week helping with after-school recruitment. She's been with the Boy Scouts since early August, according to Julie Scully, office manager.
Hogg has said bilingual staff help with duties at the agency, as well as recruiting new members.
"When a Spanish-speaking family or Spanish-speaking people call, they have someone to speak to," he said.
Hogg has said that having staff able to communicate in Spanish has helped the agency.
"It made a huge difference. There are so many young Hispanics in our community," he said.
Hogg has said some Hispanic families didn't know about scouting, while others didn't think it was for them.
"Most scouting in Mexico is for the more affluent, not necessarily the average person. Anybody with any kind of economic background can join scouting," he said.
A Boy Scout event will be held this weekend.
The Cub Scouts and all boys in grades first through fifth are invited to the Soapbox Derby Cubmobiles Sunday. The event is from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Third and Mary streets. Registration is $5 and is at 2 p.m.
The local United Way's annual campaign goal is $550,000 for 2013, the same as it has been for the last few years.
The 21 partner agencies for the 2013 campaign are also the same as this year.
They include: Miles of Smiles; Russell Child Development Center; Finney County RSVP; Kansas Children's Service League; Catholic Social Service; Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Program; Smart Start; Playground Program; Family Crisis Services; Spirit of the Plains, CASA; The Salvation Army; Meals on Wheels; Habitat for Humanity; Garden City Family YMCA; Garden City Chapter of the Red Cross; Santa Fe Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America; Community Day Care Center; United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries; United Cerebral Palsy of Kansas; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Finney and Kearny Counties; and Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland.