Meadowlark Staff Benefit from Grow Green Giving

By Becky Fitzgerald on April 14, 2022

Grow Green Match Day on Friday, April 22, is an incredible opportunity to make a positive impact in our community in general, and among our Meadowlark family, specifically. Just ask Julie Fowler, Jessica Pagan, and Auja Saunders.These three Meadowlark employees were recently awarded nursing scholarships thanks to the generosity of Meadowlark’s Grow Green donors in 2021. This annual day of giving to benefit local not-for-profit organizations is sponsored by Greater Manhattan Community Foundation.

For the second year, contributions to Meadowlark on Match Day will support our Nursing Scholarship Program, enabling Meadowlark to reward the initiative of talented current employees, while, in the future, providing Meadowlark’s licensed care households with highly trained staff in a perpetual nurse shortage. Employees who receive a scholarship agree to work at Meadowlark for at least two years following graduation.

“Meadowlark is dedicated to investing in the careers of healthcare professionals in Manhattan, Kansas,” said Lonnie Baker, CEO. “Growing our own talented and motivated team members is important to the success of our organization and the community as a whole.”

Each spring, Meadowlark awards up to four internal (current employee) scholarships toward coursework to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN). Amounts given by Meadowlark vary, depending on the amount awarded by the Kansas Board of Regents; however, these financial awards will fully fund, or nearly fully fund, each recipient’s nursing education program. Interested employees must complete an application, and a committee reviews the applications to determine which employees to interview.

Julie Fowler has worked has worked at Meadowlark since 2015, first as a CNA (Certified Nursing Aide), then a CMA (Certified Medication Aide), and most recently an an LPN. She is excited about her bright future. “I look forward to bringing my new skills, knowledge, and abilities that I learn back to Meadowlark” Fowler said.

Jessica Pagan has worked as a Supportive Care Aide with Meadowlark Home Health since August 2021. After graduating, she hopes to work at Meadowlark’s Bramlage House. “I feel that it’s important for me to work in the post-acute care environment to provide a solid foundation for my nursing career,” Pagan said.

Some of Pagan’s earliest childhood memories including telling everyone she wanted to be a nurse someday. “I have always felt a calling to help people.”

Auja Saunders has served as a Home Health Aide, also with Meadowlark Home Health, since December 2021. “By becoming a nurse, I will go the extra mile to be there for my patients, especially those who do not have family members to support them, or those whose families cannot be there,” Saunders shared in her application. “I hope to be the face that they will remember as caring, loving, and respectful.”

Donations made on April 22 will be made available to organizations for immediate needs, while the 50% match will go into endowed funds. Combined donations up to a total of $20,000 will be matched at 50%, giving a maximum of $10,000 in matching funds to any one organization.     

Here’s how you may help us attract and retain nurses:

1. Give in person from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the donation station in the atrium at Colony Square, 555 Poyntz Ave. Donations by cash, check, or credit card will be accepted. Each hour, one donor name from the live event will be drawn to win $100 for the participating fund of his or her choice. Would you like a FREE ride to Colony Square? Becky Fitzgerald, Development Director, will deliver contributions to Match Day headquarters on Friday morning, and again in the afternoon. If you wish to ride with her at either 10 a.m. or 2 p.m., please register in the Blue Book.

2. Visit to give online from 12 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 22. 

3. Write a check to Greater Manhattan Community Foundation.

  • If Meadowlark Foundation is the only beneficiary of your gift, you may write “Grow Green-Meadowlark” on the memo line.
  • Complete a giving form, indicating the beneficiary/beneficiaries of your gift. (Meadowlark Hills is listed in the Basic Human Needs & Healthcare category.) Even if giving to more than one organization, write only one check for the total amount. The form you submit will indicate to GMCF how you’d like your gift divided. Forms are available at the Hospitality Desk.
  • No matter the day a check is written, date it 4/22/2022 and mail it and the giving form on or before 4/22/2022. Checks must be dated 4/22/2022 and postmarked on or before  April 22 to be included in the 2022 Match Day total.  
  • Mail to:  GMCF, P.O. Box 1127, Manhattan, KS, 66505-1127
  • Meadowlark residents may submit donations by check or cash and donation forms to be delivered by Meadowlark Foundation in a bundle to GMCF. If you have a donation and form to submit, please deliver to the Hospitality Desk by noon on Thursday, April 21. 

4. Donate by Donor-advised Fund or by Stock. For details, visit Gifts of stock must be initiated by April 15. 

Although gifts of any amount are welcome, individual contributions ranging from $25 to $1,000 per organization will receive a local match at $.50 per $1, so a $1,000 gift can receive a $500 local match! Gifts are tax-deductible; donors receive a receipt from GMCF. 

On behalf of Julie, Jessica, and Auja, thank you for considering this opportunity! If you have questions, please contact Fitzgerald at (785) 323-3843.