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Gunner Thames Memorial Foundation to receive ARPA funds

By Megan Wehring

HAYS COUNTY – To alleviate stress brought on by the pandemic, Hays County is allocating American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Gunner Thames Memorial Foundation (GTM).


On Nov. 15, the Hays County Commissioners Court approved a grant for GTM not to exceed $50,000 in funds received from the county’s allocation of ARPA funds. 

GTM is a nonprofit organization that raises funds to distribute to kids in the form of scholarships, 4-H/Future Farmers of America (FFA) projects and families in crisis in Hays County.

“Gunner Thames was a local youth who [died]at the age of 15,” said commissioner Walt Smith. “He was very involved in 4-H, hunting, fishing and those kinds of things. There was a foundation set up in his honor, which actually invests 100% of any income they have back into the community.”

The majority of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Hays County, but also nationally, were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and GTM was not an exception.

“They give a lot of scholarships and they were hurt by COVID-19,” said commissioner Mark Jones. “There’s a lot of people that work for this organization [and]do a lot of good things.”

To learn more about the organization, visit https://gunnerthames

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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