Topeka — Talk show host Jenny Jones has donated $20,000 so female inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility will have a new track and new running shoes.
Jones called community volunteers who lead the running club at the correctional facility on Thursday to tell them their request for a $20,000 grant from Jenny's Heroes had been granted. Jenny's Heroes is Jones' philanthropic foundation, through which the entertainer and author is giving away
$1 million of her own money.
Earlier this month, Jenny's Heroes selected Russ Stewart, maintenance supervisor at St. Mary's Manor, as a recipient of a $25,000 grant. Stewart will use the money to make a home theater for seniors at the Pottawatomie County nursing facility.
In her 15-minute call Thursday from Los Angeles, heard over a speaker phone in the training center of the Topeka Correctional Facility, Jones told community volunteers and seven inmates in the prison running club that this was the first time she had selected back-to-back grant recipients from the same state.
"I try to move this around and go from one state to another," Jones, 62, said during her call. "I've never gone back to the same state twice in a row, but I was so impressed with what you're doing."
Topeka Correctional Facility warden Dick Koerner told Jones he was glad to have the women participating in the running club.
"This is proof," Koerner said, "that not all running in prison is bad."