KEC Annual Report 2019

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MISSION The Kearney Enrichment Council is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life in Kearney, Missouri. To accomplish our mission, KEC focuses in four primary areas: Programs offered at the Firehouse Community Center that enrich the lives of our youth, families and senior adults Community events that celebrate the heart and heritage of our community Amenities and infrastructure that support the revitalization of our historic downtown, using Missouri Main Street methodologies Nourishment for those in need at the Kearney Food Pantry



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DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT What's next Kearney? After coming to the firehouse in May of 2019, I am excited to see what else we can bring to this community. I have learned quickly that this is a town that supports one another. As we continue to take strides forward for figuring out how else we can help, I know that I will continue to see the support in every program, event, and campaign that we offer. Before we take steps forward, we have to look to you, the community, to tell us what we are missing. Not only do I intend on serving more needs, but I also plan on identifying real solutions to everyday problems.

New events, programs, and ideas won't get the job alone. We need you, Kearney, to help us achieve our mission. Every challenge we overcame. Every day we find out more about what we can do. We promise to never stop serving you, Kearney, our wonderful community. Let's unfold the next chapter of our story together.

KURT HAMILTON Executive Director

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW Another record breaking year for the Kearney Enrichment Council. As 2019 comes to close, we continue to see how much the community funds our organization. Thank you to each city, business, and individual that helps us keep our doors open.



SENIOR PROGRAMMING The Tech Café experienced a 9.7% increase in utilization with 3,972 visits in 2019, up from 3,006 visits in 2018, and 2,811 visits in 2017. Tech Café expanded its community resource offerings by offering a matter of balance class, handyman services and first out of state experience. As their programming expands, senior programming will focus on fundraising, and outreach as they enter 2020.

"I cannot say enough good things about your people and how you take care of us. Somebody brought on a nice bag of goodies for me yesterday and checked on me. Your group has been so kind to call and see if I needed anything. I appreciate you and I know Kearney does too." - Ruth Turnage, Participant

A couple of seniors smile after playing a round of bingo.

YOUTH PROGRAMMING SparkStudios continued to offer Culinary, Tech, Art, & Maker/Builder Studios with passionate Leaders in each area made possible through a $30,000 grant from the City of Kearney. The program started in 2019 with eleven participants and finished with thirty-eight participants. Summer Pass was brought back as a one-week themed adventure series. Twenty-two children attended the week, and enjoyed escape rooms, culinary challenges, and making their own movies.

"A place where my kids feel accepted. My kids aren't the most easy to work with, and this is a place where they feel part of a family. The staff, and students have accepted them for who they are. No where else is like the firehouse, and my kids look forward to going each week." - Spark Studios Parent

Studio Leader, Shawn Kiehl teaching how to do Photoshop on a Thursday.

KEARNEY FOOD PANTRY Our mission is to feed the people of Kearney who need our help. Together we can make a difference in the lives of those that struggle with food availability and scarcity. 2019 was a big year for the pantry as we began planning a forever home. After serving 1,179 households in 2019 alone we need more space. Along with fundraising for our building we filed for our own 501(c) tax-exempt identification. In 2020 we plan to split from the KEC to be able to serve our Kearney community on our own. To each and every one of you who have donated your time or your money to help at the Pantry, thank you. To each client who has come through our door and allowed us to help, thank you. That may seem a weird thing to say, thank you, to the client we are helping. Normally they are the ones who say thank you to us. But it's gotta be hard to ask someone for help, especially someone you don't know. It's gotta be tough to walk through those doors and let a stranger into your life. So thank you for trusting us. Thank you for allowing the community to help you at this moment. This is what community is, neighbors, helping neighbors.

Volunteers help prepare several meals before clients arrive.

Food Pantry utilization remained strong with robust funding and volunteer support, serving 2,626 Unique Persons in 1,179 Unique Households in 2019. Partnered with Meals on Wheels to provide Blizzard Bags to 25 seniors. We also continued to feed children in need at the High School and the Jr. High School pantries during the school year. And to serve kids 3 to 18 years of age, during the summer with weekly food bags. A dedicated team of 30-40 volunteers helps the Food Pantry fulfill its mission of providing food for those in need.

"What a great asset to this community!! I am so impressed by the number of people in our community that partner as volunteers to this wonderful organization!!" - Community Supporter

Volunteers in action getting bags ready for the community.

EVENT ATTENDANCE Overall event attendance was approximately 8,650 in 2019, up from 8,350 in 2018, and 6,980 in 2017 with combined attendance at Wine and Chocolate, Farmers Market, Family Fun Days, Movies in the Park, Halloween Blast, and Magical Night events. Each event is to offer a special experience for our community. Our events are to focus on what our community is missing, and how we can help serve that need.

Event sponsors contributed $18,372 in 2019 compared to $15,382 in 2018 to the success of KEC events. This increase in event sponsorship allowed for new opportunities, along with big ideas for 2020 leading with a lighted Christmas parade with our A Magical night event in December.

Kids in Lions Park catching t-shirts at Movies in the Park event.

FIREHOUSE BOOKINGS Firehouse rentals peaked at $16,816 in 2019, up from $14,641 in 2018, $10,909 in 2017, $10,700 in 2016, and $8,500 in 2015. The number of bookings also increased to 510 bookings in 2019, up from 474 in 2018, and 411 in 2017. Our space continues to be open to our community. Each rental allows us to celebrate with our community as they host their birthday, bridal, and event celebrations. Renovations are anticipated in 2020 due to the increased traffic of community use.