KEC 2020 Annual Report

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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



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DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT 2020 was a year full of challenges. No one could have foreseen the unfortunate circumstances of the year. However, we did not let the pandemic stand in our way of delivering programming, events, and resources. If this year could have a motto, it would have been "adaptability." We monitored, readjusted, and adapted to the situation to continue to live out our mission statement. We had to step into action to ensure that you, our community, still moves forward.

Through the struggles, we still had many accomplishments this year. We planned for our first ever Lighted Christmas Parade celebration. We held numerous Drive-In theater events at Jesse James Park, along with expanding our summer pass programming to two weeks instead of one to keep up with the need. We learned a lot and are ready to see what 2021 will throw our way.

KURT HAMILTON Executive Director

FINANCIAL OVERVIEW 2020 was year full of ups and downs. As 2020 comes to a close, we are grateful that we still had a positive year. Thank you to each city, business, and individual that helps us keep our doors open.



SENIOR PROGRAMMING Our senior programming experienced a 54% decrease in utilization with 2,146 visits in 2020 compared to 3,972 visits in 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 3,006 visits in 2018, and 2,811 visits in 2017. Tech CafÊ expanded its community resource offerings by offering we care calls, food delivery, and new virtual options. Thanks to funding from Clay County Senior Services and the City of Kearney, we will add transportation services in 2021.

"When can we come back? I miss the firehouse ladies and my friends each week with our weekly gatherings." - Judy Acuff, Participant

Ruth Turnage gets ready for a ride thanks to our Kearney Rides Program!

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 2020 with thirty-eight participants and finished with 29 participants. Summer Pass was brought back as a two-week themed adventure series. Sixty-three children attended the program, and enjoyed water games, laser maze, and making their own obstacle courses.

"This place gives my high school son not only a fun job, but practical skills that will apply to any workplace. I am excited that he is working here instead of fast food, and can build his resume to help him with his next steps. - SparkStudios Studio Leader Parent

Two students learn more about video editing in our Tech Cafe.


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. 2020 was a big year for the pantry as we found a forever home. Along with fundraising for the new building, we filed for our own 501(c) tax-exempt identification accepted in June. Along with finding a building, we celebrated a record breaking year as we help families through the pandemic. Our numbers have risen, and right in time as we can serve them out of our brand new space more than double from our previous location. “We are so fortunate to have volunteers who come in and fill the shopping needs of clients. We have volunteers who go to Harvesters once a week, and it all works for our community.� It takes a team to help ensure that no one goes hungry. Thank you, KEC, for all your support throughout the years.

Food Pantry's new forever home taking over the old Breathe Deep Building.

Food Pantry utilization remained strong with robust funding and volunteer support, serving over 2,600 Unique Persons in 2,200 Unique Households in 2020. 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.

“This really was a perfect fit for both of us. It makes my heart happy. I know it was a special place for me and it will be for the pantry as well. They have some space to organize and move around.� - Lissi Staab, Breathe Deep Owner

Volunteers in action doing deliveries to help counter the pandemic.


Missouri Main Street 4-Point Approach Diagram

In 2020 we reexamined our Missouri Main Street arm of our organization. In this we re-created the four committees: Design, Economic Vitality, Organization and Promotion. Each committee meets once a month and tackles different problems for Kearney at all angles. This helps carry the burden of the load as each are trying to accomplish specific objectives. This approach is what will lead to the new project after the Lions Park Redevelopment Plan is completed in 2021.

The Lions Park Development plan has been one in the making for several years. 2020 starts the groundbreaking of a new playground, trails, splashpad, and more for our downtown Kearney. This 1.2 million dollar investment in Downtown will feature local amenities to promote the idea of shopping, eating, and coming downtown. The KEC worked hard to raise $44,535.57 towards the project. We will continue wave two of fundraising for additional projects throughout the rest of the project.

Lions Park Master Plan

The project is scheduled to be done in May of 2021. This new addition will not only bring new foot traffic to our area, but provide a valuable amenity to the citizens that live in our great town.

EVENT ATTENDANCE Overall event attendance was approximately 9,100 in 2020, up from 8,650 in 2019, 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 $20,500 in 2020 compared to $18,372 in 2019 to the success of KEC events. This increase in event sponsorship allowed for new opportunities, along with big ideas for 2021 including a Ladies Night Out Piccadilly and Beer Crawl being added to our event agenda.

Spiderman makes an appearance at the Firehouse Halloween Blast.

FIREHOUSE BOOKINGS Firehouse rentals fell to $9,657 in 2020. This revenue loss is compared to earlier years totals of $16,816 in 2019, $14,641 in 2018, $10,909 in 2017, $10,700 in 2016, and $8,500 in 2015. The number of bookings also decreased to 265 down from 510 bookings in 2019, 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. Rentals are down with the building being closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We expect a higher rate of traffic with our rentals in 2021 with the Lions Park Renovations Project anticipated to be finished in the middle of the year.