June Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the June Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013.  As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations.  At the breakfast in May we introduced  Don Bosco Centers and encouraged you to help them with their wish list items.  Today I want to shift your attention to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Heart of America Chapter.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation serves the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) community, which includes people with CF and their families, volunteers, and donors in the entire state of Kansas and the western half of Missouri.  Cystic fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that primarily affects the lungs and digestive system.  An estimated 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide) have CF.  In people with CF, a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infections.  In addition, it obstructs the pancreas, stopping natural enzymes from helping the body break down food and absorb vital nutrients.  People with CF can have a variety of symptoms including very salty-tasting skin; persistent coughing, at times with phlegm;  frequent lung infections; wheezing or shortness of breath; poor growth and slow weight gain, in spite of a good appetite;  and frequent greasy, bulky stools or difficulty in bowel movements.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for CF. The Foundation funds lifesaving research and works to provide access to quality, specialized care and effective treatments for people with CF.  Nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Through its efforts, the life expectancy of a child with CF has doubled in the last 30 years, and research to find a cure is more promising than ever before.

The Heart of America Chapter volunteers plan, organize, and implement various fund-raising projects throughout the year. Their calendar of events includes: formal and informal dinner dances; a fund-raising walk, Great Strides; golf tournaments; a sporting clay tournament; bowling tournaments and many other wonderful events.  Today I want to invite you to participate in the Kansas City Wine Opener scheduled for August 28th at Union Station.  From wine novices to advanced wine enthusiasts, The Wine Openeris a casual and fun evening for all experience levels!   Savor great cuisine presented at festive tasting stations where the area’s hottest chefs prepare their specialties just for you.  Discover the marketplace where local and national purveyors of fine foods, wines, liquors, and wine-related items present interactive displays for your enjoyment.  Along with delicious food and wine pairings, and the sights and sounds of the marketplace, guests will be treated to lively auctions and entertainment.

Individual tickets are typically $70.  However, we are asking that you consider participating in the Kansas City Wine Opener Corporate Partner Program.  Corporate partner ticket holders are entitled to all the benefits of the standard ticket but at a discounted rate of $60 per ticket, $40 of which is tax deductible.  Contact Jillain Williams with the Heart of America chapter at 913.384.8997 if you are interested in participating.

Thank you for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative.  As a collective, we can make an impact in our community by providing support to local nonprofit organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Heart of America Chapter.

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May Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the May Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013.  As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations.  At the breakfast in April we introduced  Happy Bottoms and encouraged you to Make a Difference for Mother’s Day by participating in their Mother’s Day diaper drive happening this weekend.  Today I want to shift your attention to the Don Bosco Centers.

Located near Columbus Park in the northeast corridor of Kansas City, the Don Bosco Centers is closely tied to the neighborhood and dedicated to the many generations and ethnic groups of people in search of a better life. The mission of the Don Bosco Center empowers the immigrant and ethnically diverse population of all ages in the metropolitan area of Kansas City to be self-sufficient and contributing members of their community.

In an effort to fulfill this mission and continue meeting the needs of their diverse community, Don Bosco has structured the organization to offer two core programs, English as a Second Language and the Senior Center.  To view a brief video about Don Bosco Centers, click here:  http://youtu.be/GTs-sXNZvks.

Don Bosco’s English as a Second Language program touches over 830 immigrants and refugees each day.  It is the largest and most comprehensive English-learning program of its kind available in the Kansas City metro area.   By teaching English, Don Bosco provides people with a foundation to continue their learning and obtain or improve their employment.  English classes are the first step toward success for many people and their families.  Without it, citizenship is nearly impossible, as is their success in this nation.

In addition to the ESL program, Don Bosco runs The Senior Center and its mission is to promote the emotional, physical and economical well-being of older adults by providing meals, transportation, fellowship, and activities that promote health, education and recreation.  In addition, the participation of senior adults in all aspects of community life is encouraged, thereby improving the quality of life and maintaining the highest level of independence.  Clients are eligible for services if they are over 60 years of age or are physically or mentally disabled.  More than 85% of their clients are considered low income and a significant number reside in low income senior housing.

The Senior Center’s meal service program provides a hot, nutritious lunch through three venues.  Each weekday, an on-site meal is prepared for approximately 145 seniors at the Center.  Part-time drivers deliver lunch to approximately 275 homebound individuals, and meals are delivered to three smaller senior centers serving an average of 185 individuals.  For many, this meal is the only one they will have each day.

Today I ask that you consider donating in kind to the Don Bosco Centers.  Their need is great and their wish list includes items including but not limited to: a delivery vehicle, a reach in refrigerator, insulated meal carriers, coolers, food carts, a television, a popcorn popper, pool tables, drinking fountains, walkie-talkies, schools supplies, and the installation of ramps for their school.

Thank you for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative.  As a collective, we can make an impact in our community by providing support to local nonprofit organizations like the Don Bosco Centers.

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April Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the April Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in March we introduced the Big Brothers Big Sisters and encouraged you to support Bowl for Kids’ Sake by forming a bowling team. Today I want to shift your attention to HappyBottoms.

Happy Bottoms is Kansas City’s only diaper bank. In only its third year, HappyBottoms has grown from providing diapers to 148 children at 8 local partner agencies in April 2011 to providing diapers to 1,457 children at 22 local partner agencies in February 2014. Last year, HappyBottoms distributed 665,500 diapers to local children, 77% of which live at or below federal poverty level.

Based on 2012 poverty statistics, there are an estimated 17,000 children in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area who need diaper assistance. Diapers are not covered by any safety net program such as food stamps (SNAP) or Medicaid nor can they be purchased through WIC. As a mother of a two year old, I can attest to the fact that diapers are expensive costing $80-$100 per month! Low income families often cut back on food, utility bills, medical expenses and rent in an effort to afford products including diapers.

Cloth diapers, while considered environmentally and economically friendly, are not an option for many of the families served as they do not have access to a washer and dryer at home. Also, many laundromats do not allow cloth diapers to be washed in their machines. Additionally, day care centers don’t accept cloth diapers. Without childcare, parents cannot go to work consistently. Children who participate in early childhood education are 2.5 times more likely to go onto higher education.

Clean, dry diapers are important to the health and well-being of growing babies. If a family can’t afford diapers, a baby will spend extended periods, sometimes days, in the same soiled diaper. This amplifies the risk of numerous health problems, including skin and urinary tract infections. Unhappy babies are crying babies. Crying babies are more likely to be abused by already stressed-out caregivers.

The demand for diapers still outweighs supply with a “wait list” of 30 agencies with over 2,200 children. Today I ask that you Make a Difference for Mother’s Day an participate in the Mother’s Day Diaper Drive. On May 9th and 10th, four Price Chopper stores strategically located throughout the city will be encouraging people to donate diapers or dollars to HappyBottoms in honor of their own mother for Mother’s Day! Not only will you help babies in need and support a mother in need, but you can also do it in honor of your own mother or a special woman in your life. Thank you for helping HappyBottoms with their mission to work with partners to provide diapers to low income families through donations, both financial and in-kind while raising awareness of the need for diapers. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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March Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the March Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in February we introduced the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and encouraged you to go visit the museum. Today I want to shift your attention to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City.

Big Brothers Big Sisters offers a unique and rewarding volunteer experience that matches school aged kids in a one-to-one friendship with an adult volunteer. They target the children who need us most, including those living in single parent homes, growing up in poverty and coping with parental incarceration. Starting something begins with finding a great match between a Big and a Little. Making these matches, and performing all the background work involved with them, is possible because of donations from people like you.

Bowl for Kids’ Sake is Big Brothers Big Sisters’ signature fundraising event, attracting over 2,000 participants, 15,000 donors and raising $475,000 annually. 2014 marks the 30th anniversary for Bowl for Kids’ Sake here in Kansas City and as such, the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ staff and board of directors have set a lofty goal to get 30 new companies involved with Bowl for Kids’ Sake.

How can you and your company get involved? It’s easy-form a team or two! There are 18 bowling sessions during the second and third week of July at both Park Lanes in Shawnee and Z-Strike in the Power & Light District. Sessions will be scheduled during the week, on weekends, in the morning, during the work day and after work. Teams are each given an online webpage and pledge sheets to collect donations to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters leading up to the event. On the day of your chosen bowling session, you just show up with your team, hand in your collected donations and enjoy free cosmic bowling, beer, pizza and great prizes.

Accelerent Partners: Big Brothers Big Sisters has created a competition and set aside special bowling sessions just for us. I don’t know about you, but I love a highly competitive, I mean friendly competition. Haas & Wilkerson Insurance participated in this challenge last summer and we had a blast. I can’t wait to see who will win the traveling trophy this year!

If you or your company would like to form a bowling team, please let me know by replying to this email. I will in turn alert BBBS and they will reach out to you.

Thank you for helping Big Brothers Big Sisters with their mission to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one – to- one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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February Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the February Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in January we introduced Kansas City Region of the American Red Cross and their Ready Rating program. Today I want to shift your attention to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum was founded in 1990 by a group of local historians, business leaders and former Negro Leagues baseball players, including Kansas City Monarchs outfielder, Alfred Surratt,Buck O’Neil, and Horace Peterson. The museum is a privately funded, nonprofit dedicated to preserving the rich history of African American Baseball and is located in the heart of the 18th & Vine historic district.

The museum chronologically charts the progress of the Negro leagues with informative placards and interactive exhibits. Its walls are lined with pictures of players, owners, and officials of Negro league baseball from the Negro National League of 1920 through the Negro American League, which lasted until 1960. As one progresses through the exhibit, one moves forward through the history of Black baseball. In one area of the museum, there are lockers set up for some of the legends of the Negro leagues. One can see game-worn uniforms, cleats, gloves, and other artifacts from stars such as Josh Gibson, the "Black Babe Ruth." By far the most impressive aspect of the museum, however, is the Field of Legends. Separated from the visitor at the entrance by chicken wire, it is accessible only at the end of the tour. One can walk onto a field adorned by nearly life-sized bronze statues of twelve figures from Negro league history.

As we begin to think about another season of baseball in Kansas City, take a few hours and go visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Thank you for helping the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum with their mission to preserve the rich history of African-American Baseball.. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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January Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

Thank you for attending the January Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance.

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative launched in January 2013. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in November we introduced The Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park and asked you to support the 9/11 Memorial at the Overland Park Fire Training Center. Today I want to shift your attention to the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. Today, the supporters, volunteers and employees of the American Red Cross provide compassionate care in five critical areas:

· People affected by disasters in America

· Support for members of the military and their families

· Blood collection, processing and distribution

· Health and safety education and training

· International relief and development

Locally, the Kansas City Region of the American Red Cross responds to more than 700 fires and local disasters on an annual basis. They helped more than 1000 families last year with food, clothing and shelter after they experienced a disaster. Additionally, they serve as the emergency communications for active military and provide 1300 messages between family members and their loved ones serving our country each year. This includes messages about family illness or even setting up a trip home for a soldier to see the birth of his first child.

You are aware of the American Red Cross’s local and national response efforts as it relates to disasters. What you may not know is they also act much like the risk management team at Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, but on a larger scale. The Red Cross prioritizes working with communities on preparedness, and being ready in the event of a disaster. Is your business or organization prepared for emergency? If you’re like most of us, the answer is no, you’re not as prepared as you would like to be. To help business like yours and mine, the American Red Cross has created something called Ready Rating.

The Ready Rating program is a free, self-guided program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Members complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness and have access to tools, tips and best practices to help improve their level of preparedness. The 123 Assessment has been aligned with the federal government’s Private Sector Preparedness standards and are grounded in scientific research, best practices and/or expert opinion from respected professionals representing multiple disciplines and perspectives.

Today, rather than ask you do something for the American Red Cross, the American Red Cross would like to do something for you by providing free access to the Ready Rating program. Please visit www.readyrating.org to learn more.

Thank you. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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KCPT Difference Maker: Sleepyhead Beds

Last March, we chose to focus on Sleepyhead Beds as our Accelerent KC Non Profit of the month. Last night on KCPT, we sponsored a segment on The Local Show that showcased Sleepyhead Beds as a Difference Maker in our community. KCPT did an excellent job of showing our community all the good work that Sleepyhead Beds does to help keep mattresses out of landfills and get mattresses into homes so that children have a place in their home to sleep. To view the segment, click here: http://www.kcpt.org/news/difference-maker-sleepyhead-beds/.

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