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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November Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

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

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative we launched last January. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in October we introduced the Johnson County Christmas Bureau and asked you to volunteer your time to the 2013 Holiday Shop. Today I want to shift your attention to the 9/11 Memorial which is being funded by the Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park.

The Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park was incorporated in 1995 for the purpose of supporting parks and recreation services for the City of Overland Park, Kansas. Their mission is to provide and promote art, recreation, nature, education, and culture that build community and enhances the quality of life. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised funds and accepted donations for capital improvements at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and the Public Art Master Plan. You might recognize some of their fundraising events which include: The Nutcracker Tea Party, Holiday Luminary Walk, Council President’s Arboretum Golf Tournament, Spring and Fall Plant Sale, Georgia’s Chicken Run, OP Farmstead Stampede 5K, Pumpkin Hallow, and Night of the Living Farm. Their largest fundraiser is Stems: A Garden Soiree, which is currently scheduled for June 28, 2014.

The list of projects fully or partially funded by contributions to the Foundation and its Friends groups is impressive. Among them, and located at the Overland Park Fire Training Center, is the 9/11 Memorial. Standing at the focal point of the 9/11 Memorial is a 14-foot steel beam from the World Trade Center. It weighs 5,600 pounds and is said to be one of the largest pieces of remains from the World Trade Center to be used as a memorial around the nation. Gifted to Overland Park after an application process spearheaded by Overland Park Firefighter, Trevor Miller, the beam is treated as remains, with great reverence, dignity and respect. The design for the 9/11 Memorial centers around the World Trade Center Artifact and has a two-fold mission: remembrance and education. As such, the memorial was designed so that on September 11, the sun’s light passes through a hole in the top of the metal, lighting a medallion on the memorial plaque that details the first flight hitting the World Trade Center. The light then moves to the other three flights’ plaques, lighting them at the precise times that they each crashed.

On September 11, 2012, the 9/11 Memorial at the Overland Park Fire Training Center dedicated its first phase. Phase one of the memorial included work and surface, as well as the erection of the steel artifact and the four education panels, that tell the stories of the flights that crashed on September 11, 2001. Recently, two additional design elements of the 9/11 Memorial received funding, the Victim’s Panel and the Memorial Benches. The remaining elements in the Memorial’s design include the Weeping Wall, the Donor’s Panel, and additional memorial lighting.

A donation from you will contribute to this final phase. To donate online, please visit http://arfop.donorshops.com/product/E12485E/contributiontothe911memorial.php. You can also text to give by texting Steel to 80888. This texting option will automatically add $10 to your cell phone bill.

Thank you for helping The Arts and Recreation Foundation of Overland Park fund a memorial that will help us remember and educate . My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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October Accelerent Breakfast powered by Haas & Wilkerson Insurance

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

I would like to thank my Accelerent Partners and their guests for embracing the Accelerent nonprofit initiative we launched last January. As a collective, we have made an impact in our community and have provided support to several local nonprofit organizations. At the breakfast in September we introduced Newhouse and asked you to support them by donating auction items for their annual signature fundraiser, House Party in Hollywood. If you didn’t get a chance to submit an auction item and are still interested in donating, please let me know. Today I want to shift your attention to Johnson County Christmas Bureau.

Founded in 1960, Johnson County Christmas Bureau is a standalone non-denominational United Way safety net agency. The program benefits low-income families and individuals at holiday time by providing food and gifts. The annual Holiday Shop, established in 1977, is held the first week in December at a donated location in Johnson County. Qualified low-income residents are scheduled by appointment to select groceries, toys, gifts, personal care items, and clothing for their families assisted by volunteers. Clients are referred by SRS, Catholic Community Services, Johnson County Human Services, Johnson County Mental Health, El Centro, schools, religious organizations and other agencies. All merchandise provided is new with the exception of gently worn coats and books. At the 2012 Holiday Shop, 3,461 families (12,965 individuals) were served during a nine day period in December. In addition, 642 nursing home residents were served. Clients reside in every zip code in Johnson County.

3,000 community volunteers donate their time from mid-November to mid-December to make the Holiday Shop a success. Please visit http://www.jccb.org/volunteer2013/ to request a date and time to volunteer for the 2013 JCCB Holiday Shop. If you are unable to donate time, please consider an in-kind donation. Items high on the wish list are warehouse storage, coats, food, personal care items, and teen gifts (sport balls, sleeping bags, curling irons, games, backpacks, and the like).

Thank you for helping Johnson County Christmas Bureau with their mission to provide holiday assistance to qualified, low income residents of Johnson County, Kansas. My team and I look forward to seeing you at a future Accelerent event.

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