by Kelly Rogge
When Patrick McCartney was planning for the Kansas City Kansas Community College Endowment Association’s gala, the possibility the Kansas City Royals would play in the post season was not even a consideration. However, the excitement the Royals brought to Kansas City only helped the gala surpass its fundraising goal for the first-year event.
“We factored in a lot of things when we were planning this event. The Royals being in the World Series was never considered,” said the executive director of the KCKCC Endowment Association. “But it was not a hindrance. If anything, I think it livened up the crowds for the auctions. There was a level of excitement that was brought into the room.”
More than 300 people attended the 4.0 Gala, presented by AT&T, Oct. 25 at Lake Quivira. In addition to a reception and dinner, there was a silent and live auction, presented by the Nigro Brothers as well as the presentation of two awards.
These were the Wyandotte Countian of the Year, given to former Mayor of the Unified Government Joe Reardon and the KCKCC Distinguished Alumni Award, given to Karen Orr, chief nursing officer for Providence Medical Center. The decision was also made to show Game 5 of the World Series during dinner to encourage people to still attend the event.
In total, the gala raised $65,345 for the KCKCC Endowment Association. McCartney said with an original goal of $45,000, he was thrilled with the result.
“Being our first event, I thought it was extremely successful,” he said. “It was fun, and a great opportunity to meet a lot of new people and help them become familiar with KCKCC and the Endowment Association.”
Dawanna Fangohr, professional assistant for the Endowment Association, said she feels KCKCC “broadened its horizons” with the success of the 4.0 Gala.
“Our goal is to make this the go to event in Wyandotte County,” she said. “I think we are on the road to doing that. Next year, we hope even more people come based on word of mouth and the type of auction items we are able to bring in.”
Those auction items included dinner with Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer and Kansas City T-Bones coach Frank White; a Playa del Carmen, Mexico Condo Getaway; a Proformance Golf Package; a Village West Staycation Package; a Kansas City sports ticket package and a Lidia’s Package compete with a chef’s menu dinner, among others. McCartney said the most popular was a Marco Island, Fla. Condo Getaway, which was auctioned twice for $2,600 each. A gift basket full of Kansas City Royals merchandise in the silent auction went for more than $400.
“It was a great venue, great weather. We really couldn’t have scripted it much better for our first time,” he said. “I don’t foresee any major changes for next year. There will be some tweaking here and there. Things can always be better to improve an event, but I don’t anticipate any major changes from what we did this year.”
AT&T was the presenting sponsor of the 4.0 Gala. In addition, Capitol Federal and Bank of Blue Valley signed on as major sponsors of the event.
For more information on the KCKCC Endowment Association, call 913-288-7675.
Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.