Leadership Olathe is a program of the Olathe Chamber of Commerce that has been identifying, educating, inspiring and engaging leaders since 1982. It is designed to hone the skills of key leaders and equip them to help meet the challenges and opportunities of the community.
For their community service project, the 2015 Leadership Olathe Class chose to help local children in foster care through KVC Health Systems. The class reached out to the community for donated items to fill Welcome Boxes and First Night Bags for children ages 11 to 18. They also requested monetary donations and help in spreading the word of their efforts.
When a child is removed from their home by the courts due to child abuse, neglect or other challenges at home, KVC has four hours to match them with a caring foster family. Imagine the anxiety a child feels after being removed from their home and moving somewhere new. KVC provides Welcome Boxes for children to occupy their time while waiting for placement and take to their new foster home. Some children enter foster care with few to no belongings, so First Night Bags contain a variety of items such as clothing, activity books, toys, stuffed animals and personal hygiene items.
The class accepted donations through April 15, and thanks to donations from families, friends and neighbors, the class was able to assemble 140 Welcome Boxes and First Night Bags! They also raised over $5,300 in cash donations. A job well done by the 2015 Leadership Olathe Class and thank you for helping local children in foster care!
“I am honored to represent KVC Health Systems in Leadership Olathe’s Class of 2015. This experience has also been an exciting opportunity to share the impact KVC has on the children and communities we serve. We are fortunate to be the recipient of Leadership Olathe’s community service project, but the children who will receive the Welcome Boxes and First Night Bags are the ones who will really benefit from the generosity of our community.” -Lauren Lueck, Grant Consultant for KVC
Members of the 2015 Leadership Olathe Class include:
Bryan Beck, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
Rachelle Breckenridge, City of Olathe
Scott Case, Enterprise Bank & Trust/Olathe Station
Michelle Cormack, Garmin International, Inc.
Lanie Fasulo, Olathe Public Schools
LeEtta Felter, AAG Investments
Zack Fields, Olathe South High School Student
Tara Flackus, Olathe Medical Center
Ryan Freeman, AT&T
Zach Hardy, Olathe Public Works
Lorrie Hill, HDR Engineering, Inc.
Dan Hutchins, Olathe Chamber of Commerce
Paige Jewell, Olathe Northwest High School Student
Susie Kaufman, Olathe South High School Student
Derek Kautio, McCownGordon Construction, L.L.C.
Jamie Kempfe, New Century Field House
Lauren Lueck, KVC Health Systems, Inc.
Maddie Manning, Olathe East High School Student
Joe Mejia, Olathe Northwest High School Student
Jana Merfen, CommunityAmerica Credit Union/Ridge Drive
Aaron Miller, Havencroft Elementary School Principal
Donna Miller, Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Camela Noonan-Green, Shawnee Mission Outpatient Pavilion
Kathy Owens, Olathe Chamber of Commerce
Michele Payne, Senator Jerry Moran
Dave Schroeder, Olathe Police Department
Leslie Sewester, A Connecting Pointe
Kennedy Snyder, Olathe North High School Student
Troy Snyder, College Church of The Nazarene
Ashley Stuerke, Terracon Consultants, Inc. Lenexa Office
Mario Thomas, Olathe Community Center
Sheryl Wagner, Terracon Consultants, Inc. Corporate
Tim Wedan, INTRUST Bank/Olathe
Phil Wegman, Johnson County Community College
Benjamin Will, HNTB Corporation