Americana Music Academy is excited to host the 41st annual Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships in South Park. The event will take place the 4th Sunday of August, 8/28/22. This festival draws nearly 1,000 people to beautiful downtown Lawrence every year and with additional funding we plan to provide larger prizes for contest winners, expand our marketing outreach and hire regional bands with larger draws. This event is and always has been FREE for the public and welcoming for families and children with events for Kansans of all ages. With your support we can keep this event free and provide a better experience for the people of Lawrence!
We are seeking operational funds to continue to offer 100% of our long-established choral music programming to kids in Lawrence and surrounding communities. We currently have enrollment in five choirs for kids age 3yrs-10th grade. The 2021-22 season has brought with it unusually low enrollment numbers, currently more than 50% down from a typical year. We attribute this to public concern of COVID, particularly for parents with kids who were not old enough to be vaccinated at the beginning of the season. We anticipated some drop in enrollment and considered this year to be a "bridge year" to build our programming back up in-person from an exclusively online program in the 2020-21 season. We created our annual budget accordingly, however, we did not anticipate this much of a drop. Tuition is our biggest source of income and is what we base our payroll allocations, and other operational expenses upon. However, to run our choirs even with smaller enrollment, we must have staff to run these programs and all the operational duties of the organization. With help from business sponsors, individual donors, and grant opportunities, we have been able to continue all our programming this year, but we need continued support as we grow back to our regular enrollment over the next few years. Many of our families have faced a multitude of challenges since COVID began, and kids have spent more time than ever in solitude and isolation which has consequently induced fear, anxiety, and uncertainty in so many. Though we have always believed that children gain lifelong benefits participating in the arts and choral music, it is even more imperative now that kids have a creative outlet and a place to connect with others. As COVID wanes, and activities resume, we must continue to provide opportunity for kids to re-engage and reconnect. We are aware that many families are still recovering financially from the past two years, and as always, we want all children to have this opportunity equally regardless of circumstances financially or otherwise. We are committed to be able to provide this experience to them now and in the future. This includes keeping tuition affordable and offering tuition scholarships. We are asking you, our friends, and neighbors in the community to help LCC meet critical financial needs during this challenging time to continue to offer choral music education to our youth as we have for more than 30 years. Thank you for valuing our mission, your support is greatly appreciated!
We are excited to announce that the Ballard Center has been awarded valuable tax credits in the amount of $168,932.00! The Community Service Tax Credit Program provides non-profit organizations like the Ballard Center an opportunity to undertake major building renovation projects. Tax credits will be used to pay for one-time renovations and maintenance projects to keep our 107-year-old building operating for years to come. Specific projects include replacement of furnaces and air conditioners, replacement of our wheelchair ramp with a more accessible modern lift system, a much-needed new roof, and renovation of an unfinished basement for office space. An example of how tax credits work would be an individual or business donating $5,000. They will receive a 50% tax credit, or $2,500 that can be used towards their State of KS tax liability or taken as a refund. The minimum amount that can be donated is $250. A major benefit to the tax credit program is that your tax dollars stay right here in the Douglas County community.
The ongoing pandemic has drastically impacted the way that the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence delivers youth programs and services, requiring us to pivot quickly to respond to the constantly changing needs of our members and their families. Unrestricted gifts afford us the opportunity to be nimble and adapt quickly to address our members' needs. Serving 3,000 youth annually across our 13 elementary programs and our teen program for 6th-12th graders requires a tremendous amount of financial resources. Your investment helps our members reach their full potential and discover their great futures by achieving priority outcomes in the areas of academic success, healthy lifestyles and good character and citizenship. Investing in their great futures is an investment in our community's great future! Thank you for being a champion for Lawrence youth! Please take a few minutes to watch a short video to learn more about our 5-year strategic plan. It features some of our very own Club kids!
54 children in Douglas County who have experienced abuse or neglect are currently waiting for a safe, caring adult to serve as their Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer. CASA volunteers are often the only trusted, stable adults looking out for the best interest of kids in the Douglas County child welfare system while the temporary caregivers, social workers and other professionals in their lives come and go. CASA is working hard to grow in order to recruit, train, and support more volunteer advocates to serve more children this year while they wait for safe, permanent homes. This $10,000 project will allow CASA to provide a trained, safe, and caring adult to 4 more children on our waiting list for an entire year.
Van Go, Inc. offers a variety of programs and services to Douglas County youth, ages 14-24. Our comprehensive, 'earn while you learn' employment programs use art as the vehicle to provide employability skills training, health and wellness education, and social service support. Every year Van Go spends $40,000 on art supplies for our programs. Providing our youth with access to a comprehensive toolbox of art materials allows them the freedom to explore a variety of media and materials in order to better facilitate their self-expression and share their unique vision within this community. When youth are provided a framework for success and the materials needed to do their job effectively, their self-esteem blossoms. Quality also matters: using high quality art supplies not only allows for better safety, efficiency, and consistency in Van Go's work, but it also sends a message to our Apprentice Artists that their work is worthy of investing in. The materials they use now will allow their creative efforts to be preserved in the community for years to come. Your investment in quality art supplies will help us ensure that our young artists are given the best tools to express themselves, build self-confidence, generate lasting artwork, and create visions of success.
You value land and our natural heritage. We guard those values. The Kansas Land Trust preserves special places in Kansas. We protect prairie, stream banks, woodlands, and habitats for wildlife and pollinators. Together with you the Kansas Land Trust will forever protect these 70 acres of prairie and woodlands along the southern border of Clinton Lake. Conserving this green buffer protects the water quality in Clinton Lake and safeguards our drinking water supply. Your gift also shields this natural landscape from future development providing a biodiverse habitat for wildlife. With your investment, preserving Clinton Lake's scenic shoreline enhances the viewscape for recreational visitors of the surrounding park. Your gift keeps giving leaving this beautiful conservation legacy.
Family Promise of Lawrence serves families in a housing crisis. Since shelter bed space in Douglas County is so limited, FPL initiated a Diversion from Shelter Program in 2020. The purpose of this program is help a family avoid having to enter shelter as an initial solution. The Program includes short term interventions intended to facilitate stabilization of families who are seeking shelter with flexible funding to preserve their independence and avoid the trauma of entering shelter. FPL received a matching grant opportunity from a partnership with the National FP office and Gerstner Philanthropies, called, Helping Hands Diversion Grant. We will receive $15,000 for support of our Diversion from Shelter Program once we have received a community match of at least $5000.
We are an all volunteer organization serving the men and women of Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical, the Lawrence Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Douglas County Emergency Communication Center, KU Police Department and Baldwin City Police Department - 24/7, 365 day a year. We have become a trusted source of comfort and encouragement after critical calls. We assist officers when called to deliver death notifications to families who have lost loved ones. We also provide training for officers to prepare them for the emotional trauma they are exposed to in the performance of their duties. Members of our organization have been providing chaplain care to first responders since 1997. However on May 1, 2021, the chaplains formed the First Responder Chaplain Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Chaplain services are provided at no charge to each agency. But as a new organization, we have numerous expenses such as uniforms, professional liability insurance, annual chaplain membership fees, fees to attend regional and national chaplain training, office supplies and equipment to name a few. Our chaplains were invited to accompany first responders on Massachusetts Street, each time KU won on their way to the NCAA National Championship. As chaplains, we are committed to being with them in the 'good times' as well as 'the bad'.
Senior Wheels uses RoutingBox dispatching software to schedule rides for seniors and communicate to drivers their assigned routes and senior rider pick-ups and drop-offs. This software also supports the necessary reporting for KDOT grants and other tracking.
Tenants to Homeowners Inc. is taking the long view on sustainability by constructing energy efficient affordable housing in Douglas County. Since 2005, our builders have utilized Energy Star appliances, superior quality insulation, and efficient windows to ensure low utility costs for our tenants and homeowners. To make TTH homes even more affordable, we would like to include solar in all new TTH construction. This is our long-term investment towards a more sustainable and equitable future for workforce households. Your contribution will support solar energy in six new homes at our Beatnik Court development.