Inaugural Feed Lee’s Summit Event Helps Neighbors in Need

Gail BryantWhat's Happening

More than 500 people packed John Knox Pavilion for the first-ever Feed Lee’s Summit Event. The banquet, held on November 14th, benefitted the four primary food providers in Lee’s Summit: Coldwater, Lee’s Summit Social Services, One Good Meal and Meals on Wheels.

The Sunrise Rotary Club was the organizer for the event, which replaced the group’s annual Empty Bowls banquet. Chair David Fritz said the change was meant to raise more money and bring greater awareness to the need within the Lee’s Summit community.

“Lee’s Summit is an affluent community and yet six to eight percent of our community needs our help,” said Fritz.

Gaining Support

With that in mind, Fritz said the Rotary went to work securing the event space, gathering auction items and locking in sponsorships. Fritz said John Knox Village, Saint Luke’s East and Better Homes & Garden were all instrumental in making the event financially feasible and lending credibility to the event. Another bonus was a proclamation from Mayor Bill Baird, deeming November as Feed Lee’s Summit month.

“We were amazed at how many people wanted to support us right out of the gate,” said Fritz.

Although the event was rooted in philanthropic spirit, beneficiaries were required to contribute to Feed Lee’s Summit’s success. Each group was asked to sell at least 25 tickets, provide 2-3 silent auction items and provide 2-3 volunteers for the event. They also helped with promoting the event.

Increasing Impact

The final dollar amount raised at Feed Lee’s Summit has yet to be announced, but Fritz estimates the Rotary will triple what it raised with its now-retired Empty Bowls event. The Rotary is already planning next year’s Feed Lee’s Summit, which will be held November 12th, 2020 at the Pavilion at John Knox Village. 

Fritz said he is proud of the effort to give back to people in the Lee’s Summit community.

“If we’ve made someone’s life just a little better, then it was well worth the effort.”