Mayor Holland Joins Community to Celebrate Bethel's Bright Future
Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland will join the Bethel Neighborhood Center at 11:00 AM Saturday, April 8th for a special groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the successful fundraising campaign that will help renovate the center. Bethel, a non-profit organization located at 14 S. 7th Street in Kansas City, Kansas, will be able to serve more children and families in need, thanks to many generous donors who recognized the positive impact of improving and expanding the existing building.
The Bethel board launched the capital campaign in July 2014 to raise $2 million dollars. The purpose is to renovate the aging building, address safety concerns and expand the campus to provide additional social services and educational programs for children, their families and senior citizens.
The Unified Government contributed $131,000 for the new driveway and $28,000 for an environmental survey through a Brownfield Grant. Bethel is grateful to the churches, businesses, foundations, public, and private donors who came together and actually surpassed the capital campaign goal raising a grand total of $2,275,114 million dollars.
“This groundbreaking is a great reminder of what our community can do when it comes together to address a critical need,” Mayor/CEO Mark Holland said. “The Bethel Neighborhood Center has played an essential role in our community for more than a century. Its steadfast commitment to serving our more vulnerable residents is an inspiration and cause enough for celebration. I’m thrilled that this expansion will guarantee that Bethel will have the tools it needs to continue that service for many years and decades to come.”
Reverend Mang Sonna, Executive Director of the 105-year-old Bethel Neighborhood Center says, “Over the years, the ethnic makeup of our neighborhood has changed but our mission has not. We are improving the lives of more than 10-thousand participants annually. Bethel Center has always been known as a safe and fun place for all ages. We are so grateful to our donors for believing in our ministry and our dedicated staff who play a very important role in changing lives, one at a time. God is faithful in answering our prayers and in supplying ALL of our needs.”
The construction will be completed within 10 to 12 months and will include upgrades such as a new driveway enabling a safe drop-off and pick-up point for children and Seniors, more educational spaces to double the participation of students, expanded food pantry, upgraded restrooms, kitchen, heating and cooling systems and a new multipurpose center. We invite the community to join us for this celebration from 11 AM– 1 PM. Food served will feature delicacies from some of the ethnic groups helped at the center with Burmese, Bhutanese, Latin-American, Iraqi, Hmong, and Somali food.
Honorary Campaign co-chairwoman, Sandra Olivas of Bank of Labor also comments, “It was a blessing to work as a team with amazing volunteers who spent countless hours reaching out to local and regional donors. During the capital campaign, we were moved to tears by the selfless acts of donors who embraced a message of love and hope.”
“Many of our donors are new to Bethel including the Hall Family Foundation, W.T. Kemper Foundation, Mabee Foundation, the Sunderland Foundation, Jr. League of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties, numerous Corporate partners, and individual donors, says Marylou Reiter, Bethel Board Chair, “we can’t thank you enough for making this groundbreaking day possible for Bethel. Now it’s time to celebrate this extraordinary collaboration!”
About Bethel Neighborhood Center: Bethel opened its doors on April 1, 1911, as a mission center of the Women’s Baptist Home Mission Societies. The primary mission is to serve needy families living in Kansas City, Kansas. Today, more than 10,000 people in Wyandotte County are served annually with Bethel Services.