By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Reporter
KANSAS CITY — Just two years ago, a group of young Catholic professionals with the desire to assist Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph, formed the agency’s Junior Board. The Junior Board is an organization of young adults in their 20s and 30s, committed to promoting the mission and work of Catholic Charities, who live out that commitment through volunteer service and social networking while enhancing their faith through stewardship and spiritual enrichment.
Through networking, word of mouth and personal invitation, more and more young adults just launching their professional careers came together, attracted by opportunities for service, spirituality and socializing. It became a bridge over the gap for young professionals who don’t yet have the resources to donate financially.
Members came together, and they wanted to give back, which became their motto. With children in mind, they began thinking of raising funds to benefit Catholic Charities Children and Family services. All the organizing, brainstorming and planning is now completed and the evening of April 21 will usher in the Junior Board’s inaugural fundraiser, Soiree at Science City, 7:30 – midnight, Science City at Union Station, Pershing Road at Main Street, Kansas City. Tickets are $50.
That evening, Science City will become a playground for adults, said Josh McCaig, Catholic Charities Junior Board President. With their focus on helping children, he said the Junior Board was grateful to Science City for partnering with them for the event. Soiree attendees will be able to take a walk through a human blood vessel, experience landing a space shuttle, dig up fossils, solve crimes — all that Science City offers.
But it won’t be jeans and t-shirts fare. Junior Board member Stephanie Koch explained, “A soiree is traditionally defined as a social gathering held in the later hours of the day, usually for a particular purpose. It also has a fancier connotation that … was most appropriate for our event. This isn’t going to be a typical Saturday night, but rather a classy evening worthy of fun accoutrements; the opportunity to taste foods from some of the finest restaurants in Kansas City, hear live music pleasing to all ages, dancing, as well as the company of people who believe in the virtue of charity and love to have a good time.”
Young and maybe not so young adults are invited to wear “creative cocktail” apparel; enjoy wine tasting from local Missouri and Kansas wineries, cocktails and foods from area restaurants and dancing to Flashback KC, who will play all evening long.
Proceeds from Soiree at Science City will benefit Catholic Charities Children and Family Services, through the Junior Board’s “Hope for Kids” Fund.
“Hope for Kids” works with Children and Family Services programs, McCaig said, providing extra resources to help a child or a group of children have or do something they might not be able to otherwise.
“We have a little flexibility in how the proceeds will be dispersed,” he said. McCaig explained that the fund might provide scholarships to help kids go to summer camp, as well as swimsuits and other items to make camp even more enjoyable.
Soiree at Science City is not the first activity the Junior Board has participated in. Board member Suzanne Prendergast said that through volunteer service, social networking, stewardship and spiritual enrichment, the board has been involved in a variety of activities such as occasional happy hours, family-friendly get-togethers, service projects and Mass. “It has been a very rewarding experience,” she said.
And thanks to the generosity of Soiree sponsors, McCaig said the majority of the Junior Board’s costs are covered, freeing up more proceeds to benefit the Hope for Kids fund. The funds will be spread out through the year to benefit as many children as possible, he added.
McCaig said, “Soiree at Science City will be a fun night in an environment where we can remember our own childhoods, with the intention of doing our part to help some child or children out there do something they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do.”
There is still time to purchase tickets. To register, or for additional information, visit www.kcsoiree.org, or email JMcCaig@Polsinelli.com.