By Jane Lee | Rotary Club 13

More than 1,500 volunteers, primarily Rotarians, braved the early morning rush hour on street corners throughout the metro area April 13 to sell special editions of The Kansas City Star in the massive effort to raise funds for the Rotary Youth Camp and other charities for children. 

It was the 25th annual Greater Kansas City Day. But this was no unlucky Friday the 13th. Kansas Citians donated more than $100,000 (and growing) in what is the city’s largest single-day fund-raising event based on the number of volunteers. 
Some motorists paid $1, others $20 or more, for a copy of the newspapers donated by The Kansas City Star.

“Thunder claps at 5 in the morning when most volunteers are arising to sell papers is not a good thing!” said Club 13’s Mike Horton, KC Day steering committee chair. “In spite of this, most volunteers donned their rain gear and hit the streets.  Fortunately, where there was rain it was brief and sales were a great success!”

Rotarians were joined by local celebrities, sports stars, community leaders and other volunteers in raising money for the charities. The largest recipient, however, is Club 13’s youth camp on Lake Jacomo that offers free camping experiences to disabled children and disadvantaged youth.  But there’s more to the event than street corner sales. A Presenting Sponsor, corporate sponsorships and bundle sales allow the business community to participate.
This year the Presenting Sponsor was Professional Paint and Coatings and Benjamin Moore paints, which donated $15,000 to the event. Corporate sponsors receive free game tickets and a number of other benefits for their donations, and bundle sales allow businesses to purchase bulk copies of the special edition for delivery to their locations. 

Greater Kansas City Day always coincides with the Royals’ home opener. All volunteers received free tickets to the game with the Cleveland Indians, then were treated to food, music and fun at Kauffman Stadium the following day. 

A new feature this year is the “KC Day $10K Giveaway” being promoted on Anyone can log into the website, create a donor page and share it with his/her social networks. Every dollar raised on the individual’s donor page counts as an entry in the $10,000 give-away.

Don’t worry, there’s still time to enter. The promotion runs through May 20. Greater Kansas City Day was organized by Club 13 in 1988 to raise funds for the youth camp. Since then, more than $2 million has been raised for children’s charities in the area.

Other organizations benefiting from this year’s event include:
• Hope House
• Hope Haven of Cass County
• Heart of America Boy Scouts
• Phoenix Family Housing
• Raytown Emergency Assistance
• Community Family Support
• Sunflower House
• Northland Christmas Store

Honorary chairs of this year’s event were Mi-Ai Parrish, president and publisher of The Kansas City Star, and George Brett, Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, All Star player and a Royals’ legend.    

“Greater Kansas City Day brings together over 30 Rotary clubs and the Centurions for a wonderful fund-raising event for underprivileged children,” Horton added. “It has become a great tradition to kick-off the baseball season and spring!”