Giving Back

Style : When I was still pretty young, but thought I was pretty old, I started working at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.  I worked in the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership as a Grants Administrator.

Which, if you were inside the organization, meant I was in GA for CEL at EMKF.

If you were outside the organization, like my father, you had no idea what the heck I did other than not use the broadcasting degree you had paid for and you told people I was in marketing.

Which could not have been further from the truth.  But it was the type of thing that took a paragraph to explain rather than a word.  

One time someone asked me what I did, someone taking a survey on the street.  As I started to launch into the explanation, the poor dear began to get that line between her eyebrows and Mr. Blandings interrupted and said, "She's a teacher."

Ewing Kauffman was an amazing man who built an amazing business with the start up capital of his smarts and some shoe leather.  He believed in building yourself up and he believed in giving back.  He and his late wife, Muriel McBride Kauffman, both established significant foundations here in Kansas City.

One of the many gifts that was the result of the Kauffmans' commitment is the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Gardens at Kauffman Legacy Park.  Even with my history, I had not been by the gardens, but I stopped in last week on the advice of a friend.

It's incredibly beautiful and amazingly serene.  It will be, I think, a regular stop on the way to pick up carpool.  

The Kauffmans' resting places are here.  My friend who sometimes comments as Mrs. Grizwald worked with me at EMKF.  I told her I stopped by and was so sorry that I hadn't done so earlier.  She quickly emailed back, "Did you notice Mrs. K didn't put the year of her birth on her stone?  Atta girl."


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