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Lead 2011 Plans ‘Big Give’ For Children

KSCB News - March 2, 2011 8:07 am

It is a joy to see a child with special needs who is able to do the same things as other children, such as read, play on the jungle gym, or even something as simple as going through a lunch line.

The LEAD 2011 class (formerly Leadership Liberal) wants to help make those actions which many of us take for granted a possibility for the children of not only this community, but also for those who visit Liberal.

“Each year, LEAD classes plan a project that they feel will make a difference,” said LEAD 2011 class member and project facilitator J.R. Doney, Director of Marketing Seward County Community College/Area Technical School. “This year’s class is working on the completion of their Big Give project by working towards the purchase of playground and other equipment that is specially designed with special needs children in mind.”

The class has seed money of $1,000 – a good start, but not enough to make the completion of the project a reality. Class members have been working quickly to raise the needed funds.

“We are planning a 3-on-3 tournament for March 19 at Sunflower Intermediate School in Liberal,” Doney said. “During this tournament we will also have a yard sale and will be serving hot dogs and hamburgers.”

Teams are needed for the tournament.

“We will have three divisions in the tournament for both men and women,” Doney said. “There will be a 6th through 8th grade division, a high school division and an adult division.”

Three players are needed for each team and each team will pay a $30 entry fee. If a team would like to have a fourth player as a substitute, they can do so, but there will be an additional fee of $10. Individuals can also sign up who do not have a team and LEAD members will work to place them with a team where possible.

All players in the top three teams will receive a medal for participating. The medals will be donated by Seward County Community College/Area Technical School.

Class members need yard sale items for that day as well.

“If you have anything you would like to donate to our event, we will be announcing more information later as to where you can bring them,” Doney said. “Anything that is not sold at the sale will then be donated to the Stepping Stone Shelter.”

The members of LEAD have already been picking up sponsors for their fundraiser, but are looking for more.

“National Beef will be supplying the hamburger and hotdogs for that day, Great Western Dining will provide drinks and Seward County Broadcasting, KKBS and Southwest Medical Center are also getting involved,” Doney said. “We do need more sponsors who either want to donate in-kind items or cash.”

What is their goal with this project?

“Children with special needs should be treated, as much as possible, like any other child,” said class member Nancy Kletecka, Public Relations Director at Southwest Medical Center. “It is unfair to the child when he or she is not allowed to compete or participate in activities and instead are left on the sidelines only to dream of what they would like to do. Our world is mainly inhabited by people with the ability to see, to hear, to speak, and to move about freely. Children with special needs should have the ability to meet the standards of the so-called ‘normal’ world while they are growing up so they can gain confidence and independence, and it is our hope that by providing them with this kind of equipment we can help them attain that.”

For more information on this project or if you would like to be a sponsor or volunteer your time to help March 19, contact any of the LEAD 2011 class members.

If you would like to contribute to this project, make checks payable to Lead of Liberal Kansas or Lead. Please add “Big Give 2011” in the memo line of your check. Donations can be given to any LEAD 2011 class member or to the First National Bank in Liberal.

Class members along with Doney and Kletecka include: Stephanie Christie, Director of Adult Education Seward County Community College/Area Technical School; Dean Aragon, Assistant Personnel Director for National Beef; Sheena Lynch, Director of Human Resources for the City of Liberal; Josh Bell, Superintendent Tyrone Public Schools; Donovan Smith, Principal at Tyrone Schools; John Jones, Principal at Washington Elementary School; Sheri King, Principal at Sunflower Intermediate School; Karen Crow, Office Representative with State Farm Insurance; Captain Dave Odle, Liberal Police Department; Dr. Diane Gross, Deputy Superintendent for USD480; Angie Hayes, Funeral Director/Embalmer for Brenneman Funeral Home; Aurora Torres, Secretary for First United Methodist Church; and Erin Atchley, Salesperson forAdvantage Advertising.

For more information or to register your team for this “big give”, please go to or


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