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News Release


2023 Leadership class raises $20,170 for Arboretum improvements for vision-impaired visitors

Overland Park, Kan., June 23, 2023 – At the beginning of this year, professionals from prominent sectors of the Overland Park community assembled to form this year’s Leadership Overland Park (LOP) class.
Together they focused on the common goal to learn more about the community in which they live and become effective and dedicated leaders to serve the city and region. As part of this mission, the class was tasked with completing a service project to benefit the community. The 2023 LOP class, partnering with the Overland Park Host Lions Club, chose the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead as the beneficiary for its class project.

The history of the Farmstead dates to 1971, when the City of Overland Park purchased land that would later become the Farmstead; originally known as Community Park. Over the next seven years, the land was converted from a park until 1978 when the Farmstead officially opened. It served 11,000 visitors in the first year. On May 27, 1985, the Farmstead officially changed its name to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, in memory of an Overland Park police officer killed in the line of duty. Since its inception, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead has been a staple of the Overland Park community.

The Overland Park Host Lions Club, a non-profit group whose mission is best known for supporting the vision-impaired community, identified a need at Deanna Rose to replace and improve the signage and audio dome features across the facility. Quoted at more than $6,500, the sign repairs included new lettering for visual readers, and also improved braille texturing. The upgrades to the audio domes that provide playback features for vision-impaired patrons contributed even more to the expected costs. While the Farmstead receives support from Friends of the Farmstead, a membership group operating as a part of The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park, these repairs were going to likely take the Lions many years to complete the project.

To support this cause and accelerate the project, the LOP Class of 2023 brainstormed a fundraising gala event hosted at Bourgmont Winery in nearby Bucyrus, Kansas. The event included a silent auction, appetizers catered by Fiorella’s Jack Stack, a wine tasting and a tour of the winery. With over 200 guests, the event was a smashing success with $12,505.23 raised from ticket sales alone. Additionally, LOP class participants took it upon themselves to work with their respective businesses, friends, and family to raise funds to support this cause. During its graduation ceremony on June 22, the LOP class of 2023 and Lions Club of Overland Park presented a check for $20,170 to the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, well over the intended target.

The Leadership Overland Park Class of 2023 is incredibly proud of this accomplishment, which could have only been achieved through the collaboration of its members. The relationships, knowledge and experience gained by the members through the class will undoubtedly better themselves, but also their communities.

For more about Leadership Overland Park, click here.

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