Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Giving Back

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."

11 comments:

beachbungalow8 said...

I loved the Kauffmans and Muriel was one of a kind.

Karena said...

Beautiful, and I am sorry to say I have not visited yet. What a legacy the Kauffman's have left Kansas City!

Martha said...

I've not been there either -- but must go on my next trip north (if it isn't a mega shopping trip) --

Linda/"Mom" said...

* Lived near KC for a few years & truly LOVED KC!!!~~~ didn't know about the Kauffmans, tho (of course, we were younger then, & it was "all about golf"!)... Sooo interesting~ really well written, & I loved the "ending"!!! (And I'm SOOOO with you... "atta girl!")~~~ Warmest n' thanks, Linda in AZ *

Mrs. Blandings said...

And, Megan, oh, the jewelry.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Martha - it's practically walking distance from the Plaza. You can do both!

home before dark said...

Now you really are in broadcasting! Glad to hear about Muriel's last stone walling about her age. My husband's great uncle and his wife did the very same thing. In fact, we haven't seen that sin of omission anywhere else. How wonderful for the Kauffmans to still be in the thick of things in Kansas City. Don't you love characters who have big ideas and big, generous pockets to give back to the wonderful world they lived in?

soodie :: said...

Always a treat to visit. Plus, great for getting flower and color combo planting ideas for your own yard or flower boxes (um... but on a much smaller scale for some of us here....). I love what they have done in the past using vegetables and spices -- the colors and textures so unexpected and brilliant.

pve design said...

I think if I omitted the year in lieu of leaving a living and green legacy, I would be one happy camper. Looks like a lovely pit-stop on the way to pick-up.
ahh---
pve

Easy and Elegant Life said...

What a wonderful treat to have an aesthetic break in the middle of the day-to-day schedule! That's a lesson to which we should all pay more heed.

Katie said...

Someday I'll create something like this.....


Just stunning!