Catholic Foundation reports record success

by Bob Hart
Special to The Leaven

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas held its annual meeting Nov. 4, reporting great success in the past year and ambitious plans for the future.

About 175 people attended the event, which began with vespers presided by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann at Savior Pastoral Center and the Archbishop Keleher Conference Center in Kansas City, Kan.

“A highlight of the meeting was the announcement by CFNEK president Russ Jenkins that we were able to provide a record in distributions last year in spite of the economic collapse,” said Lesle Knop, executive director of the foundation.

Knop said Jenkins reported distribution of nearly $1.3 million to fund-holders in the preceding year, a record for the foundation. Assets in the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas exceed $31 million in 155 separate funds, Jenkins said.

“We also announced plans for a continuing legal education program for June 2010 and reported progress on an innovative Planned Giving Initiative,” Knop said.

The foundation will host the inaugural St. Thomas More Continuing Legal Education Program on June 3 of next year at the pastoral center.

CFNEK also announced the formation of the Catholic Fine Arts Council, with a mission “to foster, encourage and promote sacred fine art and performing arts in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas and surrounding area.”

Archbishop Naumann and Jenkins were speakers at the annual meeting, along with guest speaker Michael Schuttloffel, the executive director of the Kansas Catholic Conference. Other foundation staff were also in attendance: Gary Pratt, associate director for planned giving; Michaela Comstock, campaign manager; Peg Ellington, accountant; and Dianna Bagby, development assistant.

The archbishop noted that both the Kansas City Business Journal and Ingram’s magazine have recognized the foundation as one of the top foundations in the Kansas City area, “a remarkable accomplishment considering all that has happened economically and culturally within the past few years,” he said.

For more information about the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas, visit its Web site at: http:// cfnek.org.

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