Archdiocese Local

Savior to host first-ever gala on June 1

Savior Pastoral and Retreat Center in Kansas City, Kansas, will host its first-ever gala on June 1. Dubbed “Gilded in Green: A Night of Elegance,” it will help keep Savior — which hosts a wide variety of retreats and events throughout the year — financially sound. LEAVEN FILE PHOTO

by Moira Cullings

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — More than 60,000 people come through the doors of Savior Pastoral and Retreat Center (SPARC) here each year, said Greg Mies, director of facilities and operations.

“Savior is a vibrant and active center for religious learning, catechetical instruction, spiritual growth and community involvement,” he said.

The center is used for deacon training, Engaged Encounters, Kairos retreats, marriage enrichment, spiritual mentorship and many more programs and events.

The grounds host cross-country meets, swim practices, and CYO basketball and volleyball practices and games, said Mies, “while at the same time, our facility hosts the chancery offices, serving the archbishop and all the archdiocesan ministry and administrative offices.”

“The impact of Savior Pastoral Center is widespread and multi-faceted,” he added.

To help the center continue to flourish for the people it serves, the inaugural “SPARC the Night Gala” will be held on June 1.

Dubbed “Gilded in Green: A Night of Elegance,” the fundraiser will be held at Savior, located at 12601 Parallel Pkwy.

The event chairs are Craig and Karen Gaffney; Toby Cook will serve as emcee. Business attire is requested.

Doors will open at 4:30 p.m., and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann will celebrate Mass at 5 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will follow at 6 p.m., followed by a program, dinner, dessert and a final blessing by the archbishop.

Funds raised will firstly cover unexpected investments in Savior’s systems that keep the facility running, said Mies.

They will also go toward an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility project, he explained, that would allow access from the chancery building and Keleher Conference Center to Savior’s chapel, and access from the chapel to the center’s dining room.

“We are at an inflection point with the funding and framing of Savior Pastoral and Retreat Center,” said Mies. “Funding is limited and, as more programs compete for funding, Savior needed to take this action. Additionally, as our vision to be the spiritual home of the archdiocese comes to fruition, we need to expand our reach, our programs and our revenue.

“Traditional funding sources have shifted from SPARC to other archdiocesan programs, impacting our operating budget. Investments that were not expected or budgeted to key operating systems — mechanical, HVAC, electrical, etc. — have been required and completed, negatively impacting our operating budget.”

Mies said community support at the gala would mean everything.

“If we come together and support this facility and this cause now,” he said, “we can continue to positively impact over 60,000 individuals annually — and more.”

Advance tickets are required for attendance. To purchase tickets or sponsor a table, visit the website at:

About the author

Moira Cullings

Moira attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park and Benedictine College in Atchison. She majored in marketing, minored in psychology and played center midfield for the women’s soccer team. Moira joined The Leaven staff as a feature writer and social media editor in 2015. After a move to Denver, Moira resumed her full-time position at The Leaven and continues to write and manage its website, social media channels. Her favorite assignment was traveling to the Holy Land to take photos for a group pilgrimage in 2019.

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