The advisors for the city's largest charitable benefactor, the Kent D. Steadley and Mary L. Steadley Memorial Trust, are looking toward the future.
For more than 30 years, the trust has contributed to the enrichment of Carthage through significant contributions to the city of the Carthage Municipal Golf Course, Fair Acres Family YMCA, the Fair Acres Sports Complex, school district facilities, expansion of the Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital, recreational facilities, historic preservation, arts, literature, animal welfare and many human services and civic organizations. Now, the trust administrators and advisors are funding a planning process, conducted by a Kansas City consulting firm, to focus on a strategic plan for future funding decisions that can fulfill the trust's mission in the next 10, 20 or 30 years.
Representative leaders of a broad sector of community groups will help identify what can improve the quality of life and overall well-being of Carthage. Trust advisors will invite a number of participants to envision the best possible future of Carthage. Participants will make a two-day commitment to planning workshops. The planning process encourages making a “wish list” for Carthage with no limits on ideas, cost or time frame. The workshops will take place in October. Results will be analyzed and potential projects will be forward for trustee consideration.
Planning consultant Ralph Ochsner, CEO of the firm Ochsner Hare & Hare, of Kansas City, Mo., is confident community leaders and residents can generate a vision for Carthage that can be implemented, perhaps by many different organizations. Steadley trustees will consider support for projects that fall within the mission of the trust.
Ochsner helped trust advisors work through this kind of process more than 25 years ago. Several big ideas introduced in that planning process later were wholly or partially funded by the Steadley Trust and have become Carthage assets.
Residents interested in the planning process should contact Ochsner at 816-842-8844, or email ROchsner@ohhkc.com.