Kansas City, Mo. – Awarding two and three-quarter million dollars in grants the Kauffman Foundation packed a meeting room with winners and well wishers. They were all adults. Except for one teenage boy.
Until he was pointed out,the boy in the polo shirt and khakis was lost in the crowd as a million dollar prize was given the Liberty Memorial Association. The Kauffman Legacy Awards give to programs that normally do not fit the foundation's principal areas of education and innovation. Quarter million dollar awards are awarded the Truman Library institute, Rose Brooks Center and five other organizations including The Kansas City Ballet, the zoo, Friends of Alvin Ailey and Repertory Theatre. Among them is the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center Foundation. CEO Hilda Fuentes stepped to the front and told about 13 year old Julio Caro who had been gravely ill. In her words,
..He was cared for at Samuel Rodgers,his mother became an employee of Samuel Rodgers, and today he is healthy, wealthy AND wise because he is a Kauffman scholar. She was drowned out by an "Ohhh" from the audience, then applause.
Organizations took home grant money in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Julio Caro took back an unspoken
message of hope that might have brought a smile to Ewing Kauffman.