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  • Kurt Hamilton

If There Was No KEC.

What is the Kearney Enrichment Council (KEC)? A question that I hear almost daily with my position as the Executive Director of our 501(c)3 non-profit. Then I continue to speak about all the different programs and events we offer and get, “Oh wow! I have been to that before. I didn't know that was the KEC.” We constantly work behind the scenes to bring all this programming without recognition. Did you know that over 9,000 people attend the events that the KEC performs each year? Or that we have eleven members of our staff that are paid, including three full-time positions? Or my personal favorite, finding out that the Old Firehouse is run by the KEC.

I am not looking for credit when writing this post. What I am craving instead is to inform more people about what we do. As we continue into our tenth year, there has been a lot of stimulating changes in Kearney that have happened. The splash pad project has been brought to fruition and will be finished in the upcoming months. Our senior programming has expanded its services to include exciting opportunities such as new exercise and social options. Youth camps tripled in size last year during a pandemic. We have even expanded our events to have our first ever Christmas parade and annual fundraiser. Each of these programs takes time, talent, and donations to bring to life. Something that we always need more support in.

My challenge for you in reading this is to imagine if there was no KEC. What if we failed to reach our donation goals to be able to survive? Leaving no Movies in the Park, Halloween Blast, or Christmas Parade. Eliminating our local Farmer’s and Artisan Market, youth summer camps, and weekly senior programming. Dissolving our four committees that talk monthly about downtown enhancements. Would you even notice? Who would step up to support the community with these annual memories around the holidays? We need your help now more than ever. This could be through donations, volunteering, or even finding a use for some extra items you have laying around the house. You can make a difference in your hometown. We offer a little bit of everything and are just waiting to see when you can start. Send me a message today at to see how you can become Kearney’s next visionary.

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