Last weekend, in the spirit of community giving, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority supported Summerfest, a back-to-school event providing students with much-needed school supplies.
Partnering with Kansas City Public Schools, the KCATA offered transportation for kids and parents from five outlying schools to Summerfest at 29th and Troost.
About 5,500 people endured the rainy weather Saturday morning to pick up free backpacks, uniforms, school supplies and hotdog lunches.
“This is bigger than just backpacks,” said Kansas City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Bedell. “This is about building a relationship that lets people know we care first about the wellbeing of children.”
The KCATA did its part in the relationship building. The Authority picked up students at Central High School, Southeast High School, East High School, Northeast High School and Manual Career and Technical Center to take them to the event.
With six buses running every 30 minutes, the KCATA transported about 200 people to the event, a much- celebrated occasion before the start of the school year.
Lending buses to help with the event was important because it can make a difference in the lives of so many people who want to take part in this special back-to-school event.
“At the KCATA, we’re about connecting people to opportunities,” said Frank White III, the Authority’s marketing chief. “What better way than providing transportation for parents and students to Summerfest. It’s huge for us. It was a no-brainer.”
Chief Marketing Officer Frank White III (left) and Business Development
Coordinator Aaron Hoeppner talk RideKC transit at Kansas City Public
The KCATA set up a table at the event where they handed out tattoos and stickers to kids and chatted up the benefits of public transportation.
The Kansas City school district praised the KCATA for doing an “amazing job” in reaching so many parts of the community to offer transportation to the event.
“The KCATA played an absolutely critical role in making sure as many families from as many parts of Kansas City public schools were able to come to the event,” said Ray Weikal, public relations and news coordinator for the school district.
“They made it very convenient for students and parents,” Weikal said, “and at the same time helped introduce more families to the service that KCATA provides every day across the city.”