We are excited to be partnering with the CGSC International Military Student Division, the Greater Kansas City Chapter of People to People, and Operation International from the Leavenworth/Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce to host the “Celebration of International Friendship” this Friday, Aug. 21, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Mo. This is the second annual event focused on welcoming the International Officer Class of 2016 to the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. The idea behind the event came from the memory of David Beaham, a former Foundation trustee and Kansas City businessman, who was a major force in the International Officer sponsorship programs for many years.
I would first like to thank our sponsors for the event. – Without their financial help, we could not provide such a grand event. These types of events take a lot of time, talent and treasure, and without our sponsors we could not hope to make it happen. I’d like to thank our Presenting Sponsor, Mr. Clive Palmer, owner of Queensland Nickel and member of the Australian parliament, for his generous support. We also want to thank People to People International headquartered in Kansas City; Duracomm and Benny and Edith Lee; Faultless Starch Bon Ami Company; the Tim and Karen Carlin Foundation; Country Club Trust Company; Spencer Fane; and all of the other fine sponsors that make this possible. Please visit our corporate giving page for the full list of sponsors who give generously.
This year’s event is very special because we have the West Point Glee Club performing as part of the program. They have promised us an outstanding musical program. You can visit their Facebook page or website to get an example of the excellence of their performances. Prior to the Glee Club performance, we will introduce the IO Class of 2016 to the community. No city in the United States has anything similar to this event. The flags and uniforms of 90 countries on display is a unique opportunity exclusive to our area. We are honored to have welcoming remarks from Mr. Clive Palmer, Australian industrialist and Member of Parliament, Ms. Mary Jean Eisenhower, former CEO of People to People International and granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Brig. Gen. John Kem, CGSC Deputy Commandant.
This event brings together students, sponsors and the community in what we call “A Celebration of International Friendship.” The International Military Student program started in 1894 and has graduated more than 7,750 students, many of whom have gone on to serve at the highest levels of service and government in their countries. Their education here in both military subjects and life in the United States is an important aspect of international relations. We consider the sponsors from the military, the local community, and greater KC critical to the entire CGSC experience and fulfilling in that they build life-long relationships. We’re pleased that many of the sponsors will be attending as well.
For those of you that have never been to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, you’re in for a treat! It is a world-class performance venue – from the grand hall overlooking Kansas City to the Helzberg Auditorium where the program takes place. Attendees from last year gave us great feedback about the event and we attempted to incorporate their feedback into our program for this year. Our plan is to make this year’s event even better than the first!
I hope you will join us and let us know how we did.
Chief Executive Officer
CGSC Foundation, Inc.