News Article Details

Capper Foundation announces launch of capital campaign

Topeka Capital Journal - 9/6/2019

Topekans Josiah and Andrea Engstrom waited two and a half years for their son Boulder, who has autism, to get off a waiting list to begin receiving Applied Behavioral Analysis, which is known as the “gold standard” for autism treatment.

Six-year-old Boulder finally began that treatment about two weeks ago through Topeka’s Capper Foundation, Josiah Engstrom said Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Engstroms and the companies they operate — Motovike Films and Bajillion Agency — are helping carry out a Capper Foundation capital campaign aimed at accomplishing goals that include ensuring families spend less time waiting to receive specific services.

Gov. Laura Kelly was among those who spoke Thursday as the Capper Foundation held a news conference encouraging the public to donate to its “Capper Can! Capital Campaign,” which seeks to raise $4 million over five years to provide more inclusive services to a diverse and growing number of people with disabilities.

Jim Leiker, the foundation’s president and CEO since 1992, said 76 donors had already made pledges totaling $2,003,100 to the campaign, encompassing nearly 51 percent of its goal.

Most of those donors hadn’t previously given to the Capper Foundation, said campaign director Doug Kinsinger, who serves as a consultant to that foundation through his company, Opportunity Funding, LLC.

The Capper Foundation, located at 3500 S.W. 10th Ave., provides services for people of all ages with physical, intellectual, behavioral and developmental disabilities. It works to build their abilities and empower them.

The foundation was created to help children with disabilities on Christmas Day in 1920 by Arthur Capper, a newspaper editor, Kansas governor and U.S. senator.

It subsequently grew to also serve adults.

While organizations carrying out capital campaigns often do so to finance new construction, the Capper Foundation has all it needs in terms of facilities, said Edie Smith, its vice president for development and marketing.

The funding would go for purposes that would include hiring additional people to provide services.

“We need the funding because our need is people,” Smith said.

Leiker said the Capper Can! campaign is seeking to raise:

$2,650,000 to significantly reduce the foundation’s pediatric waiting list and help finance pediatric scholarships. More than 75% of the children the foundation serves need subsidies to cover service fees, Smith said.

$350,000 to provide on-site employment opportunities and coached community employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.

$1 million for endowment and sustainability purposes, to ensure the foundation continues to help people for years to come.

For more information or to make a pledge, visit https://www.capper.org/capper-can; call Smith at 785-272-4060, extension 1139; or email Smith at esmith@capper.org.

The campaign’s co-chairs are Cody and Jennifer Foster, Steve and Derie Briman, Lucky and Pam DeFries, John and Kristina Dietrick, Kent and Susan Garlinghouse, Greg and Jaena Greenwood, Chris and Emily McGee, Bruce and Kathy Myers, Mark and Terry Young and Greg Schwerdt.

Tim Hrenchir, threnchir@cjonline.com

 
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