Discover Downtown

DEP Benefit Dinner, “Let’s Get Lit” is Huge Success


The Downtown Excelsior Partnership (DEP) hosted its annual benefit dinner on Thursday, September 20, 2018.  The event was an outdoor dinner held in the Hall of Waters Circle Drive.  Proceeds from the event are being used to fund the Light It Up project in Downtown Excelsior Springs, Missouri.  During the benefit dinner DEP also recognized award winners for their outstanding efforts to preserve, promote and revitalize Downtown Excelsior Springs.

The event raised just over $15,000.  There approximately 150 guests present at this year’s event.  Guests were able to enjoy mingling with one another during the cocktail hour and also had the opportunity to participate in the wine toss event.  Just before dinner was served, guests were asked to report to their tables to proceed with a welcome and introduction to the evening from Executive Director, Lyndsey M. Baxter.  Following the dinner, the dessert auction commenced, led by DEP Board Member, Jim McCullough.  Throughout the dinner Baxter recognized award winners and gave special thanks to dinner sponsors and volunteers.  Prior to the dessert auction, Jim McCullough, gave a special thank you and recognition to Baxter for all of the hard work and dedication she puts into making downtown a better place.  McCullough joked that he was so sure Baxter was the best fit for the job but she has proved him wrong.

Award Recognitions were then presented by Baxter

Premier Partner of the Year – Downtown Promotion Committee

“When the Organization Committee first suggested placing the Promotion Committee on the nomination list I was initially extremely hesitant.  After much discussion it was unanimously decided that this was a great nomination.  Often in the DEP world we overlook the truly amazing amount of work these wonderful ladies and gentleman do to make Downtown a special place.  We can’t even begin to explain how lucky our organization is to have a group of individuals this dedicated.  Even when there are months where we meet multiple times, they are always there, brainstorming to determine how to make each and every event the best it can be.  As the Director, I often approach them with a new or crazy idea and they are ready to move forward, full steam ahead in making it a success.  The hundreds of hours they dedicate every year are beyond appreciated.  This is one pretty amazing group of individuals and without their continued support, effort, time and dedication, DEP would not be the organization it is today. ”

Best Downtown Beautification Project – Dubious Claims Brewing Company

“The renovation of the two buildings now occupied by Dubious Claims Brewing Company was completed by Neil & Christy Wilkerson and David Rhodus.  When we first heard a brewery was interested in coming to town, we knew we had to have it.  Throughout an amazing partnership, many of our community organizations were able to band together and work toward the common goal of getting Neil and Christy to choose Downtown Excelsior Springs as the home of their dream.  There were countless hours spent looking at buildings and researching what buildings downtown would even work.  Fortunately we were able to find their current building and they have put in a tremendous amount of time, money and effort to beautifully restore the structure.  This renovation includes everything.  Interior updates, tearing down walls, building walls, adding spaces, opening the transom windows and some significant façade alterations and upgrades.  We truly appreciate this beautification project, we are so excited to have you call Downtown Excelsior Springs home and we are looking forward to watching your business blossom!”

Newcomer of the Year – Dubious Claims Brewing Company

“Dubious Claims Brewing Company officially opened their doors for businesses in the spring of 2018 and immediately became significant partners with DEP.  Neil and Christy are always willing to go out of their way to make sure Downtown is the place to be!  From hosting live band nights to further expand our event reach to hosting Celebrity Bartender nights and giving individuals the opportunity to raise funds for special projects in our community they are continually working to develop and strengthen community partnerships.  Since the day I began this job, I’ve heard it from all angles, “We Need A Brewery!”.  And friends, we are not only fortunate to now have a brewery in Downtown, we are extremely fortunate that that brewery is Dubious Claims and the owners are Neil and Christy.”

Cornerstone Business of the Year – Broadway Bar & Grill

“Broadway Bar & Grill is truly deserving of this award.  They have went through some major transformations in order to adapt to the economic needs of Downtown Excelsior Springs.  I can remember being one of the first employees of Broadway Bar & Grill when it made its transition to what it is today and it has been such a great pleasure to watch them grow.  In addition to seeing the great services they offer within their business, they are extremely involved in DEP.  Cheryl is currently the DEP Board Treasurer, she serves on the organization committee and the promotion committee.  And I know anytime we need help, Misty is one phone call away.  DEP is truly fortunate to have such a great bond and partnership with these ladies and I personally can’t say enough awesome things about these two.  They have positioned themselves as a destination in Downtown and without all they do, we would not be where we are today.”

Baxter then thanks the many sponsors and volunteers that made the benefit dinner possible.  Those individuals included Carol Baxter, Carrie Carr, Melissa Simmons, Jade Williams, Nate Williams, Kris Bishop, Cheryl Boos, TR Kennedy, Gary Sanson, Sharon & Kent Powell and Jim McCullough.  Individuals who donated desserts were also recognized, Broadway Bar & Grill, Carol Baxter, Kris Bishop, Julie Williams, Debbie Jarman, The Mug, Ventana Gourmet Grill, The Elms, Suzanne Hilker, and Scott & Lisa Adams.  A special thanks was given to Beatz DJ service for volunteering their time, as well as Jade Williams of Jade Williams Photography.

The evening ended with all of the guests lighting sparklers and celebrating to the theme of “Let’s Get Lit!”.

For more pictures of the evening, make sure to visit our Facebook Page, Downtown Excelsior Springs, Missouri.