Discover Downtown

First ever Benefit Dinner is huge success

The Downtown Excelsior Partnership (DEP) hosted its first benefit dinner last Thursday, September 22, 2016. This event was an outdoor farm to table style dinner held in the Hall of Waters Circle Drive. Proceeds from the event are being used to fund the mural project that has reached its completion in the Carolyn Schutte Pocket Park 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. DEP also gave special recognition to individuals who made the Carolyn Schutte Pocket Park possible.

There were approximately 90 people present at this first year benefit dinner. Guests were able to enjoy mingling with one another during the cocktail hour and were able to participate in the wine toss event, an additional event to promote fundraising for the mural. Just before dinner was served, guests were asked to report to their tables to proceed with a welcome and introduction speech from Board President Jill Rickart and Executive Director Lyndsey Baxter. Following the introduction, the dessert auction commenced where tables were encouraged to bid on desserts to share following the dinner. Dinner was then served to all of the guests. Throughout dinner Jill Rickart and Lyndsey Baxter recognized award winners and gave special thanks to dinner sponsors and volunteers.

Award Recognitions

Premier Partner of the Year – City of Excelsior Springs

The City of Excelsior Springs has been critical to the success of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership. DEP can not begin to limit this amazing partnership to just one event, program or publication. The City of Excelsior Springs and DEP have a phenomenal service agreement that allows for DEP to function and the Hall of Waters Visitor Center to operate 7 days a week. They are one of DEP’s largest sponsors throughout the year contributing to multiple events. The City of Excelsior Springs is extremely supportive of DEP projects and programs in Downtown Excelsior Springs. They are constantly working to find ways in which we can make things possible. They have developed a relationship between one another to better assist new incoming businesses to downtown. DEP is truly thankful for this partnership and looks forward to working together in the future.

Best Downtown Beautification Project – Farris Street Redevelopment

The Farris Street Redevelopment Project was completed by the City of Excelsior Springs Public Works Department. This area has achieved an amazing facelift. The total cost of this project was approximately $685,000.00. This beautiful new setting now incorporates colorful landscaping and seating opportunities for individuals enjoying our fabulous trail systems. It has also created a visual enhancement to those 20,000 plus vehicles that cross that area on a daily basis. DEP again thanked the City of Excelsior Springs for their investment in making downtown better.

Newcomer of the Year – The Mug

The Mug first opened its doors to the public in September of 2015. The addition of this business to downtown Excelsior Springs has been a blessing. It immediately filled a void in our eclectic downtown business mix. What once, just a short time ago, started as a coffee shop has quickly evolved into a coffee shop, bakery and lunch stop. This business has went above and beyond to meet the demands of our community members.

Cornerstone Business of the Year – Willow Spring Mercantile

Willow Spring Mercantile was opened in 2005 by owners, Jim & Daphne Bowman. They quickly learned that they needed to attract customers on a more frequent basis and in 2008 expanded their business plan to include Missouri wines and in 2009, added the bistro. While enhancing and increasing their business, the Bowman’s became emerged in the community. These two were a part of the group that assisted in the development of the Downtown Excelsior Partnership. Since the creation of DEP, Jim or Daphne, often both, have either served on the DEP Board of Directors, chaired a committee or been involved with committees. DEP is lucky to have these owners and this business located in our downtown.

Volunteer of the Year – Carol Baxter

Carol Baxter is a member of the community and has jumped in with both feet to become a part of DEP. Carol became the Promotion Committee Chair in 2014. She is extremely driven and gives definition to what great volunteerism truly is. Ultimately, without Carol Baxter being a part of the DEP organization, DEP would struggle to be where they are today. She volunteers countless hours and continually makes efforts to find ways in which DEP can be successful. DEP is truly grateful to have Carol as a volunteer of the organization and hopes that she will continue to volunteer for many years to come.

Baxter then thanked the many sponsors and volunteers that made the Benefit Dinner possible. Those sponsors included, Bladez Athletics Cheerleaders, BobKorn Kettle Corn, Broadway Bar & Grill, the Cattleman’s Association, Crystal Products DJ Service, The Elms Hotel & Spa, The Mug, Planners 2, Ventana Gourmet Grill and Willow Spring Mercantile. The volunteers of the event included Carol Baxter, Carrie Carr, Cheryl Boos, Jade Williams, Jake Simmons, Jenai Collison, Jill Rickart, Mary Colvin, Melissa Simmons, Misty Wright, Monique Block and Wendy Baldwin.

Baxter then proceeded to give a special thanks to Stacy Macy and Christopher Phillips of the Hall of Waters Trust for their $1,000 donation to the mural project. “These two individuals believe that this mural is a beautiful representation of Excelsior Springs and a great addition to our downtown Historic District,” said Baxter. She stated that DEP thanked them for their extremely generous donation toward this mural project.

The Downtown Excelsior Partnership intends to host a Benefit Dinner annually with proceeds being used for a public improvement in downtown Excelsior Springs. This year’s Benefit Dinner was able to raise $5,700 to be used toward the mural in the pocket park and start an account for future public improvements. The Downtown Excelsior Partnership is a community driven, nonprofit organization that utilizes the Four-Point Main Street Approach to preserve, promote, revitalize, and enrich the historic, cultural and economic landscapes of downtown Excelsior Springs while enhancing citizen’s quality of life.