© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

How donor support fuels local KCUR programming

Photo of Anita and Tom Wertz
Wertz family
Anita and Tom Wertz

One area family created a fund to support KCUR and its audiences both now and in the future.

Anita and Tom Wertz decided to include KCUR in their estate planning in 2017. They would provide for an endowment fund to support local programming. As a way for them to see the impact of their support before their passing, they were invited — and agreed — to create the endowment at that time with a minimum gift of $25,000.

"Once I found the station and began exploring its offerings,” says Anita, “I discovered poignant, personal stories, wildly funny entertainment and a community of supporters. We chose to focus our giving on local news reporting — a critical asset for any city. KCUR offered me a lifeline. I'm still holding on.”

To be closer to their children and grandchildren, the Wertzes left Kansas City for Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2018. Since then, they have continued to make gifts to their endowment fund increasing both the corpus and annual earnings.

A variety of local programming was supported in part by the endowment in 2022–23, including KCUR’s three long-running broadcast programs: Up To Date, hosted by Steve Kraske for 22 years; Night Tides, hosted by Renee Blanche, in its 30th year; and The Fish Fry, hosted by Chuck (Haddock) Haddix, now in its 40th year.

The Wertz Endowment also helps support digital content from KCUR Studios, KCUR’s podcast arm, which creates and distributes A People’s History of Kansas City, Kansas City Today, Overlooked and Seeking a Scientist. Their support also helps make possible two of KCUR's digital newsletters: The Early Bird and Adventures!.

For information on how to create an endowment to benefit KCUR and/or Classical KC, contact David M. Fulk, Director of Philanthropic Giving.

The original version of this feature was originally published in the UMKC Foundation's FY2023 Donor Appreciation Report.

Prior to joining the KCUR staff in October 2014, David was an active KCUR volunteer for about ten years. He loves asking listeners to become members during membership drives. In 2010, he was named KCUR Volunteer of the Year. You can email him at david@kcur.org.
Karen Campbell is the Director of Institutional Giving & Communications for KCUR 89.3. You can reach her at karen@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.