Joyce McKown and Darren McKown of the Woods Memorial Church present the Educational Foundation with a donation check on August 30, 2022. Pictured (l-r): Front Row—Molly McGovern, ESEF board member; Joyce McKown, Sarah Baker, ESEF executive director; and Kim Curtis, ESEF board member. Back Row—Dr. Travis Hux, ESSD superintendent; Darren McKown; John Arnold, ESEF board member; and Brian Rice, ESEF board president.

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, Joyce McKown and Darren McKown of the Woods Memorial Church in Excelsior Springs presented a check for $125,000 to the Educational Foundation (ESEF) as a way to continue their 100-plus-year legacy of supporting the community after closing their doors earlier this year. The gift will be split with $100,000 going towards a new scholarship fund for graduating seniors pursuing college and $25,000 going to the Tiger in Need fund.

With a decline in membership over the past few years, the remaining congregation members of Woods Memorial made the difficult decision to sell the church and donate a large portion of the proceeds from the sale of the building to local organizations, including the Educational Foundation. 

“We’re blessed, so we’re trying to bless everybody else,” says Joyce. “With all the money we’re donating, we’re trying to keep it local, especially for the schools. We want the children to be blessed by our donation to the foundation so that we can continue to be a part of the community.” 

The Educational Foundation is honored to be a part of the Woods Memorial Church’s legacy. Our mission is to connect the community and the classroom to enhance the educational opportunities for ESSD students. This generous donation does just that. The church’s long-standing tradition of giving back will carry on for many years to come by helping provide resources for kids in the district as well as for their continued education after graduation.

“It makes me feel really good,” says Brian Rice, ESEF board president and former member of Woods Memorial Church. “They’re not just closing the doors, they’re leaving a lasting mark on this community that’s going to carry on into the years ahead. That’s a joy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *