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Union Station's Western Expansion Project Receives Generous Gifts Toward Final Funding Goal

April 8, 2016

Three gifts from area foundations total $650,000 and bring project to nearly 90% of total funding goal

KANSAS CITY, MO. (April 8, 2016) — Three substantial gifts were recently awarded to Union Station’s Western Expansion Project, bringing the total amount raised to within almost 90% of the $7,800,000 fundraising goal.  

This latest support came in the form of $250,000 from the Gary Dickinson Family Charitable Foundation; $250,000 from The Sunderland Foundation; and $150,000 from the Victor E. and Caroline E. Schutte Foundation Trust E, David W. Frantze and Bank of America, N.A., Trustees. The funders, each with strong Kansas City ties, have previously supported important Union Station initiatives and expressed their appreciation for the positive impact Union Station has on our community and the successful directions taken to ensure the ongoing delivery of world-class experiences. 

“When we announced our ambitious Western Expansion Project plans over two years ago, we were hopeful for a strong and positive reaction from the Kansas City philanthropic community,” Bob Regnier, Board Chairman of Union Station, said.  “What we’ve heard and felt has been tremendous.  This project is a major investment in Kansas City’s historic home and we extend our deepest appreciation to the Dickinson, Sunderland and Schutte Foundations for their generous contributions.  These funders have made dramatic differences in our community and with the people we see and serve on a daily basis.” 

The Western Expansion project includes a multitude of guest experience enhancements and improvements.  Phase One of construction is well underway with a new vehicular and pedestrian bridge spanning from the front southwest corner (Carriage Pavilion) of the Station into the third level of the existing West Yards Parking Garage. 

“The Gary Dickinson Family Charitable Foundation is very supportive of Union Station Kansas City,” Amy Dickinson Holewinski – Foundation President said.  “We are pleased to be able to help fund the construction of the new car and pedestrian bridge that will provide magnificent new vistas to the fast-growing downtown that our dad was so passionate about and that our mom has worked so diligently to revitalize.  The new bridge will be an important component to the overall Western Expansion project.  We wish ongoing success to Union Station as a celebrated institution in our community and a cornerstone of the downtown resurgence.”

Construction of a new outdoor festival area will also soon kick off outside the existing Planetarium and Science Center.  As well, the internationally-awarded Science City will be expanded to include outdoor exhibits and activation space for the first time.    

“For more than 60 years, The Sunderland Foundation has invested in the places and spaces where nonprofits do their work,” Kent Sunderland – Foundation President, said.  “Union Station and Science City are remarkable examples of where our community comes together for celebration and inspiration.  Funding bricks and mortar projects like the Station’s Western Expansion reflects our unique heritage and helps ensure a vibrant future – right here in our community – of this historic institution and award-winning Science Center.”

“Both Victor and Caroline Schutte worked in the family business, Schutte Lumber Company which was founded in 1880,” David Frantze of Stinson Leonard Street and Schutte Foundation co-trustee explained.  “They undoubtedly traveled the marble floors of Union Station countless times and appreciated its iconic place in the Kansas City landscape. I believe that they appreciated the places that put our city on the map and educated our citizens.  I am confident that Mr. and Mrs. Schutte would be delighted to see how Union Station has thrived and is now expanding for the next century, further adding to its role in our community as Kansas City’s gathering place.”

Union Station Kansas City, Inc. celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2014 and continues to set records in attendance, revenue and community impact.  The Station operates as a nonprofit organization dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history. 

“Foundation gifts benefit us all as they enhance the entire Union Station Kansas City experience,” George Guastello, Union Station president and CEO said.  “These latest gifts put us within final reach of our funding goals and represent a tremendous affirmation for what Union Station stands for AND delivers on a daily basis.  Our sincerest thanks go to the Dickinson, Sunderland and Schutte families and Foundations.”

Contributions to the Western Expansion project, regardless of size, are welcome and can be made online at unionstation.org/westernexpansion.  As well, for latest Western Expansion updates, access the 2016 Spring edition of Union Station’s ON TRACK Magazine at unionstation.org.

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Over 180 cubic yards of cement were poured this morning to form the deck of a new vehicular/pedestrian bridge at Union Station. The bridge – for the first time – connects the front of the historic Station to the back West Yards Parking Garage, representing one of many guest experience improvements for the over 1.5 million annual visitors to the Station. In total, these enhancements make up what is referred to as "Union Station's Western Expansion Project". 

About Union Station Kansas City, Inc. 
Union Station Kansas City -- a 501(c)3 non-profit organization -- is a 100-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. The organization -- dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history -- is home to Kansas City’s internationally-awarded Science Center; the popular Model Railroad Experience; the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops and restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses, and regularly hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Awarded “Top Banquet Facilities in KC” by KC Business Journal, the facility regularly hosts community events and private celebrations of all sizes. Visit www.unionstation.org for details. Also, follow us on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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