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Science City’s Early Learning Initiative Receives $1.5 Million Gift From Sunderland Foundation

March 12, 2019


March 11, 2019

Union Station Contact: Michael Tritt

C: 913-219-6890 | [email protected]



Science City’s Early Learning Initiative Receives $1.5 Million Gift From Sunderland Foundation

Union Station receives significant support towards Science City’s ground-breaking new additions to serve youngest learners.



KANSAS CITY, Mo. (March 11, 2019) – Today, Union Station officials announced a transformational multi-year grant of $1.5 million from the Sunderland Foundation in support of Science City’s Early Learning Expansion Project. With this latest gift, the Expansion Project is at $7.5 Million of the $7.6 Million goal.


“With our deepest appreciation, we recognize the Sunderland Foundation for their continued belief in, and substantial support of, Union Station and our award-winning science center,” George Guastello, Union Station president and CEO, said.  “With their generosity, Science City continues to develop great minds for today and tomorrow and, in this case, inspire lifelong learning starting at the very earliest age. This type of community investment is not only hugely consequential, it builds foundations from which our next generation of learners will grow and succeed.”


The Sunderland Foundation invests in the places and spaces where nonprofits do their work – places where young minds grow and thrive, and where communities come together for celebration and inspiration. Union Station and Science City serve as these for Kansas City and beyond.


“The Sunderland Foundation is a proud supporter of Science City‘s continued growth and expansion,” Kent Sunderland, The Sunderland Foundation President, said.  “The opportunity to invest in young minds and inspire future generations is profound and perfectly aligns with our priorities.” 


In December of 2016, Science City announced plans to grow younger through its Early Learning Expansion Project, with lead support from the Hall Family Foundation and the PNC Foundation. In total, the programmatic footprint will fill more than 35,000 sq.ft. and include multiple exhibit zones and interactive experiences to spark curiosity and creativity in Kansas City’s youngest learners.  These plans are aimed to offer rich environments that engage kids in meaningful exploration and discovery, essentials for successful students and future productive citizens and work-place leaders.


This gift is a welcome addition to the impactful funds previously awarded by other generous supporters of our Early Learning Initiative including Hall Family Foundation, PNC Foundation, Edward F. Swinney Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, Marion & Henry Bloch Family Foundation, Ann and Gary Dickinson Family Charitable Foundation, Nerman Family and the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation.


With Science City approaching its 20th Anniversary in November, Union Station officials forecast the first of these new spaces to open Winter 2019 heralding another transformative year for Kansas City’s Favorite Family-Friendly Attraction.


To support Union Station’s Early Learning Expansion Project, please contact Christy Nitsche, Director of Advancement and Community Engagement, at [email protected].




About Union Station Kansas City
Union Station Kansas City -- a 501(c)3 non-profit organization -- is a 104-year-old historical landmark and celebrated civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999. Recently awarded “Favorite Attraction”, “Favorite Family-Friendly Attraction”, “Favorite Historic Attraction” and “Best of KC”, the organization -- dedicated to science education, celebration of community and preservation of history -- is home to Kansas City’s internationally-awarded Science City – Powered by Burns & McDonnell; the new Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre; the popular Model Railroad Experience; 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 annually hosts hundreds of community events and private celebrations of all sizes. Visit  WWW.UNIONSTATION.ORG for details. Also, follow us on  FACEBOOK, TWITTER,  INSTAGRAM, and  YOUTUBE.


About Science City

Internationally awarded for “Visitor Experience” by ASTC and regionally voted “Favorite Family Friendly Attraction” by Visit KC Visitors Choice Awards, Science City powered by Burns & McDonnell is named one of the country’s TOP 25 science centers. Annually, it educates and entertains hundreds of thousands of science-thirsty children of all ages. Kansas City’s Science Center is THE place for inquisitive young minds to create, explore, and experiment with the BIG world of science through hands-on learning and non-stop fun. Featuring over 200 interactive exhibits and host to countless STEM-based events -- including the annual Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair -- Science City leads the region in recognition from educators, parents, caregivers AND children alike. Continually evolving and always inventing new ways to make science meaningful and fun, Science City has become THE regional destination for families, groups, special events and even “Science City On The Road” outreach. Union Station Members enjoy Science City visits free of charge. To learn more, please visit