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Go-Long fund making college dreams come true for Kansas City students

Posted: 3:07 PM, Sep 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-17 19:27:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A group of business retirees in Kansas City decided 16 years ago to start a lawn business to raise money to give college scholarships to high school students.  

Today, the Go-Long Foundation fund has helped more than 130 students go to college.  

Sanders Martin, Joe Webster and Willie Humphrey are three men making dreams come true for students.

Webster, president of Go-Long, said they saw a need and decided to do something about it.

"We guys are retired; we got a nice income so why not help someone else...that's our goal, " Webster said.

The men started the lawn service and named it "Go-Long" because they love the Kansas City Chiefs. Every yard they cut raises money for scholarships. Students typically get a $2,000 scholarship for the first year, but that amount can be increased.

"We start our grade point average at 2.0 and if -- in that first year -- if they move to a 3.0, they get their grades up, then they will receive $3,000 the following year," Webster said.

The Go-Long team mows 45 yards a week during the summer months. When neighbors see their bright red Go-Long T-shirts and hats and learn more about their goal, Webster said that those neighbors typically decide to hire Go-Long to cut their yards.

The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation has also awarded a grant to the Go-Long Foundation. Each year scholarships are awarded during a banquet. 

Courtney Cole graduated from Grandview High School in 2017. She's a student at Missouri Valley College studying to become a pharmacist. Courtney said without the Go-Long scholarship, she would likely not be attending college.

"It means a lot because I'll be the first in my family hopefully to graduate college, and so it means a lot to live my life and actually do something with my life and become successful," Courtney said.

Courtney's story and others like hers have helped the Go-Long Foundation members to keep mowing, cutting and edging lawns. They believe the young people they're helping will continue paying it forward.

"This is what we're going to continue to do.  We love what we're doing," Webster said.

You can make a donation to the Go-Long Fund at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation here.