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Jazz in the Woods event canceled due to lack of funding

Posted at 12:38 PM, Feb 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-15 17:56:50-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. —  After nearly three decades, thousands of jazz lovers will no longer be tapping their toes.

Since 1989, the Overland Park South Rotary Club has hosted the annual Jazz in the Woods event at Corporate Woods.  

"It started as a small, little event on the back of a tractor trailer," said Pete Belk, Jazz in the Woods Board President. 

The fundraiser benefits children’s charities throughout the Kansas City metro area, including Sunflower House

"You know it's raised more than $52,000 for us in the other three years, and we were looking forward of course to it again," said Michelle Herman, Sunflower House CEO. 

Over the past 28 years, the Rotary Club has donated more than $1.5 million to places like Growing Futures and Future of Hope Foundation.

This year, the Rotary Club does not have the funding needed to bring jazz to Johnson County. They announced on Wednesday Jazz in the Woods had been canceled.

Belk said the summer event costs $200,000. At this time, the rotary has only $5,000. 

"About $100,000 of that is fixed costs that we would have regardless of whether the event was held or rained out or not," said Belk. 

Belk said the lack of funding is due to a decrease in corporate sponsorships. 

The Rotary Club plans to meet in March to figure out their next steps. Belk said they hope to bring Jazz in the Woods back in the future.