A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lexington Calendar Project events to connect business leaders and spotlight nonprofits

(Photos from Lexington Calendar Project) (Photos from Lexington Calendar Project)<[/caption]   By Elizabeth Adams
KyForward correspondent

At a typical networking event, attendees walk away with wallets full of business cards. After the first Lexington Calendar Project event on Jan. 22, organizers hope members of Lexington’s business community will leave with new friendships and a desire to do good.
The Lexington Calendar Project will connect members of the business community through a series of fun and casual events that spotlight the mission of 12 local nonprofits. Each event will focus on the mission of one of the 12 while providing business leaders with a community-centered, mutually beneficial environment to meet face-to-face. Individuals or businesses can purchase 12 pairs of tickets to each event on the calendar for $300. All proceeds will be donated to the participating nonprofits.
The concept for the project was the result of a pizza lunch shared by friends Shawn Burns, Andrew Dieruf, Ryan Koch and Karen Lanier, all of whom are involved in local nonprofits. Burns, who serves on the board of nonprofits Seedleaf and Sunflower Kids, said their idea was to help increase awareness of many local nonprofits while providing a casual way for business leaders to connect.
“A lot of the business-to-business events can be boring and awkward, and nonprofits are looking for different ways to engage the business community,” said Burns. “We want people to get together and have conversations around the nonprofits. We’re trying to make it an easy win-win for everyone.”
During the first event held at Smithtown Seafood on West Sixth Street, attendees will break the ice by racing FoodChain’s house-raised tilapia through a water maze. Kaeyln Query, founder of LexEffect Creative Events Management, has volunteered to take over event planning for all 12 events. While many events are still in the planning stages, she said all events will include a creative icebreaker that ties in the message of the featured nonprofit.
“These business people get to see what (nonprofits) do on a day-to-day basis,” said Query. “We want to figure out with each event a way to incorporate a little bit about what they do but have a little fun.”
Nonprofits participating in the project include Lexington Hearing and Speech Center, Surgery on Sunday, the International Book Project, The Plantory, Hope Lodge, CASA, The Nest, Broke Spoke, Seedleaf, Lexington Art League, FoodChain and Sunflower Kids. Events will be held every third Wednesday of the month. Businesses can opt to contribute the ticket price to all 12 nonprofits, or select specific nonprofits to receive the donation. One-time tickets to individual events are also available for $25 per ticket. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
Events are open to those 21 or older and include food and beverages. Any business interested in sponsoring a future event should contact Kaelyn Query at kaelyn@lexeffectky.org.
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Elizabeth Adams is a freelance writer from Lexington.

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