All smiles. This little girl from Operation Breakthrough helps hold up the check presented to the charity organization during the Monday, October 21 County Legislative session.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders presents check to Operation Breakthrough co-founder Berta Sailer.

OCTOBER 22, 2013 -- Four little kids, scarcely tall enough to see over the marble tabletops in the Legislative Chamber of the Jackson County Courthouse, walked away from County Executive Mike Sanders carrying a big check. Sander presented them and Operation Breakthrough co-founder Sister Berta Sailer with the $18,300 raised at this year's County Executive Golf Tournament.

The four children represented the more than 400 people who, on a daily basis, receive services through Operation Breakthrough, which opened in 1971 to provide child care for poor working families in Kansas City's urban core. Today, in addition to its early education program, the non-profit agency provides food, clothing and social services.

"For 42 years, Sister Berta has gone to work every day making sure that the young people of Kansas City who need her help and really need all of our help get that help," Sanders said. "Ninety-eight percent of the people who walk through Operation Breakthrough's doors live below the federal poverty line. They get the basic services there that so many of us take for granted every day."

Since 2007, the County Executive Golf Tournament has raise $106,800 for Operation Breakthrough.

"We get to come together at the tournament and have a really good time," Sanders said. "But it's for a great cause."

Teeing it up during the 2013 County Executive Golf Tournament

The slow recovery since the economic crash in 2008 has only increased the need for Operation Breakthrough's assistance.

"The sad thing is in the city families are getting poorer and poorer, but all of this helps so much," said Sister Berta. "Our mothers try so hard. We had one mother who lived at a bus stop for week."

Sanders thank County Legislator Dan Tarwater III for his ongoing support of the tournament, and he praised the Parks + Rec Department for the work it does to hold the annual event at the Fred Arbanas Golf Course.



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