The Black Community Fund (BCF) of Greater Kansas City hosted a reception to honor retiring Board members, Rev. Jimmie L. Banks, Chairman and G. Lawrence Blankinship, Jr., Chairman Emeritus. The reception, held earlier this year at the American Jazz Museum drew a capacity crowd. Sheilahn Davis-Wyatt, newly elected BCF chair, served as MC for the evening and music was provided by Blair Bryant and the B2 Experience.

BCF, an affiliate of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, was established in 1983 with a one million dollar endowment from the Hall Family Foundation. Its mission is to provide support and leadership to enhance socio-economic aspects of African-American communities in the Greater Kansas City area. Both Banks and Blankinship were founding BCF board members.

Since its inception, BCF has awarded more than $4.5 million to more than 200 nonprofit organizations addressing critical community needs. In 2010, BCF launched an academic scholarship program. Students receive a minimum of $5,000 and commit to 16 hours of community service. Eighty-four students make up BCF’s college-going pipeline, and they have a presence in 33 U.S. institutions from historically black colleges and universities to Ivy League institutions.

At the reception, Davis-Wyatt announced the naming of BCF’s Scholarship Fund after Banks and Blankinship.

A special guest at the reception was Bill Hall, director of the Hall Foundation. The BCF was started under his leadership after a suggestion was made by Clark Wescoe, a Kansas Community Fund Foundation Board member and former University of Kansas Chancellor.

The community is invited and encouraged to support BCF’s efforts to provide young people with the resources necessary to pursue their dreams and enhance greater Kansas City Black Community Fund Grants. Donations can be made online at

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