Fund Development Committee Member: Monte Summers

At Life Unlimited we have multiple committees that are vital to our success and growth. One of them is The Life Unlimited Fund Development Committee. This committee is comprised of dedicated community volunteers who provide counsel to the organization about fundraising activities, including special events, mailings and grant writing.

We’d like to introduce you to one of our Fund Development Committee members, Monte Summers. Monte has been involved in philanthropic efforts her entire life, working with the state of Kansas American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, United Cerebral Palsy, and more. She has been a supporter and advocate for our organization for decades, originally volunteering her time on the development committee for Open Options (previously United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City). She served as president of the Open Options Board of Directors for two terms and was on the transition committee when Options Option merged into Life Unlimited in 2018.

In 2003, with the support of fellow board members Dr. Michael Frost and Mr. and Mrs. Ken and Roswitha Schaffer, Monte spearheaded the planning for a new fundraising event called Hats Off To Mothers. Community Volunteer Barbara Spilker served as the first chairperson. Almost 20 years later, Life Unlimited still hosts the annual luncheon and it has raised over 1.7 million dollars to support adults with disabilities. We can contribute this success to Monte and her remarkable dedication to the event and it’s mission.

When asked about why she became so passionate for disability causes, she tells a story about a man she met almost 40 years ago. Her friend in Fort Worth was planning a dance for Special Olympics so she drove down to help her for a weekend. “We were at the dance and there was a young man who was so engaged and outgoing and he was in a wheelchair. And I decided, everyone needs to dance so I asked him if he would dance and we went out on the dance floor together. We just had the best time dancing, it was wonderful. I remember the look on his face the whole time, I still remember to this day.”

Monte’s favorite part of serving on the Fund Development Committee is thinking outside the box for new fundraising events and projects. She also enjoys meeting new benefactors and community partners to discuss how they can best support Life Unlimited’s mission.

The Fund Development Committee is led by Chairperson of the Board Sayard Parrish and coordinated by Chief External Relations Officer Mark Bertrand and Director of Development Andrea Adams. Members are Ms. Brenda Lowe, Ms. Monte Summers, Dr. Tom Thomas, and Ms. Susie Whitfield. Welcome aboard, Dr. Thomas! If you would like to join the committee, contact Andrea Adams at 913-787-7190 or aadams@luinc.org.