Celebrate Mardi Gras with the NEKC Chamber of Commerce

By Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
February 26, 2014

The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s annual Beads, Beans and Beer isn’t just a fundraiser, but also a fun-raiser.

From 5:30 – 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, the chamber hosts its annual fundraiser. However, it’s grown so much over the years that it’s outgrown the Askew Inn. This year, the Don Bosco Senior Center, 580 Campbell St., plays host to the Mardi Gras themed party.

Rebecca Koop, the director of the chamber, said with the new location, she believes the fundraiser will get a bigger audience with residents from the Columbus Park area joining in the festivities.

“We’re marketing more in the River Market area because we’ve gotten to know the area more,” Koop said. “I think we’ll get a younger audience but I’m also sure we’ll see the regulars, too.”

Koop said the chamber has been using social media platforms such as Facebook and Linkedin more this year to promote the event. Through social media posts, the chamber is encouraging people to make this “their little party.”

“You can have your party at your table,” Koop said. “We want people to make this their Mardi Gras party. We want them to dress up and be as outrageous as possible.”

The event raises funds for the Take Charge Leadership program hosted by the chamber. According to its website, the program is eight weeks long and teach northeast businesses “about marketing, leadership, and other business aspects.”

“The chamber saw a need to build the leadership base in the community,” Koop said. “We’ve been trying to encourage that by building more awareness. We want our neighborhoods to be represented.”

Koop added most of the funds from the event are raised through the auction. During the party, a live and silent auction will be held. Door prizes will also be handed out. Koop said the auction include everything from sports tickets and hotel packages to other gift items. The night also features a Mardi Gras king and queen costume contest and live music performed by the Waldo Jazz Collective.

Advanced tickets can be purchased for $10 at the chamber office, 6400 Independence Ave, or by calling 816-231-3312. Tickets will also be available at the door, but the price increases to $15.

“We hope people come and have a great time,” Koop said. “Come raise fun with us.”

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