"A Taste of Literacy" on Saturday, October 7, 2017
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Embassy Suites Hotel - Salon AB
10401 S. Ridgeview Road, Olathe, KS 66061

Don't miss this annual fundraising event featuring speaker Scott Ellsworth, author of The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball's Lost Triumph The Secret Game tells the story of James Naismith’s last protégé at the University of Kansas, Coach John McLendon, and the 1944 game-changing illegal basketball competition between the North Carolina College for Negroes and the all-white military team from the Duke Medical School. The book won a 2016 PEN Book Award, and was named by the Chicago Tribune as one of the Top Ten Books of the Year. Books will be available for purchase and signing. 

This year's event is dedicated in memory of foundation co-founder Clifford Tatham, whose contributions will be honored with a mayor proclamation.

Tickets for the event are $75 with $30 tax-deductible and include the program, dinner of roasted beef tenderloin and Scottish salmon.  A cash bar is available and business casual attire is suggested.  Tickets may be purchased until September 28 by calling Julie Clark at 913-971-6878.

What is the Library Foundation?

The Olathe Public Library Foundation is a component fund of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, established for the purpose of enhancing facilities, providing books, and adding other services for the Olathe Public Library System.

Why Does the Library Have a Foundation?

Public funds make libraries possible, but it is private gifts that make them flourish. The Olathe Public Library Foundation was established to ensure the library system remains a vital community resource.
The foundation's purpose is to provide a long-term supplemental funding program to assist in providing
those services not available through traditional tax-base funding.

How Does the Foundation Support the Library System?

Donations are invested and the interest is used for the benefit of the library system. Foundation contributions may result in funds to offset some of the costs of library system automation, expansion of reference and circulating collections, programming, and assistance for the disabled.

How Can I Contribute to the Foundation?

There are numerous ways to make a contribution to the foundation:

  • Make a tax-deductible donation
  • Make a contribution in memory or in honor of a friend or relative
  • Donate property, investments and/or insurance policies
  • Include the foundation in your will

Contributions are cumulative and contributors will be recognized at the annual dinner. For further information, please contact Julie Clark at 913-971-6878.

Contributions can be made payable to the Olathe Public Library Foundation and mailed along with the donor form to 201 E. Park, Olathe, KS 66061. 

Your contribution is important! Continuing contributions are necessary to assist the library system in achieving excellence. A gift to the foundation is a gift of knowledge to the community.

Foundation Board

Eirene Knott, Chair
Gregg Herbert, Vice-Chair

Emily Baker, Secretary
Julie Clark, Treasurer
Cathie Bennie
Vivian Crosby
Colette McGee
Susan Sherman
Hector Silva
Elaine Tatham, Co-founder

Olathe Library Foundation's Story

Olathe resident Cliff Tatham served for many years on the Olathe Public Library Board.  Cliff and his wife, Elaine, felt the need to provide funding for the library programs that would not exist without private donations.  In 2000, Cliff started a community wide fundraising campaign to provide funding for these programs.  Their initial campaign was to raise $10,000 which would be matched by a $10,000 donation from him and Elaine.  Being just shy of this goal, he approached R. R. Osborne, who gave the foundation $10,000.  In 2002, the R. R. Osborne estate gave the foundation $100,000 and the foundation gave its first grant of $20,000 to the library for the establishment of the music CD collection at both library locations.

The foundation held its first “A Taste of Literacy” dinner in the fall of 2003.  The dinner serves to thank donors and raise awareness about the library and its needs.  Annual fundraising has been successful and has added to the foundation’s largesse.  The foundation continues to be administered by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and has proven to be a good partnership.  Library grants to enhance library services have been announced in the fall of each year and distributed at the start of the following year.

In 2016, the foundation received a gift from the estate of Olathe resident Maron Moore.  A total of $281,250 was deposited in the foundation’s account without fanfare or publicity.  The foundation is very grateful to Maron for the quiet but generous gesture on her part and her estate.  Co-founder Cliff Tatham, after many years of service to the library, passed away in March of 2017.   Memorial donations were received for the foundation.  The 2017 “A Taste of Literacy” will be dedicated in his honor.  A proclamation from Olathe’s mayor will also spotlight Cliff’s longtime work for the library and financial support thereof.