To say one of Kansas City’s greatest entrepreneurs — Ewing Marion Kauffman — loved baseball would be an understatement.
The founder of Marion Laboratories Inc., Kauffman purchased the Royals in 1968 to bring America’s pastime to his beloved hometown, Kansas City. Along with boosting civic pride, the Royals became a model franchise, employing “moneyball” statistical techniques that helped the team become perennial playoff contenders, win two American League pennants and the World Series in 1985.
But perhaps even more important to Kauffman than baseball was imparting to Americans the tools to economically empower themselves through entrepreneurship. That’s why the foundation in his namesake — the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation — is continuing a tradition that marries two of his passions: entrepreneurship and baseball.
The foundation is hosting its fifth-annual “E Day at the K” tailgate 4 to 6 p.m., July 19, before the Royals take on the Cleveland Indians. The entrepreneurial event will feature food, live music, a painting demonstration and speaker panel with musicians Victor & Penny, artist Phil Shafer and photographer Chris Dahlquist.
“Mr. Kauffman wanted Kansas City to be a premier U.S. city. When he brought the Royals to KC in the 1960s, it was to ensure Kansas City would be on the map as a major city and a Major League city,” said Nathan Kurtz, the Kauffman Foundation’s senior program officer in entrepreneurship. “Mr. Kauffman saw the stadium and the Royals as a place for the city to convene, to connect, to interact and grow as a city. E-Day at the K is another chance for our community to celebrate, learn and cheer on our defending World Series champs.”
Kurtz said that the event provides a space for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds to learn from others and each other. With artist entrepreneurs performing and presenting, Kurtz said the event will bring together Kansas City’s diverse entrepreneurial community.
To learn more or to register for the event, go to: www.kauffman.org/eday