August 1, 2012

Kansas City Mayor Sly James will be part of a team passing out school supplies at the annual Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP) benefit will helps children at Operation Breakthrough leap into the new school year. LEAP is providing book bags, school supplies and breakfast by Chris Cakes, a pancake-flipping favorite in the metropolitan area. The Back to School Breakfast is Friday, August 3 from 7:30 am to 9:00 am at Operation Breakthrough, 3039 Troost, Kansas City, Missouri. The media is invited to attend. Weather permitting, the event will be held outside on the east patio of Operation Breakthrough. Access can be gained by going to the rear of Operation Breakthrough from Troost on 30th Street to Forest. Parking is available in the church parking lot across the street.

More than 400 children from Operation Breakthrough are expected to attend the Back to School Breakfast, and Kansas City Mayor Sly James as well as lawyers and judges from around the metro will help the children pack their school supplies.

“It's so important for the kids to go to school with the things they need, to not feel like they are the only kid in the room who doesn't have the right supplies,” said Sister Berta Sailor, co-founder of Operation Breakthrough, a nonprofit that assists low income families in the metro. "LEAP is responsible for a lot of our children's success educationally. For kids to know that they (LEAP) care about their education is so important. It really makes an impression on them."

Members of the media are invited to photograph Operation Breakthrough and to conduct interviews of leaders of it and of the LEAP Initiative prior to and the morning of the Back to School Breakfast.

Interview opportunities include:

• Co-Founders Operation Breakthrough Sister Berta Sailor and Sister Corita Bussanmas
• Missouri Supreme Court Justice Laura Denvir Stith, a LEAP co-founder and volunteer
• LEAP Co Chair of Back to School Initiative Kim Fournier, Missouri Attorney General’s Office

“LEAP is grateful to the legal community for their generous donations to this initiative. I am so honored to be able to stand alongside our legal community and help these children be successful in their educational endeavors,” said Kim Fournier; co-chair of this year’s initiative. LEAP President Victoria Schatz stated, “Now, more than ever, the Children of Operation Breakthrough need our help to provide back to school supplies that not only are essential, but make them feel good about being in school and learning. That’s what the Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance is all about.”

Polsinelli Shughart's Jack Kilroy, Jr. is one of the original founders of LEAP.

About LEAP

The event is an initiative of The Foundation for Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP), a unique, joint professional effort comprised of the Asian American Bar Association; the Association of Corporate Counsel, Mid-America Chapter; the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City; the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association; the Hispanic Bar Association; the Jackson County Bar Association; the KC Legal Bar Association; the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association; the Lawyers Association of Kansas City; the Young Lawyers Section of the KCMBA, and the Young Lawyers Section of the Lawyers Association.

For 15 years LEAP has supported Operation Breakthrough with proceeds raised by its annual fundraising campaign celebrated at the LEAP Mardi Gras Luncheon held annually at the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association on Fat Tuesday. To date just over $1,000,000 has been donated to help the children at Operation Breakthrough develop to their fullest potential providing them a safe, loving and educational environment.