Take It From Me

Book publisher to donate 1,400 books

Jefferson Knapp, owner of Kraken Books, Ltd. is doing something he has wanted to do since the pandemic began last spring.  He is holding a book drive fundraiser for the five elementary schools in El Dorado and Towanda. 

“Take It From Me” is published by Kraken Books, Ltd. and the company is looking to donate 1,400 copies of the book to students in El Dorado and Towanda schools.

Kraken Books, Ltd., is a publishing company located in El Dorado, and they have a goal to donate one book to every child in each of the elementary schools.

“This has been heartbreaking seeing kids’ lives changed this drastically,” said Knapp. “Their world is already small, and when you throw all this at them, it is no doubt affecting them.” 

The book to be donated is a children’s book titled “Take It From Me” and was written by Knapp and former K-State Wildcats football coach Bill Snyder. 

The story is centered around Coach Snyder’s famous ’16 Goals for Success’ that he instilled in his teams throughout his Hall of Fame 25-year career.

“We made it fun and easy for kids to learn these valuable life lessons and you don’t have to be a Wildcat fan to appreciate them,” Knapp said. 

To help fund the book donations, Knapp is asking businesses and individuals to partner with Kraken Books to cover the cost of each book, which is $3.50. 

The El Dorado and Towanda school districts are able to provide a gift receipt for donations and a donation sticker with the name of the donor will be placed at the front of each book.

“There are over 1,400 kids that we’d love to get this book to before the end of the school year between May 19-28,” said Knapp. “You never know how much something like this will mean to a kid who’s going through tough times.”

Individuals who would like to donate, should contact Kraken Books at (316) 308-6945 or via email knapp@krakenbooks.com

BCC Culinary Arts Receives Gift

Largest gift in program history

The Culinary Arts program at Butler Community College is moving forward with what some are calling “Culinary 2.0.” Scott Redler, co-founder and COO of the fast-casual restaurant franchise, Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, and wife Betsy announced Thursday, that they and Vantage Point Properties, Inc. are making significant donations to the Butler Community College Foundation to support the growth and expansion of Butler’s award-winning Culinary Arts program.

Photo taken pre-COVID-19

The cash and land gifts prepare Butler’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management programs to
make significant enhancements. The result will be a brand-new teaching and entertaining facility
in Andover’s hottest development area on Kellogg. The building will serve as a state-of-the-art
training facility for the Culinary and Hospitality program while providing students the
opportunity to showcase their unique cuisines to the public.

The vision is the brainchild of Scott Redler, who currently sits on the board for the National
Restaurant Association.

“I’ve been thinking about this for some time,” said Redler. “I think this venue will bring a lot of
excitement to the Andover area not only as a food and hospitality venue, but also will provide a
state-of-the-art training facility for Butler’s outstanding Culinary and Hospitality program. I’ve
been a part of the Butler program for over 25 years. It’s a dynamic program and they have
accomplished a great deal with the facilities they’ve had. Now we are ready for a facility and
teaching team that will make the program known in the Midwest for culinary and hospitality

The vision and timing fit well with the City of Andover’s current economic development plans
for the area on Kellogg near the Dillons Marketplace. Paul Jackson, President of Vantage Point
Properties, also got excited about the vision.

“With Scott and Betsy’s generous lead gift to kick this off, we are thrilled to participate and do
our part to help move it forward,” said Jackson. “I want to see our community build on its
culinary legacy, and I believe Scott’s vision and leadership, combined with Butler’s award-
winning programming goes a long way to achieve that.”

The City of Andover is pleased the Redlers and Vantage Point Properties are bringing the vision
to Andover Marketplace, the cities hottest development area.

“I appreciate the partnership of the college in serving our Andover citizens. They’ve done a lot of
work at the north end of Andover with their 5000 Building remodel,” said Andover Mayor
Ronnie Price. “With these gifts and vision, the south side of Andover can be the permanent home
for this new Culinary and Hospitality facility. It will fit nicely as an evening venue for the
community and that’s a win-win for everyone.”

Butler President Dr. Kim Krull noted the Redlers are longtime supporters of the college giving
their time, talents and treasures as Scott serves on the Culinary Advisory Committee and Betsy
serves on the College’s Foundation Board of Directors. In addition, the Redlers endowed the
Betsy and Scott Redler Hospitality scholarship three years ago for Butler’s hospitality students.
Over the years, Redler has presented many times to Butler’s Culinary students and has hired
students into the Freddy’s organization. He’s thrilled to see Butler alum Chris Williams now
managing one of the highest volume Freddy’s in the country at Maple and Ridge in Wichita, and
former student Curtis Beat working as a Freddy’s Franchisee.

Williams was a college graduate, a husband and a father when he entered Butler’s program. He
enrolled and graduated with certificates in both Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts.
“The staff was great, and I learned a lot … I’ve always felt that family connection with Butler,”
said Williams. “I’ve never felt so close to instructors ever and it’s unique things like that which
kept me going especially when I had so much going on. They made me feel comfortable and that
made me want to show them what I could do.”

Williams was introduced to Redler during his first year at Butler and that started a connection.
“I immediately liked his personality and we talked about the program and the industry,” said
Williams. That connection led to Williams joining the Freddy’s team as a supervisor while he
was still in school. In nine months, he was promoted to manager. He’s now general manager.
Williams could sense the ‘family feel’ and support was also alive inside the Freddy’s

“I love it. Freddy’s is built on love and family and you feel that from the corporate team. Scott
and Betsy have been nothing but great in supporting me. Butler sent me on my way to where I
am, even if I didn’t know what all to expect.”
It’s those life changing opportunities that spur the Redlers to serve their community. Scott Redler
is also involved with the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Board, and he and Betsy both serve
on multiple boards in the Wichita area.

“Scott and Betsy both understand the value of the culinary program at Butler and recognize its
importance to the community and our students,” said Krull. “Vantage Point Properties has been
visiting with us for a couple of years regarding the possibility of a permanent home for our
Culinary program. The stars aligned when these two sat down and decided to make it happen.
We are so grateful for their generosity and for their support of our students.”

“The Foundation is excited to work with the Redlers and Vantage Point Properties, Inc to
construct an exceptional facility in Andover,” said Tom Borrego, Vice President of
Advancement of the Butler Community College Foundation. “We are ready to raise the
necessary funds to create a brand-new facility for our Culinary and Hospitality Management

Local Author Donates to Library

Sierra Marie Bonn is passionate about STEAM education. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. She is so passionate about it, in fact, that she wrote and illustrated a children’s book in order to empower the next generation of learners.

Innovators: women in history who have made positive contributions to STEAM, is the title of her book targeted toward 3rd – 5th graders. She recently donated a copy to Bradford Memorial Library in El Dorado. Bradford is where Bonn says she learned to read.

Children’s Librarian Carol Huffman, left, receives a book donation from its author, Sierra Marie Bonn, right.

“The summer reading programs helped develop my love of reading,” said Bonn.

When working to promote her social impact initiative, “Let’s Go Full STEAM Ahead!” Bonn knew immediately she wanted to write a book to help spread its message.

Bonn works to educate and engage students by sharing her book with classrooms, camps and community partners. She highlights the stories of influential women in STEAM in order to show the next generation that they can innovate, too.

“Of all the STEAM workers in the United States today, only 1 in 5 of them are women,” said Bonn. “In order to change that number, we need to show young women their potential to become innovative scientists, architects, computer engineers, artists, singers, marketers, and teachers.”

Bonn not only works with young women, but boys and girls of all ages. “While incredible strides have been made, we still have a long way to go,” she said. “We also need to show everyone else women have the potential to thrive in innovative careers.”

Bonn keeps no profit from the sales of her book. She sells them as a one-to-one initiative.

“For every book sold, one is donated to a school or community library,” said Bonn. “Everytime a book is sold, I look for places to donate one. We have donated books, not only in Kansas, but in several states across the country, in Canada, Haiti and now Croatia.”

“My goal is to donate a book in every county in Kansas,” said Bonn. “I am always looking for supporters. If individuals or businesses would like to help me reach that goal, they can learn more at my website: letsgofullSTEAMahead.com.”

American Legion Auxiliary

Afghan Fundraiser

The Captain Edgar Dale American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 held a fundraiser raffle to benefit their veteran’s programs. The prize was a beautifully crocheted afghan made and donated by Donna Church.

The lucky recipient of the afghan was Wendy Michael.

Wendy Michael received the afghan donated by Donna Church.

“This project was created to help raise money for the Auxiliary to give to the veterans,” said Unit #81 Member, Karen Andersen.   

The members of the American Legion Auxiliary participate in a variety of fundraising efforts that allow them to serve the local veteran population and their families. These programs directly and indirectly touch the lives of all Americans. 

Local programs include the Poppy Program, Troop Care Packages, Christmas Gift Shops, Girl’s State, College Scholarships and many others.  

“The American Legion Auxiliary is a patriotic service organization, with more that 900,000 members world-wide,” according to the national organization. 

“With the philosophy of ‘Service, not Self’ the American Legion Auxiliary develops a strong spirit of volunteerism in its members who have joined together in the fellowship of giving to others,” according to the organization. 

To learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #81 and its membership opportunities, please contact the Captain Edgar Dale Post #81 at (316) 321-3767 or visit the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Kansas website at www.kslegionaux.org