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Crow signing last checks for 'Salute to America'

Crow signing last checks for 'Salute to America'

July 3rd, 2018 by Bob Watson in Local News

Kathy Crow poses for a portrait at her office on Madison Street on Monday, July 2, 2018. Crow has been the treasurer for the Salute to America Committee for 15 years.

Photo by Emil Lippe /News Tribune.

Nick White sets up the carousel Monday while setting up part of the Salute to America Carnival Land in downtown Jefferson City. The festivities at Carnival Land will begin at 4 p.m. today.

Nick White sets up the carousel Monday while...

Photo by Emil Lippe /News Tribune.

Kathy Crow has been writing checks on behalf of the Salute to America board for the last eight years.

However, this year is her last on the board that plans and oversees Mid-Missouri's largest Independence Day festival.

"Being treasurer is the most time-consuming part of being on the board — writing out checks and keeping track of all the money," Crow said.

Fourteen years after getting involved with the then-new board, she's been treasurer for the last eight years and also has chaired the board eight times.

"Chairing the event isn't that hard," she said. "It is time-consuming. The Daily Plan-It does a lot of the work, but (being chair) is being the face of the event — (including) doing the (interviews)."

Crow, who's a vice president at Central Bank, has been with the bank 45 years and has been active in other community organizations, as well as the Salute to America board.

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Leaving the Salute to America board is part of her personal work to plan for her future, she said.

For years, the Independence Day event was planned and run by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce, but the operations shifted to the board in 2004 — with Jill Snodgrass and her staff at the Daily Plan-It event-planning company doing much of the work.

Crow recalled that fellow Central Bank employee Cindy Schneiders took her to her first board meeting, and Crow ended up volunteering to work the beer garden.

"The goal of the event has stayed the same," she noted, "to provide free entertainment for the community.

"(But) the footprint has grown tremendously since we started; we've expanded (down High Street) to Adams Street and on East Capitol."

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And, she said, the board has "tried to add something different every year," such as the "extreme sports" events and setting up — and filling — more entertainment stages than in earlier years.

"Daily Plan-It, Jill and the board have been really good about coming up with new things that we can do, to make it change every year, so it's not the same old stuff," Crow explained.

"This year has been really challenging, since they're doing the architects' (restoration) work on the Capitol — so trying to figure out the logistics of everything has been really quite an ordeal."

The committee's work always is a group project, she said.

"It takes a village to make this work — because you need the fire department, the police department, the state (and) the city," she said, "and all those people have to talk to each other. And we have to get approval from everyone whenever there are any changes made."

All those agencies have a representative at the board's monthly meetings, Crow said — and the board begins planning next year's event only days after the current one ends.

"We have to get letters out to the sponsors and stuff so that we can get them onto the calendar for next year," she said. "And we're discussing what bands we're going to use, and how much money we can spend on them, which has gotten to be really hard because the bands' prices have really exploded. And all we can pay is what we get from our sponsors — who, over the years, have been fantastic."

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The chamber and the Jefferson City and Cole County governments also have contributed to the annual celebration, which is one of the larger Independence Day observances in the state.

"It's because we're the Capital City," Crow said. "Having that Capitol in the background, behind everything that we do — even with the scaffolding — we think we need to put our best foot forward and do better than everyone else."

Even in writing the checks, Crow said, the goal has been "making everyone aware of the freedom that we have — and (showing) how this community comes together to help support it."

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