Dirty Kanza Promotions is quite proud to have such firm roots in Emporia, KS and the Flint Hills. We are not just in this community we are truly of this community. It is with that in mind that we strive to build community, not just within our hometown and region, but beyond as well. The landscape of our town has changed for the better through our many community partnerships. Here are just a few examples of how we partner and work with local, regional, and national organizations:
Never Let Go Fund
The Never Let Go Fund was founded in 2014 to aid families with children battling cancer. It was created right here in Lyon County after one of Emporia’s own, Adrian Lewis-Solano, lost his battle with childhood cancer. The Never Let Go Fund stepped up at the Dirty Kanza to offer support to riders who did not have a support crew of their own. Their top notch support always receives high praise and is welcomed by many participants who could not travel with friends or family to support them. Through this partnership with Dirty Kanza Promotions the Never Let Go Fund has raised over $40,000 in the past 4 years. Look for them out on course and give them thanks for their hard work and dedication to DK riders and the families in need in this region!
As the Dirty Kanza grew, lodging in Emporia became more sparse. Through a partnership with Emporia State University, dorm rooms were opened up to accommodate the influx of out of town visitors. A portion of these proceeds is set aside to fund the Dirty Kanza Scholarship. In 2017, three – $700 scholarships were awarded to ESU students as a result.
Klean Kanza Initiative
One of the things that makes the Dirty Kanza so attractive to many cyclists is the pristine, unspoiled nature of the Flint Hills. As good stewards of the cycling community and this region that we call home, we have implemented “Klean Kanza.” Klean Kanza is more than a cleaning day, it is a year round initiative. Klean Kanza Day occurs exactly one week after the Dirty Kanza. It is an effort by Dirty Kanza and a large number of community advocates to canvas the entire Dirty Kanza course and then some, picking up any and all trash that is found along the way whether it be from cyclists or not. In addition to clean up days, Dirty Kanza Headquarters also serves as a GU Energy Labs recycling center. Wrappers are recycled and sent to Teracycle to be repurposed into wonderful new creations like park benches!
Emporia is the Founding City of Veteran’s Day, and DK Promotions has partnered with Emporia Main Street and the Freedom Fest Committee to put this event on the Sunday before Veteran’s Day. Taking off from the All Veteran’s Memorial, funds raised from this ride/run go to maintaining the memorial and to support the families of the KS Army Reserve and National Guard.
Recognizing that the weekend of the Dirty Kanza Race is a big one, DK Promotions has worked tirelessly with area not-for-profit organizations to create auxiliary events which, in turn, help them raise cash that adds directly to their bottom line. Some of those organizations are Emporia Granada Theatre, Emporia Farmers’ Market, EHS Athletics, and Newman Regional Health.