John Shipp via Crowdrise
November 19, 2011
Jerry Rapp wrote -
SHIRLEY INEZ RAPP
You may have had a direct relationship with her. You probably heard me speak about her. Either way, you probably have reason to believe, as I do, that my mother, Shirley I. Rapp, or "SIR" as she has been fondly known, is a extraordinary woman. She raised three children on her own, most of it as a single mother, much of it through great struggle.
She has faced some incredible obstacles to survive nine decades of existence. To this day, Shirley knows no stranger. She would literally offer you the shirt off her back, even if it was freezing. She is that person who will eat less at the table to make sure everyone around her is well fed. Her smile and charm has brightened countless rooms and hearts.
The child of wild Irish blood and German stubbornness, Shirley grew up in an underdeveloped region of Kansas City. Today she lives in an assisted living building about 500 yards from that original neighborhood - which has now vanished to modern construction. But one of the benefits of Shirley's new dwelling is that she has a window that gives a partial view of the skyline - in particular the distant Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Shirley has watched the assembly of this new gem of Kansas City from the earliest stages. On her rides to the grandparent's program assisting pre-schoolers - where she continues to volunteer - she was able to view the construction progress. She read all she could about the project and shared her observations with friends.
Shirley Rapp, like the Kauffman Center, is a legacy.
Recently Shirley has had some major health setbacks, but her will and zeal for life continues past her growing disabilities. We will celebrate her 91st birthday in two weeks, heading toward a century of life on this planet.
If you have ever been touched by the kindness of Shirley Rapp's heart or, by proxy, our ability to treat each other with the same regard, please consider honor Mrs. Shirley Rapp by contributing to The Shirley I Rapp Seat Dedication Fund - which will go toward a donation to the Kauffman Center so that a theater seat can be dedicated in Shirley's name. This will be a priceless birthday present to someone who has held such a childlike excitement for Kansas City's new wonder.
Everyone who contributes will receive a larger framed photograph of the attached photo, along with the text of the seat inscription and a personal thank you from Shirley. But mostly you will have our profound and continued gratitude that you are a part of our lives, and hope to preserve the spirit of a most remarkable woman.
Thank you so much for considering this.