Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance

Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance

KCMBF supports Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP) for the benefit of Operation Breakthrough.

Thanks to this year's incredible sponsors, LEAP will be donating $100,000 to Operation Breakthrough!

Click on the image below to see some of the grateful kids at Operation Breakthrough since we were unable to host our traditional Mardi Gras Luncheon.

To make a donation to LEAP for the benefit of Operation Breakthrough simply mail your check payable to LEAP.

c/o Mark Parrish, Treasurer
221 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 200, Independence, MO   64050 

Click here to donate online.
Because of your generosity, LEAP donated $100,000 to Operation Breakthrough!

Platinum Plus Donors
Davis, Bethune & Jones, LLC
Robb & Robb LLC Charitable Foundation
Platinum Donors
Bartimus, Frickleton Robertson & Rader, P.C.
Stinson LLP
Gold Donors
Boyd Kenter Thomas & Parrish, LLC
Edelman and Thompson, LLC
Husch Blackwell
Jack and Mary Kilroy
Miller Schirger
Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman
Shook Hardy & Bacon
The Redfearn Law Firm
Diamond Donors
Presley & Presley
Spencer Fane LLP
Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP
Silver Donors
Anne Schiavone
Ed and April Dougherty
Elizabeth Healey
Foland, Wickens, Roper, Hofer & Crawford, PC
Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger Norfleet
John and Ellen Aisenbrey
Kersten Holzhueter
Mark & Burkhead
Patricia Breckenridge
Rick Paul
William H. Bates
Bronze Donors
Aaron House
Jill Morris
Alice W. Redfearn
Jim Redfearn
Amanda Ketchum
Keith Volpi
Amy Hatch
Maggie Boyd
Anastasia Wullschleger
Matthew Sparks
Ashley Dillon
Michael and Abby Paradise
Athena Dickson
Michelle Marvel
Brad Bradshaw MD JD LC
Nancy Kenner
Comm'r Sherrill L. Rosen
Nash & Franciskato, LLC
Daniel R. Brown
Nina and Hon. Alok Ahuja
Dollar, Burns, Becker & Hershewe
Samantha Wenger
Hon. Gary Witt
Sarah Lynn Baltzell
Hon. Janett Sutton
Steven Holzhueter
Hon. Lisa Hardwick
Steven McFarland
Hon. Mary Weir
Susan Ikazaki
Hon. Ortrie Smith
The McCallister Law Firm
Hon. Stephen Bough
Totta Law Firm

About LEAP

Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP) was created in 1994 as a not for profit Foundation to further, promote and expand upon existing community service of lawyers in Greater Kansas City with a specific focus upon initiatives intended to encourage young persons in their pursuit of an education.

LEAP is a unique, joint professional effort comprised of


LEAP has been honored by the American Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Associations, and in 1997 received the ABA National Civic Literacy Award.  In presenting LEAP with the award, the ABA emphasized the cooperative nature of this educational consortium of lawyers. The National Civic Literacy Award recognizes “conspicuous, sustained effort by a law firm or public law office to contribute to the advancement of literacy at a local, state or national level.”

Who does LEAP support?

Through LEAP the lawyers of Kansas City have raised over $1.8 Million for the educational benefit of disadvantaged children.  LEAP’s designated beneficiary is Operation Breakthrough.  Founded in 1971, Operation Breakthrough’s mission is to help children who are living in poverty develop to their fullest potential by providing them a safe, loving and educational environment.  The center also strives to support and empower the children’s families through advocacy, referral services, and emergency aid.

Operation Breakthrough has utilized LEAP donations to fund a state of the art computer lab, well informed school counselors and before and after school enrichment programs.  Each year, LEAP’s fundraising efforts culminate at its Mardi Gras Luncheon typically held on Fat Tuesday.


Donor Levels:
Platinum Plus ($10,250 and up)
Platinum ($5,250-$10,249)
Gold ($2,750-$5,249)
Silver ($1,250-$2,749)
Bronze ($750-$1,249)
Partner ($1-$749)

To make a donation to LEAP for the benefit of Operation Breakthrough simply mail your check payable to LEAP.

c/o Mark Parrish, Treasurer
221 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 200, Independence, MO   64050

Click here to donate online.


LEAP has also benefited Operation Breakthrough by asking lawyers of Greater Kansas City to volunteer as Mentors and Study Buddies.  

What is a Study Buddy?

LEAP Study Buddies volunteer at Operation Breakthrough to read one on one with children, help with schoolwork, and give time and attention to children who need a friend.

Why Be a Study Buddy?

Having consistent care attention and encouragement has worked wonders for the children already receiving regular tutoring and mentoring. Some of the great outcomes seen at Operation Breakthrough include increased focus, effective problem solving and improved scholastic achievement and behavior. By giving only two hours a week or month a Study Buddy can have a tremendous impact on the education and development of the children served by Operation Breakthrough.

What Does it Involve?

Tutors and kids meet at the center any day Monday through Friday between 4 and 6 pm. They are encouraged not only to do homework, read, tutor but also to talk, share play games and interact in the Center's 10,000-volume library. Volunteers can participate on a weekly or monthly basis.

To volunteer as a LEAP Mentor or Study Buddy contact Operation Breakthrough, (816) 329-5233.

To learn more about Operation Breakthrough go to

LEAP Board of Directors


Michelle Marvel, President

Abby McClellan, Vice President

Amanda Ketchum, Secretary

Mark Parrish, Treasurer

Mary Shafer, Corporate Secretary

Vickie Mauck, KCMBA Executive Director


Class I (expires July 2022)          
Hon. Stephen Bough                    

Taylor Concannon                         

Kate Gasper                                 

Susan Ikazaki
Keith Volpi
Hon. Mary Weir

Class II (expires July 2023)
Sarah Baltzell
Kathryn Bascom
Michelle Cocayne
Tim Davis

Hon. Mark Styles
Samantha Wenger

Class III (expires July 2024)
Maggie Boyd
Ashley Dillon
Kersten Holzhueter
Andrew Robb
Matt Sparks


John Aisenbrey
Maureen Brady
Toji Calabro
Ashlee Crowl
Athena Dickson
Liza Healey
Amy Jackson
Maya King
Elsa Linares
Lindsay Mathews
Denise Redfearn
Steven Soden
Vanessa Starke
Jonathan Steele
Alexandra Wilson

Life Members

Hon. Alok Ahuja
Jim Bartimus
Bert Bates
Scott Bethune
Hon. Patricia Breckenridge
Mara Cohara
Denise Davis
Grant Davis
Mark Foster
Jim Frickleton
Lisa Gentleman
Jim Heeter
Laura Higgins Tyler
Jack Kilroy, Jr.
Pat McLarney
Kirk Presley
Paul Redfearn
Anita Porte Robb
Hon. Chris Sill-Rogers
Hon. Laura Stith

Member Associations

The Asian American Bar Association, is an affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, which has been at the forefront of national and local activities in the areas of civil rights reform, combating anti-immigrant backlash and hate crimes, increasing the diversity of the federal and state judiciaries, and professional development since 1988,

The Association of Corporate Counsel, Mid-America ChapterThe Association of Corporate Counsel is the world’s largest community of in-house counsel, serving the professional and business interests of attorneys who practice in the legal departments of corporations, associations, and other private-sector organizations around the globe. The Mid-America Chapter serves Central-Western Missouri and Central-Eastern Kansas as well as the greater Omaha, Nebraska, Metropolitan area.

The Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, was formed in 1976 to advance the role of women in the legal profession.  AWL provides opportunities for networking and a forum for the exchange of ideas. Its ongoing and annual activities allow the organization to contribute to the Kansas City community.

The Eastern Jackson County Bar AssociationMembership to the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association is open to attorneys and judges practicing in the Eastern Jackson County area.  The association hosts monthly learning luncheons during which attendees have the opportunity to earn CLE credit.  In addition, attendees have an opportunity to get better acquainted with one another which contributes to cordiality among adversaries.

The Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City, serves as the voice for the concerns and opinions of Hispanics in the community generally, and in the legal profession in particular. Their mission is to:  preserve the recruitment and retention of Hispanics in law schools and provide them with financial assistance; develop mechanisms to facilitate the exchange of information among Hispanics involved in all segments of the legal profession; conduct conventions and seminars in order to provide continuing legal education for attorneys and foster the exchange of ideas and information among its members; provide testimony before Missouri and Kansas state legislatures on issues of concern to Hispanics; work with other bar associations, governmental agencies and community groups to achieve greater involvement in and understanding of the American legal system by the national Hispanic community.

The Jackson County Bar Association, is a voluntary bar association comprised primarily of African-American attorneys from throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.  Founded in 1912, the purpose of the JCBA, then and now, is to be a resource for its members; to work to ensure justice and equal opportunity for the African-American community; improve the administration of justice; preserve the independence of the judiciary, improve the economic conditions of all citizens of Missouri; uphold the honor of the legal profession; and protect the civil and political rights of the citizens and residents of the State of Missouri.

Kansas City Lesbian, Gay, and Allied Lawyers, is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) membership association of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) and allied legal community in the Kansas City metropolitan area.  KC LEGAL’s mission is to unite legal professionals in the Kansas City metropolitan area around issues facing LGBT individuals; promote solidarity and support among LGBT individuals in the law; educate the general public, legal profession, and courts about legal issues facing LGBT individuals; promote the expertise and advancement of LGBT legal professionals in the legal profession; work with LGBT organizations, community groups, and other progressive allied groups and individuals to gain equal rights for all people; promote the creation of conditions with other legal bar associations and organizations; encourage the adoption of non-discrimination policies in law firms protecting both sexual orientation and gender identity; encourage firms to offer domestic partnership benefits to employees; and empower LGBT individuals to choose law as a career.

The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, was founded in 1884.  The mission of this Association is to serve its members and the community by promoting justice, professional excellence and respect for the law.

The Lawyers Association of Kansas CityThe mission of LAKC is to provide lawyers opportunities to volunteer in the community, improve the administration of justice and develop balanced professional lives. The association accomplishes this mission through service projects, legal education, social events and forums addressing current issues impacting the judicial system or legal profession.