Organizers of the Meeting For Peace say they have raised more than $130,000 of the event's $400,000 budget.
"We wanted to make sure we had some of the foundation stones in place, and I think it's going pretty good," said Karon Brashares, executive director of the Meeting For Peace a weeklong Soviet-American conference that will be held Oct. 12-18 in Lawrence and other Kansas cities.
About 250 Soviets from all 15 republics and 250 Americans from all 50 states are expected to attend the event, which will feature forums and cultural exchange activities.
Brashares said the amount raised so far includes more than $80,000 in American delegate fees purchased by the Kansas Department of Commerce.
The cost to be an American delegate to the Meeting for Peace is $750. The commerce department purchased 107 delegate spaces and will seek Kansas educators, businesspeople, and agricultural specialists to attend free of cost.
"We wanted to make sure that Kansas was well represented," she said.
Brashares made the remarks during a Meeting For Peace reception Wednesday at the Eldridge Hotel, 701 Mass.
ABOUT 20 local community leaders and Kansas University officials attended the reception, organizers said.
Approximately 125 host families in Lawrence are needed to house about 130 Soviets who will be here for the event.
Judy Kish, local host family coordinator, said about 65 families already have made arrangements to house Soviets.
"We have a lot of applications out, and we're still waiting for a lot of them to come back in," Kish said.
She said organizers would try to provide at least one Soviet that can speak English to local host families.
"I think the language barrier is the thing that concerns people the most," she said. "But, we should be able to get at least one person that can speak a little English for each family."
Bob Swan, Amercian co-chairman of the Meeting For Peace, said many events of the conference are still being finalized.
FEATURED events include U.S.-Soviet task forces that will focus on the environment, energy, education, global security, communications and lifestyles. Those forums will be held in the Kansas Union at KU.
Lawrence also will host Soviet-American art, film and music festivals.
The Meeting For Peace also will include an agricultural and agribusiness forum in Manhattan; a business and trade forum in Wichita; a health and medical care forum at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., and at the Menninger Center in Topeka; and a citizen and governance forum in Topeka.
Swan said organizers have scheduled a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the state capitol in Topeka to announce additional programs and to gain state and national exposure for the event.
Anyone interested in hosting Soviets, or in becoming a delegate to the event may call the Meeting For Peace office at 843-6435.