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Archive for Saturday, October 21, 2006

Donations help open KU chapel

October 21, 2006

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Wedding vows once again are being exchanged in Kansas University's Danforth Chapel.

The chapel, which was significantly damaged when a microburst struck Lawrence on March 12, reopened about three weeks ago, thanks to private donations.

"Our alumni and friends came to the rescue here for Danforth, and for that we are so grateful," said Rosita McCoy, vice president of communications at the KU Endowment Association.

The chapel still would be closed if donors hadn't stepped up, McCoy said. Weddings have occurred at the chapel every weekend since the reopening, McCoy said, and many more have been scheduled.

The chapel's roof received most of the damage, and repairs cost $40,000. The storm caused about $6 million in damage to the KU campus. In its wake, the Endowment Association launched a storm-recovery funding campaign.

Donations for Danforth included $25,000 from Robert H. Malott, of Wilmette, Ill.; $3,900 from the Historic Mount Oread Fund, an organization dedicated to preserving the university's heritage; and $15,400 from dozens of KU friends and alumni. Many of the contributors were married in the chapel, McCoy said.

Extra funds will be used for chapel projects. A feasibility study will see what other work is needed, and the Endowment Association continues to accept donations for Danforth.

About 50 weddings had been planned in the summer at the chapel, but those couples had to relocate because of the damage.

Typically, the 60-year-old chapel is the site of about 500 weddings and 250 other events annually. About 5,000 couples have been married there since it opened in 1946.

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