Aspire: direct one’s hopes or ambitions toward achieving something

Chris and Stacey Payne inspire many people in their community to achieve greatness.  Their leadership and volunteerism has helped to shape their Raytown community for good through city redevelopment, spending time with pediatric cancer fighters, and leading the charge to transform their communities’ animal shelter.  

The couple has been given many blessings including their complementary business talents.  Chris is gifted in business deals and Stacey is gifted in running businesses, which makes them a great match to run their businesses together.  They don’t do anything small and when they put their mind to something there is no stopping them. 

Both are transplants to the Raytown community and are dedicated to their adopted community.  Stacey notes that “Raytown picked us. We’re grateful to be involved with the Chamber and with the schools.”  Their involvement with the Raytown School District opened their eyes to the need for scholarships for qualified students who will be the first in their family to attend college.  “There are many students who are incredibly gifted, but just don’t have the financial means to achieve their full potential,” notes Chris.  It became evident to the couple that they wanted to make a significant impact with these students, not only in their first year of college, but with a scholarship that is renewable for the student’s entire undergrad collegiate career. 

Chris and Stacey’s vision for creating the Aspire Scholarship led them to partner with Truman Heartland Community Foundation and the Raytown Education Foundation.  They were diligent in funding the permanently endowed scholarship and looked for the perfect assets to fund the scholarship, which even included auctioning off some real estate to fund a portion of the project. 

Chris notes, “Everyone has an obligation to give back, whether that be through providing wisdom, volunteering or with your finances.  You have to assess where your talent is and give back in that area.” Students for generations to come will be thankful for Chris and Stacey’s outlook on giving back and their dedication to helping others reach their full potential.

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