Blair Bieser had no idea a too-good-to-pass-up deal on a ticket to Kansas City Ballet’s performance of Yuri Possokov’s The Firebird in 2009 would change his life. But it did. “I didn’t know anything about ballet,” Blair recalls. “And I was absolutely enthralled. It was so beautiful and such an amazing combination of artistry and athleticism.”
“As I’ve gotten to know more about ballet, I’ve learned to really admire the dancers for their dedication. And I’ve been inspired to increase the amount I give each year so I can be in The Bolender Society.”
Showing Support for KC Ballet
Blair recently opened a Donor Advised Fund. By donating an appreciated asset (in this case, shares in a mutual fund), Blair was able to avoid capital gains taxes. He is able to pick what the fund invests in, and it grows tax-free. He then recommends grants to his favorite charities. That means he can make even more of a difference for Kansas City Ballet.
When asked about his favorite ballet memory, Blair shared this: “It was opening night of Lady of the Camellias, and there was a terrible snowstorm. We fought our way to get to the Kauffman Center, and there wasn’t much of a crowd. Since everyone had made such an effort to get there, we were all super motivated. Emily (Mistretta) and Lamin (Pereira) were an amazing Marguerite and Armand. And when Emily came out for her curtain call, everybody immediately stood up for her. That gave me goosebumps. It seemed like the whole audience was touched by her performance. I’m an usher at the Kauffman Center, and people still talk about that night.”
Interested in Joining the Bolender Society?
Named for the beloved former Artistic Director Todd Bolender, who transformed Kansas City Ballet with his artistry and vision, The Bolender Society is Kansas City Ballet’s premiere philanthropic group. Members generously make a monthly gift of $200 or an annual gift of $2,500 or more. For questions or to become a member, contact Director of Gift Planning Rebecca Zandarski, CFRE, CSPG, at 816.216.5597.
Top photo by Andrea Wilson