Carney’s Kids Foundation was established in 2006 after radio personality, John Carney, wanted to focus his energy from charity appearances into fundraising efforts that had a meaningful impact for children.
Joanie Protzel served as the organization’s inaugural Executive Director. In 2014, Suzanne Carney assumed the position of Executive Director to support the organization’s transition toward a sustainable vision. In 2015, Carney’s Kids Foundation recruited Kris Parsons to serve as its third Executive Director. Under Parsons’ leadership the organization established key processes, policies, and strategies to help the organization attain financial stability.
Major Programming and Activities (2015 - Present)
CarneyVal – This Spring event replaced former annual fundraiser, Spooktacular. With increased attendance, sponsorship, and auction items, CarneyVal became Carney’s Kids most successful fundraiser to-date.
- Giving Tuesday and Give STL Day – Carney’s Kids Foundation participated in two annual giving initiatives coordinated by the Community Foundation of Greater St. Louis. These events focused on online giving to St. Louis-based non-profits.
Major Programming and Activities (2006 - 2015)
Annual Spooktacular – A Halloween themed fundraiser with comedy entertainment, costumes, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the event went directly to Carney’s Kids Foundation partner charities.
Taste of Restaurant Tuesday – A cookbook published by John Carney with highlighting famous recipes from St. Louis local restaurants. All proceeds from the book went directly to Carney’s Kids Foundation partner charities.
American Girl Fashion Show – A charity fashion show themed after American Girl dolls with all proceeds going to Carney’s Kids Foundation.
Individual hosted charities – Other organizations including the St. Patrick’s Day committee, the Corvette Club and Hallmark Stone previously held independent fundraisers with the proceeds going to Carney’s Kids Foundation.
- Litzsinger School End of the Year Picnic – Carney’s Kids Foundation’s contributions to the Litzsinger School enabled the school to host an end of the year picnic to celebrate its students and connect with parents. This has become an annual event that is a highlight of Litzsinger’s academic year to celebrate the students that the school serves.
We know how tough it can be to find the right organizations to dedicate your time and passion for the causes you care about. Give us a call or email to learn more about our approach and how you can make a difference for kids in our community.
Major Charities Supported
Delta Gamma Center
Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital
St. Louis Crisis Nursery
Gateway Hemophilia Association
Rainbows for Kids - past partner
Half the Sky (One Sky) - past partner
Board of Directors
FOUNDER & Board Chair
John Carney is a St. Louis radio talk show host featured on the Carney Show on KTRS. With more than 30 years in the broadcast industry, John has worked across multiple radio show formats and specializes in talk radio. John has received the “Air Award” for talk show host of the year and was chosen as one of St. Louis’ top radio personalities by the St. Louis media 5 different times and in 2015 was selected as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Radio Talk Show Hosts in America.
As one of the most familiar voices in St. Louis, he is often asked to serve as a celebrity host of charity events and galas. In 2006, John decided he wanted to focus his energy from charity appearances. Establishing Carney’s Kids Foundation with family and friends, John set out to raise funds and awareness for local non-profits that made an impact in children’s lives.
With humor and heart, John has built Carney’s Kids Foundation into an organization that leverages hundreds of volunteer hours and individual charitable contributions to provide significant funding to local youth serving organizations in the region.
• Talk Show Host - The Big 550 KTRS
• Talk Show Host - 1120 KMOX
Activities & Affiliations
- Advisory Board, St. Louis Crisis Nursery
- Board of Directors Foundry Arts Center
- Advisory Board member - St Louis Crisis Nursery
- Board of Directors- Gateway Hemophilia Association
Mel has been involved in community organizations since graduating college in 1975. First serving the Jaycees on the local, regional and State level for 20 years. He has also served on the Boards of the March of Dimes, Volunteers of America, and Boy Scouts of America. During his 30+ year law enforcement career he established an law enforcement Explorer Post and ran the the Neighborhood Watch and Stranger Danger programs up and until he retired from the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department in 2008.
In 1992 he joined his local Rotary club and continued his community involvement. He has served Rotary International as Governor for the 48 club district in southern Illinois from 2008-09. Because of his law enforcement background, he has served as an Advisory Board member and Family Friend for Backstoppers since 2001.
Presently he serves as Director of Business Development for Taylor Roofing. Mel meets property managers and building owners to help them review their needs for roofing repairs or replacement.
Mel joined Carney's Kids Foundation as a Board member in 2015 and as Executive Director, oversees the organization's annual events and Board of Directors.
FBI NATIONAL ACADEMY SESSION 168
B.A., Business and Economics, 1975
- Director of Business Development - Taylor Roofing 2010-Present
- Managing Partner - Signal 88 Security 2010-2013
- District Governor - Rotary District 6510 2008-2009
- Undersheriff - St. Clair County Sheriff 1977-2008
Activities & Affiliations
- Rotary International
- FBI National Academy Associates
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI - ST. LOUIS
• Sr. Regional Account Manager - U.S. Bank
Jeanelle Wiley is the University Secretary for Webster University and the Webster University Board of Trustees. She is responsible for managing all official correspondence with Trustees, maintaining official records of all trustees and trustee committee meetings, keeping official records of actions taken by trustees and providing assistance in interpreting policies and matters of jurisdiction and governance. She collaborates with the President, the Provost, and Trustees to address issues of institutional governance, such as privacy, security, equity and communications. Wiley also serves as the University's liaison to external counsel for all legal issues institutionally.
Wiley joined Carney's Kids as a Board member in 2015 and took on the duties of Board Secretary in 2016.
• University Secretary - Webster University
• Executive Assistant to the President - Webster University
M.A., International Relations
INSTITUT CATHOLIQUE DE PARIS
Certificate, Business and Economics
B.A., French & Int'l Management
Ben Abel oversees all Food Service entities in the L2V Holdings portfolio, including McArthur's Bakery Cafe, which has 4 retail locations and a national wholesale presence. He is responsible for concept development, business strategy, and all operating functions for the current portfolio.
Ben joined Carney's Kids Foundation as a Board member in 2010. He oversees the organization's annual Trivia Night.
• Managing Partner - McArthur's Bakery Cafe
• Owner - Feraro's Pizza LLC
• Senior Project Manager - Panera Bread
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI - COLUMBIA
B.A., Business, 2002
Lynn Van Oyen
Lynn joined Carney's Kids Foundation as a Board member in 2015. She serves as the Board's liaison to the CarneyVal Committee. Prior to her work with Carney's Kids, Lynn worked as an Account Manager at Midwest IV, where she worked in sales and customer satisfaction.
• Account Manager - Midwest IV
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI - ST. LOUIS
B.A., Liberal Studies
Rachel Komeshak works for Washington University in St. Louis as a Supervisor of Web Marketing Services and Digital Project Manager for the Department of Pediatrics. She is responsible for web design, development, and interactive project management; social media strategy; branding; and video production for several departments within the Washington University School of Medicine.
Rachel joined Carney's Kids as a Board Member in early 2014. She is currently on a leave of absence from Carney's Kids while she prepares to have twins!
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY - EDWARDSVILLE
B.A., Mass Communication
• Supervisor of Web Marketing Services - Washington University in St. Louis
• Video Production Manager - Creative Producers Group
Josh Sindel, J.D.
Josh Sindel is an Associate at the law firm of Sindel, Sindel & Noble, P.C. where he specializes in criminal defense. Josh also works with HavenHouse St. Louis - another local nonprofit. Josh joined Carney's Kids as a Board Member in 2016.
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY IN
ST. LOUIS - SCHOOL OF LAW
UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
B.A., Sociology and Political Science, 2005
• Attorney - Sindel, Sindel, & Noble, P.C.
Activities & Affiliations
• Young Professionals Board of HavenHouse St. Louis