The Kansas City Bettys are a volunteer group of women who dress up in 1940s style clothing and make appearances at veteran’s events, museum events, and military exhibits.
The Bettys were out on Veterans Day at Hy-Vee in Liberty recruiting for the Heartland Honor Flight. We stopped by to watch them in action. We also sat down with Kansas City Bettys President Aundria Burdg to learn a little bit more about the organization.
Burdg works at the Veterans Administration. Four years ago a group of women came in on Valentine’s Day to pass out Valentines to the veterans. Burdg spoke with the group before they left. She was hooked on the concept and wanted to sign up immediately.
The Bettys began at the Gardner History Museum. The original founder, Mica Marriot-Ward, was asked to represent the women of the 1940s at an event. Marriott-Ward brought a friend along. After the event, the women kept getting phone calls asking if they’d come to various events. Since then the organization has grown into a 501c3 with a total of 13 Bettys.
Burdg is excited about the future and is ready to grow the organization. They’ve hit a point where they’re ready to investigate larger fundraising sources.
The hope is with more money the Bettys can do more of what they’re already doing. The Bettys attend meet and greets, sing songs from the WWII era, spend time with hospitalized veterans who are often not in the best of spirits, visit veterans homes, perform for the USO, and go on Honor Flights as guardians. Currently the only source of revenue for the organization is small donations from patrons at shows they do and merchandise that you can purchase on their website.
Burdg said of her involvement with the Bettys, “It’s such a blessing to be able to touch such a big piece of history. You sit down and listen to these veteran’s stories and get to be a part of that history.”
We asked Bardg if there was one particular memory that stood out in her years as a Betty.
“I was at the CAF airshow, and I had a veteran and his wife come up to me and ask for some help in finding “Fifi” which was a plane that was at the airshow. It was very important to them because the veteran’s brother was shot down in a plane like “Fifi.” I was able to help them find that plane and was told their story as we looked. The man’s wife that was shot down was also there that day. She was so emotional and wanted to see the plane. It was a rewarding experience.”