Shannon Neff-Muell (10 Squared Member and Kid Zone Board Member) and Whitney Brown (nominator and 10 Squared Member) smile for a photo. Brown presented Neff-Muell with a $10,000 check. The money was raised by the 10 Squared women group.
Shannon Neff-Muell (10 Squared Member and Kid Zone Board Member) and Whitney Brown (nominator and 10 Squared Member) smile for a photo. Brown presented Neff-Muell with a $10,000 check. The money was raised by the 10 Squared women group.

10 Squared Women of Guthrie County held their quarterly meeting at the Lake Panorama Conference Center on November 15th and once all the checks had been collected from members and company matches, a lump sum of $10,000 was presented to Kid Zone Early Learning Center, with locations in Guthrie Center & Adair. Several last minute checks came in after the “big check” was presented, bringing the grand total to $11,100!

Kid Zone Early Learning Center is a nonprofit organization providing a safe, educational, and developmental facility for childcare. Located adjacent to Guthrie Center Elementary School, the Guthrie Center site opened in 2008. The center in Adair is located on Broad Street and opened in 2014. Kid Zone is state licensed through the Department of Human Services and follows all the early childhood curriculum, staffing ratios, staff background checks and childcare regulations. Children aged 4 weeks to up to 12 years of age are welcome at Kid Zone. In addition, Kid Zone offers families a before and after school program for children in Pre-K through 5th grade.

Over the past few years, Kid Zone has made improvements at the Guthrie Center site, both from a functional standpoint, as well as from an aesthetic standpoint. The entire interior was remodeled in 2012 and beginning in 2015 Kid Zone started the process of making improvements to the exterior of the building, including replacing the roof and installing a commercial grade playground structure and fencing in the backyard in the fall of 2016. Last year, the same playground structure was purchased and installed at the Adair site, and the backyard was enclosed there.

“Following the abduction of Mollie Tibbets in a town similar in size to our own, our board decided that we needed to make improvements to the security at our centers. When it comes to our children, we feel that you can never take two many precautions when it comes to their safety. We began researching various

options and started the painstaking process of fundraising. When our name was selected to present in front of the 10 Squared Women of Guthrie County, it felt like a weight was lifted because maybe, just maybe, we would be able to get this project completed much faster than we initially anticipated. The two major improvements that we will start working on this winter with this group’s donation would be the installation of security cameras, as well as the installation of a keyless entry system and new entry doors at both sites, coupled with a childcare management software system to support the keyless entry hardware,” said board member Shannon Neff-Muell. “This is an incredible gift, and we are thrilled to

have been selected to receive this donation. We can’t say thank you enough.”

Kid Zone Early Learning Center can be found on Facebook at phone number is 641-332-2028 and inquiries about employment or enrollment should be directed to Cassie Pittman, Director.

The 10 Squared Women group has vowed to only nominate and donate funds to local organizations and groups who also vow to keep those dollars working right in our back yards, for Guthrie County projects and residents. “This group can benefit any Guthrie County organization, not just those located in Guthrie Center and Panora, so we want to invite anyone who has the desire and the means to be a part of this group to come check us out” said Kristen Crouthamel, co-organizer. “As with all of our meetings, the three organizations chosen at random to present this quarter (Guthrie County 4H Clubs, Panora Downtown Enhancement, and Kid Zone) were very worthy causes” said Crouthamel. All of the organizations the 10 Squared Women have donated to since forming in January in 2017 serve residents across the county in Adair, Stuart, Bagley, Bayard, Yale, Jamaica, Panora, Guthrie Center and others. Kid Zone Early Learning Center was nominated by member Whitney Brown, and each member can have one nomination “in the hat” at any one time. The group currently has over 20 nominations “in the hat” and since inception, the group has donated over $86,000 to various organizations and projects within Guthrie County.

Meetings are held the third Thursday in February, May, August and November. The next quarterly 10 Squared Women meeting will be Thursday, February 21st at the Lake Panorama National Conference Center at 6pm with a light dinner served at 5:30. Members are encouraged to bring an interested friend or family member to the meetings and to share the group within their social circles. The initial goal was to have 100 members, and they are currently at exactly 100 members, however, the 2019 goal is to increase that number to 125 members. Members are not required to attend meetings, however, in order for their vote to count, must be in attendance at the meeting. All members are expected to write their donation checks whether they can attend the meeting and vote or not.

The group is still accepting new members and for more information, you can visit their Facebook page at, or email them at

Membership Forms and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on their Facebook page or by contacting them through Face-book or email.