Radio campaign seeks ‘Awesome Things East of Troost’

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Never judge a book by its cover. That's the message behind a campaign being run by a local public radio station shedding a positive light on east Kansas City.

Dividing lines shouldn't keep people apart. Such is the unspoken mission behind a campaign called Awesome Things East of Troost, which is managed by KCUR-FM, a public radio station in the area.

Ron Jones is one of the radio station's managers. He says he's seen people's opinions change about the area east of Troost Avenue.

"We took a couple of photos to start," Jones said.

And since then, the radio station's page on the social media site Tumblr has been busy.

"I would say we're approaching over 100 photos," Jones said.

Jones and his radio staff have maintained their studio near Troost Avenue and 48th Street since the mid-1980's. He says he knew there would be concern about an area classified by the Kansas City Police Department as a 'hot spot' for violent crime.

"In any neighborhood you may go to, there will be bad spots or questionable spots," Jones said.

And the Tumblr page has given Jones and his staff beautiful material to work with, including Troost Lake, the Leon Jordan Memorial and Walt Disney's boyhood home on Bellefontaine Avenue.

Pat Williams believes his store is pretty awesome. He and his family operate the M&M Bakery and Deli on East 31st Street, where the baked goods are always in demand.

"It's not as bad as it seems," Williams said. "Not all areas east of Troost are bad areas. I've been here 31 years, and I've never seen anything bad in this area."

"Even within those hot spots, there are people who care about the community," Jones added. "There are people who are working to make the community better."

Jones says the radio station is also planning series on dividing lines at State Line Road, the Missouri River, and the divide between Johnson and Wyandotte Counties.

Click here to see Sean McDowell's FOX 4 Facebook page.

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