HOST (Helping Others Support Topeka) Relief Program received nearly $10,000 in funding through the sale of 834 “Topeka Strong” t-shirts. The Greater Topeka Partnership, GO Topeka and Advisors Excel made the announcement today.

“Our team is thrilled that the 'Topeka Strong' shirt raised $9,755.94 for the HOST Relief Program,” said Marcus Rangel, Advisors Excel executive creative director. “To see our community come together and support such a good cause shows that so many people are thinking of how they can make an impact on others during this time. To keep the momentum going and raise even more money, we’re launching an official online store,”

To date, $655,000 in private HOST Relief donations have been used to purchase gift cards from local businesses; more than 1,300 furloughed workers in Shawnee County have received a total of $388,000. The HOST Relief Program was developed in March to provide economic stimulus for local businesses and employees affected by COVID-19.

The HOST Relief Program began with an idea from area businessmen Lance Sparks and Scott Hunsicker. “Topeka is fortunate to have an organization like Advisors Excel,” said Sparks. “Their generosity is much appreciated and will be put to use helping local businesses.”

“Over the past six weeks, many people have asked how they can partner with the HOST Program. The ‘Topeka Strong’ t-shirt gives every Topekan an incredible way to support the mission of the HOST Relief Program and help the businesses and the workers impacted by COVID-19,” Hunsicker said. “I am grateful to Advisor’s Excel for their contribution.” 

“This effort is inspiring and is a testament to the altruistic spirit of this community,” said Matt Pivarnik, CEO of the Greater Topeka Partnership. “Advisors Excel has stepped up the game in terms of creative ways to support small business and we look forward to collaborating with them and other community leaders to support Topeka’s future recovery.”

To purchase a “Topeka Strong” t-shirt, visit

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About HOST Relief Program

The HOST Relief Program is a small business emergency resource fund that was developed by private sector leaders and is being facilitated by GO Topeka and the Greater Topeka Partnership.

On April 1, the Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO) approved $1 million in additional grants to provide support to small businesses through the HOST Relief Program. Small businesses will be eligible to receive up to $5,000 in grant money through this program.  These grants will be used to complement the private HOST Relief donations.

Applications for the HOST Relief Program may be found at or by calling 785.246.6246 (English) or 785.246.6227 (Spanish).

About GO Topeka

GO Topeka creates opportunities for economic growth that provide a thriving business climate and fulfilling lifestyle for Topeka and Shawnee County. GO Topeka operates under the Greater Topeka Partnership, the leading economic development agency in the region.  

About Greater Topeka Partnership

The Greater Topeka Partnership serves as the collaborative agency of eight distinct efforts that support the enhancement of economic development and quality of life in Topeka and Shawnee County. They include:


Greater Topeka Chamber
GO Topeka
712 Innovations 
Momentum 2022 

Downtown Topeka, Inc
Visit Topeka, Inc.
Women and Minority Business Development
Forge Young Professionals


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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Bob Ross at