Kemp Foundation History
2002 – 2004
Fred M. Kemp II was the founder of the Fred M. Kemp Foundation, also known as the Kemp Foundation. A successful architect and home builder in the St. Louis area, he wanted to give back to the community which was so rewarding to him. An avid antique automobile collector, Mr. Kemp initially formed the foundation ‘to be instructive as to the evolution of European 20th century automotive design and engineering and its impact on the design and engineering on the worldwide automotive industry’. To that end, a museum was planned to showcase his collection.
2004 – 2015
Unfortunately, Mr. Kemp died on July 1, 2004, nine months before the museum opened. His son, Fred M. Kemp III, continued the museum’s construction and opened the facility in Chesterfield, Missouri on April 1, 2005. Over the subsequent ten-year period, the Kemp Auto Museum and automobile collection inside had made a significant mark in the St. Louis Metro area and the Midwest Region with over 800 events. Several of these included national exposure such as Albert Pujol’s charity and certain nationally covered politicians and speakers. The relationship with local, regional and national auto enthusiasts was also developed via car shows, conventions, club meetings and as well as public events such as Big Truck Day – a big hit with the kids. Due to a number of factors – primarily real estate and personal property taxes – the museum was not sustainable at the 5-acre, retail Chesterfield location. As a result, the property was sold as well as most of the automobile collection.
2016 – Present
The mission of the Kemp Foundation has been expanded and is no longer limited to automobile history. The current mission statement is “The Fred M. Kemp Foundation is a grant-making and operating foundation dedicated to supporting programs and entities that provide education, entrepreneurship and empowerment”.
To that end, an investment fund has been established for the purpose of making educational, entrepreneurship and empowerment grants. Based on these purposes, grants are made by the Kemp Foundation Board of Directors to provide – in general – the most impact to the greatest number of recipients as the Board may determine. These grants are given to other nonprofit entities that, in turn, will utilize the grants consistent with the specific grant authorization.
KEMP LAKE GAME PRESERVE: In late 2017, the foundation purchased a 215-acre property in Leasburg, Missouri – approximately an hour southwest of St. Louis from the Kemp family. On the property is a lake that was built by the Workers’ Progress Administration in 1938 and the property was initially purchased in 1956 by Fred M Kemp and Mollie Kemp (parents of Fred M Kemp II) in 1956.
The Kemp Lake Game Preserve is a subsidiary of the Kemp Foundation. Its primary focus is empowering and educating disabled veterans, disabled individuals and other disadvantaged people who would not otherwise normally be able to experience the great outdoors via guided fishing, hunting, bird-watching, trail blazing and other activities.