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COURT: KC CHALLENGE: Help for hungry children returns Justices to review two cases FROM A1


Advocates from both sides voiced confidence Friday that they would prevail once the court hears arguments, which could happen in March. California Attorney General Kamala Harris, an opponent of Proposition 8, said the court’s decision to hear the case “takes our nation one step closer to realizing the American ideal of equal protection under the law for all people.” National Organization for Marriage chairman John Eastman called the decision “a strong signal” that the Supreme Court will reverse the lower courts and uphold Proposition 8. The California state ballot measure declared that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized.” The state’s voters approved it in 2008 by 52-48 percent, casting into limbo the status of same-sex couples who’d already been married in the state. More than 18,000 same-sex marriage licenses were issued in California before the ballot measure passed. In a narrowly written decision issued last February, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Proposition 8 on the basis that it stripped individuals of rights that had previously been granted when gay marriages were permitted. Opponents of same-sex marriage appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court. The attorneys who’d successfully argued against the ballot measure urged the justices not to hear the appeal, despite the issue’s importance. The Supreme Court could issue either a broad or a narrow ruling eventually. Justices might decide that the Constitution protects same-sex marriage rights in all states, or just in California, or they might uphold Proposition 8. Justices also left themselves a possible escape route, if they decide that the individuals who support Proposition 8 might lack the legal standing to sue. The appellate court decision striking down the California ballot measure didn’t present a conflict with decisions in other appellate circuits, which is often a criterion for the Supreme Court deciding to hear a case. Although nine states and the District of Columbia now authorize gay marriage, no other state has put itself in California’s position of first granting and then revoking a right to same-sex marriage. By contrast, the Defense of Marriage Act cases that the Supreme Court will hear involved appellate courts striking down a federal law, which is something the high court usually wants to review. Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1996, by wide margins after occasionally heated debate. The fundamental argument against denying federal benefits for same-sex couples under the act is that it violates the Fifth Amendment’s constitutional guarantee of equal protection. “More than 100,000 samesex couples are disadvantaged,” Boston-based lawyer Mary Bonauto and her allies wrote in one brief. The Obama administration initially defended the legislation in court, as is customary, but it stopped doing so last year. House Republicans stepped into the breach, agreeing to spend up to $1.5 million to defend the law. The case will be heard sometime before the court’s 2012 term expires next June. As with other politically charged disputes, it’s certain to attract dozens of amicus briefs from interested parties on both sides. Inevitably, some will target Justice Anthony Kennedy in particular. He was on the losing end of the court’s 5-4 decision in June to uphold the health care law. But the Reagan administration appointee has twice authored opinions striking down state measures deemed to be discriminatory.

virtual food drive, the goal wasn’t just to raise money, but also to educate people about childhood hunger by sharing stories of children who too often go home to empty cupboards. What happened next has become a model for other Feeding America food banks across the country, an example of how a community can come together and fight a social issue. In just two years, people have donated more than $500,000 to the KC Challenge, from the $5 one man sent to a $10,000 gift from a church and $15,000 from an area business. All the money has gone to the BackSnack program, which sends packs of food home with children each Friday to tide them over the weekend. Many people also volunteered at pantries and Harvesters for the first time. During last year’s Star Sundays, where readers pitched in to fill BackSnack packs, nearly 600 people volunteered. Seventy-five percent were first-timers at Harvesters. Others who read about hunger and families’ stories called schools and community centers to ask what they could do. “When people hear about it, and realize children are hungry, I think they do want to help,” said Sister Berta Sailer of Operation Breakthrough, which has a food pantry on the site. “Some people just didn’t know.” Ross Fraser, a spokesman for Feeding America, has watched the KC Challenge and says the education component is key. The whole partnership, with the community stepping up, has become a “best practice” model for other banks, Fraser said. A Harvesters employee went to Chicago last year to train other food banks on how the Kansas City effort mobilized the community to help hungry kids. “It is incumbent upon all of


For a third year, The Star is partnering with Harvesters to host a virtual food drive. All money raised will go to Harvesters’ BackSnack program for kids. Go to to make a donation. If you’d like, you can designate your donation in the honor or memory of a family member or friend. The Star will publish the dedications on Christmas Day. Dedications need to be in by 5 p.m. Dec. 23 to appear in the Christmas paper.

us to make sure every child in this country is properly nourished,” he said. When one Northland woman read about the BackSnack program and then learned that her son’s school had it, she made up bags of extra treats to put inside for Christmas. Two families in Johnson County have now made it a holiday tradition to help hungry families at a Kansas City housing complex whose residents were featured in stories. And one CEO who read about hungry kids in Kansas City also partnered with Harvesters to raise money. This month, Harvesters and The Star have teamed up again for a third virtual food drive. Starting today, the newspaper will publish a series of stories that show hunger through the eyes of children: The little boy who has received a weekend backpack of food for several years and looks forward to the beef jerky. The Olathe teen who for her 16th birthday asked friends to bring jars of peanut butter and jelly for a Kansas City shelter instead of presents. “This is putting hunger on the community’s agenda,” Karen Haren, president and CEO of Harvesters, which serves a 26-county area, said of the KC Challenge. “Putting this in the forefront makes it something that our community can address and empower people to act. “To see the commitment to do something about it, people

wanting to do whatever they can, that is what’s unprecedented.”

Identifying the need Cafeteria workers watch for them: The kids who clean their trays quickly, even all the vegetables, and ask for more. The kids who pocket a piece of fruit when they think no one is looking, eager to take it home for later. Teachers know the kids who come to school with stomachaches, confessing they haven’t eaten since they were at school the day before. Nurses keep granola bars and crackers for hungry kids. All recommend children for the BackSnack program, which has grown so much in the past eight years — from 65 students a week during the first year’s pilot program to an estimated 19,000 by the end of this school year — that Harvesters’ program is the largest in the Feeding America network of 200 banks. Advocates estimate that an additional 23,000 or so kids in the Harvesters area still need the weekend packs. At Kennedy Elementary in Lawrence, 40 schoolchildren received BackSnacks on Friday. At least 35 more are on the waiting list. Brooke Miller, who organizes the school’s program, said it’s getting harder to choose who gets BackSnacks and who doesn’t. “We do have kids that their only meals are when they’re at

school,” said Miller, who is site coordinator for Communities in Schools of Kansas. “We have students with six siblings at home and nobody is working. We have families that go to the food pantry. “You can tell when a student is lethargic, unable to focus. You can tell when lips look dry and they seem irritable and listless. If we can put food in their bellies while they’re here so they can focus as much as possible, that’s what we aim to do.” She realizes, and hopes others do too, that this issue is one that falls on everyone in a community. “If we don’t support the people in our neighborhood and help our children to grow up strong and be able to get an education, what can we hope for the community in the future?” Though just 15 percent of the kids at Greenwood Elementary in the Lee’s Summit district receive free and reduced-price meals, counselor Jones knew that some families struggled. When she called the kids together that Friday in October, when the school launched its BackSnack program, she told them they would be part of a special group. “You are so lucky,” she told them. “We’ll meet on Fridays and I’ll give you a backpack with food in it.” A touch of nervousness still lingered in her stomach, but not for long. The kids hollered. They applauded. Jones cried. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh,’ ” she said. “I never dreamed that they would cheer and clap for food.”

Stepping up Last year around this time, Mike Brown kept a newspaper article on his desk. It told about a woman who had stashed a pound of bacon in her freezer for weeks, with a “Don’t Eat” label, so she could fry it up for

her daughter’s birthday breakfast. The story also told how children who are hungry are more likely to be sick and less likely to reach their physical potential. At that time, Harvesters provided 15,000 BackSnacks a week for area kids — and estimated that 22,000 more children needed them. All this came just after Brown, president and chief operating officer of Farmland Foods, had reviewed his company’s charitable giving and investments and worried they weren’t making a big enough impact. “The article struck me … just the number of kids in our community who aren’t getting the proper nourishment,” Brown said. “And I saw an opportunity for us to do something. I thought, ‘This is how we can help somebody.’ ” About that same time, he received a letter from Haren at Harvesters asking him whether Farmland would like to get involved with the food bank. When the two talked, he read parts of the article to her. They formed a partnership that resulted in a “Bacon a Difference” campaign that raised money for Harvesters. “After we talked, he said, ‘Now I can put this article away,’ ” Haren said. Farmland presented a check to Harvesters for $50,000 in October and donated 5,000 pounds of bacon that was divided up for families. “This community is different. The people in it are incredibly giving, and I think it rubs off on everybody,” said Brown, who lived in Dallas for 15 years before coming back to Missouri two years ago. “People have a more charitable spirit here than a lot of places. “You can reach out and touch somebody in this community.” To reach Laura Bauer, call 816-234-4944 or send email to

REMEMBRANCES NANCY D. BALES Nancy D. Bales, 76, passed away December 7, 2012. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 pm Monday, December 10 at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd. Funeral services will be 1:00 pm Tuesday, December 11 at Park Lawn Funeral Home. Burial will be in Green Lawn Cemetery, Kansas City, MO. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be given to Eastpoint Family Church for the Children’s Super Church Fund, 3923 Pittman Rd., K.C., MO 64133 Nancy was born September 23, 1936 in Kansas City, MO to Clifton M. and Vivian L. (Crosby) Goodpaster. She retired from R.B. Jones She was precedBusiness Hours ed in death by her brothers, John C. For Obituaries Goodpaster and Ronald D. Goodpaster. Monday-Friday - 8:30 am - 5:00 pm She leaves her husband, Charles Bales; Saturday - 11:30 am - 5:00 pm brother, Claude L. “Pete” Goodpaster; Sundays and Holidays - CLOSED In observance of the Christmas holiday, the nieces and nephews. (Arrangements: Obituary Department will close at 2 p.m. on Park Lawn Funeral Home 816-523-1234).

The Star runs obituaries for deceased residents of the Kansas City metropolitan area free of charge for the first 7 lines. Families who choose to present more information in the column may do so for an additional fee. For fees on obituaries for deceased residents outside of the metropolitan area or fees for subsequent runs of obituaries, please consult with your funeral director or call 816-234-4470. Obituaries must be received by 5 pm the preceding operating business day. You may fax information to 816-234-4467 or email us at Please include your contact information. Pictures may be emailed in .jpg format by 3 pm the preceding operating business day.

Monday, December 24, 2012 and will reopen 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 26, 2012. We will again close for New Year’s Day on Tuesday, January 1, 2013.

DEATHS Bales, Nancy D. Bechthold, Virginia Lee Bracken, Victor Pershing Brooker, Shirley Carr, Carl Richard Carson, Gerald W. Cottrill, John Crow, Albert Ray Darrah, George C. Elliott, Alice Mary Faulkenberry, Mary Etta Hay, Dorothy Marie Herrin, Boyd D. Hook, Michael Don “Mike” Hughey, Larry G. Hunter, Eddie C. Jennings, Anna Mae Kelley, Brian E. Land, Linda Lewis, Charles William Linnell, Dixie L. Madick, John C. Mantooth, Melba Maxine McHugh, Lorayne Patricia Moore, Dorothy Milree Nicholson, Roxanne “Roxy” Olson, Wilma Janice Pauly, Lauren Blaine Perdue, Dewey R. Purduski, Anne Marie Reineke, Myrtle Mae Schussler, Gregory Srader, Anna Mary Stanton, Steven Duane Swanson, George D. Vomhof, James P. Ward, Andrew, Sr. Wendte, Clarence V. Wickersham, Carol Sue Woodard, Clevon Lester

VIRGINIA LEE BECHTHOLD Virginia Lee Bechthold, 92, went home to be with the Lord and her beloved son, Bruce, on Dec. 4, 2012. Virginia was born on June 17, 1920, in Wichita, KS, and lived there until moving to Kansas City in 1951. Virginia was an accomplished pianist, having graduated from Friends University with a degree in music. She shared her gift and love of music through the music ministry at St. Luke Joy Presbyterian Church, 4301 NE Vivion Rd, KCMO (816) 453-3741. Virginia was a devoted and loving wife and mother. She is survived by her husband, John, and her children Sandra (Darrell) Hall, Sherry (John) Marshall, Kevin (Angela) Bechthold, Diana Bechthold, 17 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at St. Luke Joy Presbyterian Church, with visitation from 9:30-11 a.m. Burial will be at Barry Cemetery. Arr: Cashatt Family Funerals 816-587-8200 VICTOR PERSHING BRACKEN Victor Pershing Bracken, 94, of Olathe, KS, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family Friday, November 30, 2012. Predeceased by his parents, Horace and Marie Bracken; sister, Lorene Bracken; brother, Elmer (June) Bracken; sister-in-law, Sandy Jameson; brotherin-law, Meynard (Mildred) Jameson; sister-in-law, Grace (Emmett) Cross; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Bracken. Survived by his wife of 67 years, Marian; his brother, Harold Bracken; his brother-inlaw, Donald Jameson; his daughters, Lorene (Ray) Boyd of Olathe, KS, &

Mary Ann Ballard of River Rouge, LA; 4 grandchildren, Alean (Joseph) Hernandez, James Boyd, Matthew Ballard & Daniel Ballard; 1 great-grandson, Joseph Hernandez; and many nieces & nephews. Born on November 11, 1918, in Johnstown, PA, as the country celebrated the ending of World War I. 1942 - BS w/Honors Mechanical Engineering University of Pittsburgh. 1942 - 1961Employed by EXXON at 3 refineries (Louisiana and New Jersey) and trained engineers at the ESSO refinery in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1953. 1961 - 1979 - At ARAMCO in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, was involved with engineering design / inspection of existing/new refinery units. In 1964, drove one of four Landrovers through the Rub’ al Khali, the Empty Quarter of the Saudi Arabian Desert, and in 1969, drove Landrover from London, England, to Saudi Arabia. Enjoyed extensive international travel. While living in Florida (1979 - 2011) Victor and Marian enjoyed RV travel in America and classical music performances, and through Presbyterian Church at Palm Harbor volunteering included driving a church bus, delivering Meals on Wheels meals, serving meals in a community soup kitchen and singing in choirs. At 90, Victor was the oldest member of The Clearwater Chorus, an internationally renowned, 100 member chorus. Victor’s memorial service will be celebrated at 3 p.m., Friday, December 28, at Grace United Methodist Church, 11485 South Ridgeview Rd., Olathe, KS 66061. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Good Samaritan Society - Olathe, 20705 West 151st St., Olathe, KS 66061.

SHIRLEY BROOKER Shirley Brooker, 77, died December 6, 2012, in the presence of her loving family after a 19-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Shirley never saw herself as a victim, however, always putting others ahead of herself. Shirley was born in Fort Dodge, IA, on December 14, 1934. She graduated with a B.S in Education from Central Missouri State University in 1971. In 1972, she earned her Master of Science degree from Central Missouri State University. She resided in Kansas City, MO, and worked as an influential and loved school counselor at Conn West Elementary in Grandview, MO, until her retirement in 1995. Shirley is survived by her son, Steven, and his wife, Peggy, and their three sons: Nicolas, Todd and Joey; her son, Brian, and his wife, Beth, and their children: Ava and Will; her son, Bradley, and his wife, Mary, and their children, Ben and Audrey. She was married to Donald Brooker from 1956 to 1977.

A memorial service will be held Fond memories and condolences may Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 11 a.m. at Unity be left at Temple on the Plaza, immediately fol- (Arr: Floral Hills Chapel, 816-353-1218) lowed by a lunch reception. Her family requests in lieu of flowers, donations are sent to University of Kansas Medical Center, KU EndowmentMemo Line-Parkinson’s Disease, Shirley Brooker. Shirley was a bright light to all who knew her. Her joy was being with family, as well as fostering and encouraging her grandchildren. Her interests included antiquing, interior decorating, movies and dogs.



Carl Carr, 91, died Thursday, December 6, 2012, at his long-time home in Raytown, MO, of natural causes. As he entered his ninth decade, Carl was still living life on his terms - independent, engaging, funny and greeting every day with a generous spirit and warm smile. He truly loved the people in his life and the support he received from his family. Carl’s long life began on shaky ground as he entered this world weighing only two pounds. He was so small his baby bed was a shoe box. Growing up in the Depression, his family traveled the country for work. When he was 21 years old he entered the Army. Carl was a part of the greatest generation and one of the thousands of ordinary Americans who provided extraordinary service during World War II. He served in Northern Africa and Italy. After returning from the war, Carl married Virginia Houston. The two had four kids and were married 65 years. In 1959, Carl and Virginia moved to Raytown. He worked as a manager at Mutual Auto Parks in downtown Kansas City. Carl could be a little slow to spend a dollar, but boy he was sure speedy behind the wheel of a car. With four kids in tow, he often blazed a trail down the highways on weekend getaways. Everyone was hanging on for dear life as he passed anything that got in his way. Carl joins his wife, Virginia, and youngest daughter, Debbie Wienke, in Heaven and is survived by his children Larry Carr, Vivian Ballew, Vickie Dorlac, as well as many grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Floral Hills Cemetery at 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64133, has been entrusted with arrangements. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, with funeral services immediately following. Carl was a member of the Northfleet Baptist Church. Good God Almighty CarlÖyou’ll be missed.

Gerald W. Carson, 70, Olathe, KS, died peacefully after a year-long battle with lung cancer, December 5, 2012, at the Olathe Medical Center. A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, at D.W. Newcomer’s Sons Johnson County Chapel, 11200 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS 66210. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. before the service hour. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Olathe Medical Center Charitable Foundation (OMCCF), 20333 W. 151st Street, Olathe, KS 66061. He was raised in O’Fallon, IL, the son of Gerald W. and Dorothy Carson. Jerry proudly served our country in the United State Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He graduated from Southern Illinois University and earned an MBA from Rockhurst University. Jerry retired as Vice President of Finance for Sprint North Supply, where he worked for 28 years. He also served on the Board of the United Way for many years and on the Board at the Olathe Medical Center for 22 years. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Warren and Wayne Carson. He is survived by two daughters, Angeline Gann and her husband Terry, Liz Houston and her husband Rob, five grandchildren: A.J., Jack, Davis, Sarah, and Reagan, his sister, Ruth Courtney, and several nieces and nephews. Jerry will be remembered as a man of honor and integrity and a beloved father, grandfather, brother and uncle.

JOHN COTTRILL John A. Cottrill, 71 of Warrensburg, MO died December 6, 2012. Services 3p.m. December 11, at Williams Funeral Chapel in Warrensburg. Burial in Warrensburg Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Visitation one hour prior to service.



Hunger - Food banks (2)  
Hunger - Food banks (2)