Johnson County may 2014
Hall of Fame Teacher A Royal Spring Break in Surprise What’s New at the Farmstead? Do Your Laundry Or You’ll Die Alone
The Business of Giving Back Hendrick Buick GMC Cadillac is proud to present the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Awards recognizing Kansas City business and community leaders who have achieved tremendous business success while possessing the grace and selflessness of giving back to their communities. Our winners are a “Who’s Who” of Kansas City who have an unparalleled passion for community, family, freedom and faith. Hendrick Buick GMC Cadillac, along with Bob Ferguson, Global Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Cadillac, will honor 10 outstanding Kansas City business leaders at a black tie awards dinner on May 17 at the Overland Park Convention Center. More than 750 area business and community leaders and their guests will attend this special event. Bob Ferguson will provide a special message and the evening will serve as the official unveiling of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. This year’s honorees include Bob Loyd, Lt. Kelli Bailiff, Louis Faller General Manager
Tom Lyons, Kathy Nelson, Gwendolyn Grant, Laura Welch, Shane Cordes, Benny Lee, Annie Brock and Maj. Dan Rooney. The event Master of Ceremonies will be John Holt from Fox 4 TV. All of us at Hendrick Buick GMC Cadillac strive to achieve the high standards of giving represented in the Cadillac Lifetime Achievement Award, and we challenge all business owners and everyone in our community to find way to give back. Congratulations to all our winners.
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Thank you, teachers. I
used to associate June with the end of the school year. As a child of the 70s it was around June 6, 7 or 8 when our school year ended, depending on how much snow had been dumped on Chicago that year. These days high school graduations take place during the middle of May and the school year often ends before Memorial Day weekend. So I shift my end of the school year thinking to May.
I spent the first part of my adult life as an educator. I enjoyed teaching middle school students about world geography and U.S. history. For a few years I was able to utilize my college minor as a teacher of beginning Spanish. And there were years when I was asked to step outside my comfort zone to teach young adult literature, public speaking and economics. For the most part, I loved my life as a teacher. It was a very family-friendly career and allowed me to be home with my two young boys by 4 o'clock most days as well as during the summer. As my sister-in-law prepares to retire from Shawnee Mission East after an impressive 30+ year career and as my oldest prepares to graduate from Blue Valley North, I’ve been thinking about some of the great teachers who touched my life. And to several of them, I wish to apologize. I have memories of painting my nails during concert band rehearsal on more than one occasion. While my music stand mate and I only did this when Mr. Herr was working with the percussion or brass, I’m confident he didn’t appreciate two flautists using his class for quick color change. I came across a stack of my old report cards when I was cleaning out boxes of childhood memorabilia last summer. I hadn’t realized how average I was as a student. (Except in band. Manicures or not, always an A.) As a parent, I now cringe when I remember my own parents and teachers saying that I wasn’t working up to my potential. To any of the Glenbrook North teachers who were frustrated by the time I spent in their classrooms, I offer a belated apology. They might be happy to know that I finally got my act together in college and followed in their footsteps for many years. I found among those old papers a letter from the assistant dean of student affairs. He wrote me a letter at the end of my senior year to congratulate me. Apparently it was a big enough deal to graduate among a class of more than 600 without ever having made a trip to the Dean’s office for disciplinary measures to justify a special letter. I may not have been an impressive student but apparently I was a rule follower. Some things never change and that’s got to count for something.
may 2014 publisher Steven Schowengerdt | Steven@LifestylePubs.com editor Lisa Harrison | Lisa@LifestylePubs.com assistant editor Kendra Mathewson | KMathewson@LifestylePubs.com chief financial officer | DeLand Shore
director of marketing | Brad Broockerd art director | Carrie Brophy chief sales officer Matthew Perry | Matthew@LifestylePubs.com advertising sales Mary Beth Stauch | MStauch@LifestylePubs.com Troy Coup | TCoup@LifestylePubs.com Elizabeth Noel | ENoel@LifestylePubs.com advertising director | Mike Baugher production director | Christina Sandberg ad coordinator | Cyndi Vreeland regional art director | Sara Minor executive assistant | Lori Cunningham contributing writers Lisa Allen, Heather Trent Beers, Katherine Bontrager, Mary Bush, Ann Butenas, Trisha Drape, Julie Hubble, Susan Motley, Ryan Rosser, Anne Potter Russ, Marc Shaffer, Tom Strongman, Courtney Thomas contributing photographers Alexis Cook, Diana Foster, Taylor Pemberton, Tom Strongman application architect | Michael O'Connell it director | Randy Aufderheide Published monthly, subscriptions are also available for $22 for 1 year, $39 for 2 years by visiting JohnsonCountyLifestyle.com
To all of the teachers who have touched my life and the lives of two of the most important people in my world, I say thank you. I hope you have a great summer and get to rest and recharge in time for the mid-August start of another school year. I’ll see you around town.
Lisa Harrison, Editor Lisa@LifestylePubs.com A Royal Spring Break in Surprise, Arizona was filled with memories for one KC family. Read more on page 34. On the Cover:
Photography courtesy of the Kansas City Royals.
| JohnsonCountyLifestyle.com |
by Community ™ Proverbs 3:5-6 Contact us at:
7373 West 107th Street Overland Park, KS 66212 913.599.4300 | JohnsonCountyLifestyle.com Johnson County Lifestyle™ is published monthly by Lifestyle Publications LLC. It is distributed via the US Postal Service to some of Johnson County’s most affluent neighborhoods. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect Lifestyle Publications’ opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Lifestyle Publications does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in Johnson County Lifestyle™ is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.
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20 Terrific Teacher 22
42 Road Trip 46 Financial Fitness 50 Home Matters
34 Take Me — and My Family — Out to the Ballgame
A Royal spring break to Surprise provided memories for a lifetime.
36 What’s New at the Farmstead?
DeAnna Rose Children’s Farmstead expands Main Street.
54 Giving Back 56
60 Lifestyle Calendar
38 An Especially Meaningful Ride
66 Parting Thoughts
Area police officers honor fallen comrades.
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Dancing with the Stars
Local celebrities paired with Allegro Ballroom professionals in Kansas Cityâ€™s own version of Dancing with the Stars, a fundraiser for Cristo Rey KC High School students. A crowd of 1,800 guests enjoyed the memorable entertainment. Photography StudioHobbs.com and PhotosBringJoy.com
Cristo Rey student dancers
Judges were Ed Holland, Tara Darbyshire and Mayor Sly James.
First place and Judges' Choice winners Local celebrity dancers Valerie Chow, Ryane Delka, Chris Hernandez, Ryane Delka and Jesse Lopez Rick Jones, Jenny Murphy, Larkin O'Keefe, Kevin Ryanand and Stann Tate
Third place winners Jenny Murphy and Wil Oden
Second place winners Larkin O'Keefe and Toni Dodd
Wizard of Oz Celebration at the Arboretum
Fun was had by all at the Wizard of Oz Party at the Overland Park Arboretum. Snacks, treats, games and face painting entertained the special guests. After the party, a viewing of the movie took place; all in a celebration of fun and the 75th anniversary of the classic movie.
10 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
4311 N E VIVION R D • 816.453.1111 • MJ EWE LRY.COM
KSU Wabash CannonBall Kansas City-area K-Staters turn out for the annual gala event each year to raise money for area high school students who plan to attend K-State. To date, the gala has raised nearly $2 million to fund more than 200 scholarships. Photography David Mayes
Debi & Greg Trempy
Warren & Gisela Kennedy Katelyn Gardner, Claire Freeman, Carolyn Potter and Lindsey Cordill
Ali Malekzadeh, Prema Arasu, Tim De Noble Ryan & Amy Diediker, Kelly & Tony Schuetz
Amy Guerich and Marc Shaffer
Anna Jessmer, Don Freeman, Carolyn & Jon Potter
JoCo Library Elementia Young artists were recently honored at the Elementia Author and Artist Reception at the Johnson County Central Resource Library. Readings by Elementia authors, dance performances and an art exhibit all showcased the artistic talent of Johnson County students from 16 area schools.
Esther Lee & Madelyn Kinglsey
Natalie Gartland & Elizabeth Tripp
12 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
sunsetmusicfest.net May 29 June 5 June 12 June 19 June 26
Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone Blind Melon The Romantics The Presidents of the United States of America Crystal Bowersox
Enjoy great music and a cold drink on a warm summer night at Town Center Plaza. • Event begins at 6pm, music starts at 7pm • In the drive near Bravo restaurant • Food & drink sales benefit JDRF • Free activities for kids • Bring your blankets & chairs (No coolers, please)
TowN CENTER Plaza | lEawooD, KS | 119Th & RoE
Around Town Johnson County Named Healthiest in Kansas Johnson County was recently named the healthiest county in the state of Kansas for the second straight year, according to the fifth annual County Health Rankings, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states. The rankings allow counties to see how well they are doing on 29 factors that influence health including smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods. While Johnson County ranked highest in the categories of health behaviors, access to clinical care and other social and economic factors, this report also identifies areas where Johnson County can improve, such as educating residents on how to reduce commute times to work. Johnson County was ranked number one in Kansas in 2013 and number two in 2012.
Local Tree Fund Launched Heartland Tree Alliance (HTA) has launched a digital approach to funding trees in the Kansas City metropolitan area. HTA and its city partners now give residents the opportunity to pay directly for the planting of trees in their own hometowns. With a simple click on the HTA website, donors can specify how much they would like to give to a particular city, and then watch as the tree fund for that city grows. Each time a fund reaches $1,000, HTA will launch a tree-planting event with that city, giving residents the opportunity to see their dollars go to work. HTA will work with each city to determine the best way to invest the tree fund in that area. For some cities that means planting seedlings along streams and creeks; for others it means 14 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
12-foot street trees. For this reason, $1,000 pays for different quantities in different situations, from as many as 1,000 bare-root seedlings to six street trees. Tree Fund donations will directly and quickly green the Kansas City area. The City of Kansas City, Mo., is joined by others across the area, including Kansas City, Kan.; Belton; Excelsior Springs; Gladstone; Leawood; Lenexa; Liberty; Mission; Olathe; Overland Park; Parkville; Paola; Platte County; Prairie Village; Raymore, and Shawnee. HTA is a program of Bridging The Gap, the region’s primary environmental education organization. To learn more, contact Noelle Morris at 816.561.1061, ext. 115, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local Hospitals Declared Safe Place Hospitals
“I’m looking forward to bringing a unique shopping experience to our guests at the Just for Her Events,” says Hernandez. “We are also looking forward to expanding our events to new cities and launching our new event concept, Chick Events in 2014.” Jacobson says she and Hernandez are proud of the local business they are building in Overland Park. “Our team is made up of working Moms, new Moms and women who are just entering or re-entering the workforce,” Jacobson says. “We provide a flexible work environment with flexible hours and the opportunity to work from home during the week.”
Sherwood Center Expands to Ward Parkway
Domestic violence incidents don’t just happen during the day. They happen any time and all the time. Survivors aren’t always aware where to go that could be safe for them. For some victims of violence, the police station is not an option. Five Johnson County hospitals are safe places for victims of domestic violence. Anytime, day or night, the emergency departments at Menorah Medical Center, Olathe Medical Center, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Saint Luke’s South and Shawnee Mission Medical Center provide victims of domestic violence a safe place to speak to a SAFEHOME advocate. The advocate provides information, support, safety assessment and planning, and resources. There is no charge to receive SAFEHOME advocacy services and medical attention is not necessary to receive help. Johnson County Hospital Emergency Rooms are open 24 hours a day with security officers on-site, making them an ideal location for assistance. These hospitals display the Safe Place sign.
Sherwood Center, a non-profit, special education and adult day program, purchased a school at 8030 Ward Parkway Plaza that had recently been vacated by Calvary Lutheran Church. The school, first constructed in 1925 became part of the Kansas City Missouri School District in 1947 when the city’s limits expanded to 85th Street. It was closed in the early 80’s and sat vacant for a number of years. Calvary Lutheran purchased the building in 1993 and had a K-8 school there for almost 10 years before moving in May 2013. Neighbors were understandably concerned about the school being vacant and falling into disrepair. Sherwood Center purchased the building in 2013 and is expanding and moving their special education program. The Adult Day services program will remain at 7938 Chestnut Ave. Sherwood Center was the first school to serve students in the metropolitan area with autism and related disabilities. Today, there are 53 students in the special education program and 23 adults receiving service in the adult day program.
Just for Her Expo Team is Growing
Merriam Celebrates 150 Years of Community
Teddi Hernandez has joined Aimee Jacobson as co-owners of Just for Her Expo, Inc. Hernandez brings 24 years of marketing and business experience to her new role. She comes from a career at Hallmark Cards in their marketing division.
The City of Merriam invites you to attend an event celebrating 150 years of community. Campbellton To Merriam is a historic art exhibition opening on Thursday, May 15 at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery located inside the Irene B. French Community Center, 5701
Merriam Drive. This opening night reception will include a collection of historic photos, documents and items from Merriam’s past. The exhibit is free to the public and opens at 7 p.m. with live music, historic reenactments and refreshments. In addition to the free art exhibit (on display through June 5), the Visitors Bureau is sponsoring a trolley tour of historic Merriam sites starting at 5:45 p.m. This 30-minute tour will capture some of Merriam’s earliest moments, pivotal historic sites and changes in the community over the past 150 years. The trolley tour is $10 per person payable upon RSVP to 913.322.5550.
Delta Gamma Hosts Tables That Bloom Event The Greater Kansas City Delta Gamma Alumnae chapter hosts Tables That Bloom, an annual event featuring 25 of the area’s top florists and designers. The event is scheduled for 11 to 1:30 Delta Gamma Executive Director p.m. on May 8 at Indian Hills Country Club loColleen McGuire is featured speaker cated at 6847 Tomahawk Rd. Individual and group tickets start at $75 and can be purchased for Tables That Bloom event. at TablesThatBloom.com/buytickets.php. Celebrating the tenth year of success with $100,000 in funds raised so far, Tables That Bloom benefits the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI.org), and AlphaPointe Association for the Blind (AlphaPointe.org). The featured speaker this year is Colleen McGuire, executive direc-
tor for Delta Gamma. Colleen is also a U.S. Army retired brigadier general in the U.S. Army and served on the Joint Staff. She currently serves on the Department of defense’s Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel.
New WALK WITH A DOC Program Stevenson Family Chiropractic, in partnership with Olathe Parks and Recreation, will host Olathe’s first “JustWalk™” Walk With a Doc walking program. Walkers will enjoy a refreshing and rejuvenating walk at Frontier Park with Dr. Stevenson and other healthcare professionals, who will provide support to the walkers and answer questions during the walks. Walk With a Doc is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage healthy physical activity in people of all ages, and reverse the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle in order to improve the health and well-being of the country. Stevenson encourages anyone in the community to join the walks. This is a free program and pre-registration is not required. Walks will be announced via the Walk with a Doc website, WalkWithADoc.org, as well as on Stevenson Family Chiropractic’s website, ChiropractorCenterofOlathe.com, and also Olathe Parks and Recreation’s website OlatheKS.org/ParksRec. Upcoming Dates: May 3 and 17; June 7 and 21. Time: 9 a.m.
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A triangular-shaped, glass-walled F DV Nby acclaimed ARS U ME labyrinth• designed • A U F M • F • U S artist and Kansas City native Robert Morris is being installed in the W • B ER W W N O T M O O U T A T T F M S • S S U R R R R E T BA • FUN • S AT BART BARSTOW ER AT BA • SUMME M M W E RA R MM U O R E U E T M S U S ME S • T M • M R M U E N U S R S E M • N U U N• DV NTU S URE F U A E T • F • • V N • E D URMEMER • ADVUMMER • A • SUMMER STOW BARSTOW• ADVENTURE • M R M SU •S N A U R AT UMMER U N B S E F U • • M F T • E TURE • A W R SUM • FUN • S O U R • OW T T E E S N • ADVEN UM R R W E U M A T O V B T N M S D A UMMER •S U • DVE R AT BAR S N R AT A U R • • F E E UMMER • SUMME SUMM • FUN • S STOW • R AT B R U T EN W • FUN • SDVENTURE • FUN • T BARSTOW ER AT BAR • SUMME STOW W RA MM RE AT BAR E STO MMER • A O U U M T S T M • S U N SU U BARNTURE • S VENTURE • ADVE UMMER F T UN • • A ER R W• EATD& VWEILD ER • AD ER URE • S W M M O M M N•S T U T U SUMMELEGO MINSDSTUOMRMMS U S S F N • • R VE N • • A D U OW VENTU N A B T F • U S • FUN F R R T • , A T E FAS B AD A GW LIN W • M ILT O T S FS P M O R A A M C R T E R E R ER AY! • SU MM E ARS M U B M NROLL TODU EA S N M M • T U M MTURE • S OW • FUN E • SU DVEN •F R A VISUO U E W S T OVERLOAD R A M L A • M Enroll onlineBAnow! UR MER • A WAY E EN RSTPROJECT RUNU RST T V A R N D B E R T A T A • E www.barstowschool.org/summer V JUNK UM NK Y T R FUN D R S M E • E A M ER A M E N • SUMM URE • SUM MMER • TOW • FUN RE • SU V D R • RASTOW • FUER • ADVENT • FUN • SMUER AT BARS ADVENTU FUN • FSU
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May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 15
Around Town Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This dynamic sculpture provides visitors with an intimate experience, enticing them to interact with the art by winding through the glass maze. The installation of Glass Labyrinth in the southeast section of the park marks the start of a six-month long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park. The 62-foot by 62-foot by 62-foot, 7-foot-tall labyrinth, which weighs more than 400 tons, will be fully installed on May 22, when a public celebration will be held. The installation begins a series of celebrations of the Sculpture Park that will include family activities, educational programs and special events. The 22-acre park has been championed through the years by Hall, whose keen eye and diligent stewardship have allowed the grounds to become a stellar asset to Kansas City and an outdoor destination for many. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART.
Independence to Host Qualifying Rounds for Figure Skating Championships Independence will host one of the nine regional contests for U.S. Figure Skating in the fall of 2015, in preparation for the 2016 national championships. “This is a very exciting sporting event for our region,” says Cori Day, director of tourism for Independence. “The popularity of figure skating has surged in recent years, and we are honored to invite skaters, families and fans from a nine-state region to participate and visit.” Independence will be the host city for the Southwestern Regional Figure Skating Championships from October 3 - 6, 2015. The local host clubs are the Heartland Figure Skating Club and the Kansas City Figure Skating Club and all events will be held at the Independence Events Center.
Local Museum Featured on Antiques Roadshow The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures was featured on the Kansas City Hour 2 episode of Antiques Roadshow airing on PBS. Roadshow appraiser Marshall Martin and host Mark L. Walberg examined two dollhouses from the museum’s collection. The dollhouses are from the same time period, however one was produced by an American company, R. Bliss Manufacturing Company, and one was produced by a German company, Moritz Gottschalk Company. The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures is temporarily closed for renovations. To learn more about the museum’s collection, including additional photos of the Bliss dollhouse and Gottschalk dollhouse featured in the April 7 episode, visit the museum’s blog Small Talk at ToyAndMiniatureMuseum.org/blog.
Consider Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student You can make a difference in the life of a student today. By opening your home to a foreign exchange student through Exchange Service International, your family will have the opportunity to personally shape the image of America through the eyes of your student. Host families are asked to provide a caring and loving environment for the students. Host families are also to provide room and board as well as meals and transportation for the students. These high school aged students come to the U.S. 16 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
fully insured and with their own spending money. Host families and students will receive support through the organization’s corporate headquarters as well as through local coordinators. These coordinators will work as an advocate for host families and students throughout the student’s stay to ensure a positive and enriching experience. Find out more about becoming a paid host family for high school exchange student by contacting Kaylee Manns, email@example.com
BRING THE NIGHT TO LIFE – STEMS: A GARDEN SOIRÉE Stems: A Garden Soirée, the highly anticipated summer party at the Overland Park Arboretum, will celebrate its 7th year on June 28. Six years of sell-out crowds are a tribute to the popularity of Stems, which features food from 22 favorite restaurants and live music under the stars. As guests enter the flower-filled gardens, each receives a hand-painted wine glass. Stems will feature wine from two Argentinean wineries - Dos Puentes and Don Manuel Villafañe. Gerald Spaits Quartet will play jazz in the Learning Arboretum, and Funk Syndicate will rock out in the Train Garden. Around every turn, guests are greeted with art, entertainment and fireworks to end the evening. In addition to supporting the Arboretum, the Arts and Recreation Foundation supports Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, development of the International Sculpture garden and notable art throughout the city. For ticket and event information visit StemsSoiree.org or call 913.322.6467. May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 17
Keepers of the Sandlot Play Ball!
Article Susan Motley | Photography Provided
pring is here. The days are getting longer and the flowers are blooming. But, for many, nothing says spring like the start of baseball season. That is definitely true for former professional baseball player Bill Severns. Baseball has always been an important part of his life. He started playing little league at an early age and never looked back. As a starter for the University of Oklahoma, Severns had the rare privilege of playing in the College World Series four years in a row. Drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers, he played in their farm system for six years before retiring to raise his family. Severns lives in Prairie Village with his wife of 36 years, Suzanne. They have four children and eight grandchildren. “For as long as I can remember, all I ever wanted to do was play baseball,” Severns says. “So, when my boys came along, as soon as they wanted to throw or catch, I was ready to play.” Severns spent 23 years coaching, starting with his son’s little league teams and coaching every level from 5 years old to high school. Severns say kids start out playing baseball because they want to be with their friends and have fun. Parents like their kids to play because it teaches them how to compete, to be a good teammate, to win and lose, to fail and get back up again. It develops character. But, as Severns continued to coach, he started seeing things that worried him. “I had concerns about the pressures, intensity, and number of games, the extreme yelling and that kind of thing,” he explains. “Baseball is supposed to be fun and you can’t play well when everyone is stressed out.” “My friend Gary LaRocque from the St. Louis Cardinals always says, ‘Tell your parents we don’t have time to scout little league!’” Severns says he often wished parents could just relax and enjoy the game. So, as his coaching days were coming to a close, Severns had an epiphany about how to stay involved with baseball. He was at a game, standing in the third base coach’s box, when the opposing coach “just lost it” and blew up at a kid who had made an error. The boy was upset which caused his next play to be even worse. A violent confrontation erupted. The coach pulled him from the game. “I kept looking for his dad,” Severns says, “but, you guessed it, the coach was his dad.” Severns says he decided that night to write a book. He was determined to use his experiences, his resources and his connections in the baseball world to help parents and coaches relax. He wants them to protect the innocence and joy of the game for their children. He calls it the “sandlot” experience where everyone is wel18 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
come and has fun, there is no pressure to perform, and the games go on until sundown. In 2005, Severns published Keepers of the Sandlot--Coaching, Parenting and Playing For Keeps. Several years later, he wrote Sandlot Strategy, A Parent’s Manual For Coaching Kids. Both books have been enthusiastically received. They are filled with stories from Severn’s playing and coaching years as well as pearls of wisdom from some of the biggest names in baseball. They offer great insight and guidance to help parents and coaches enjoy their children during this short season of their lives. One of Severns’ favorite quotes from the first book comes from former Royal’s all-star Kevin Seitzer. “Don’t ever be the coach that makes a kid give up the game.” “I just want to help everyone understand how precious this time is,” Severns says. “Pretty soon the game is over and your kids are gone.” Although he has a day job, at the civil engineering firm of Shafer, Kline, & Warren in Lenexa, Severns now spends a good deal of this time speaking to groups about baseball, and talking with and encouraging coaches and parents who call him. “These books have been a gift. They have opened doors and given me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with parents and coaches. And they have kept me involved in this game I love so much. Every year when the season ends, I sit around and wait for Opening Day!” For more information or to contact Bill Severns, go to his website KeepersOfTheSandlot.com, or call him at 913.544.5878.
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When Adjectives Fail, Use Numbers The Life of a Teacher Article Anne Potter Russ | Photography Provided
nellen Neill has been teaching 3, 4 and 5-year-olds at The Barstow School for 30 years. The first adjective that comes to mind might be ‘saintly.’ The first number that comes to mind is 900. That would be 900 children in the above-mentioned age range! Really, there are not enough adjectives in common usage English language to proclaim the breadth and depth of Anellen’s touch, her wisdom, her development of young minds. The exact number of children whose lives have been blessed by Anellen’s patient guidance cannot be told. And, just as importantly, the number of soothed nerves of parents brings a whole new dimension to the numbers game. Quite simply, Mrs. Neill has graced the lives of nearly 900 students and possibly 1,800 parents during her tenure in a most critical profession. Teaching preschool, prekindergarten and kindergarten would wear out the most hardy of us – in half the time. What is so endearing about Anellen’s relationship with her students and their parents is that each makes the other stronger. Each child who is new to school, each parent with trepidation, each new year – just make this master teacher stronger and more loved and more loving. Each and every one of us (author included) who has surrendered a young, shy, half-cooked human to Anellen has, in return, received a confident, mannered, smarter, stronger young person back. Not only does she enrich our children’s lives with the ABCs and the 123s, but she also teaches parents how to just cling only slightly to her proverbial apron strings. We do so with clenched fists for the first few days, and then as we
lighten our grips, our children do the same with us. Every step she takes is done with a smile and a hearty greeting. Anellen is genuinely glad to see every small child, every boo-boo and every trembling parent. It takes a special talent to love every minute of your work and to show up with enthusiasm and energy every day. Anellen is the epitome of a professional. She is a teacher’s teacher. And she is taking it in her professional stride that retirement is just a few weeks away. The collective “we” are not taking it so well when we hear the news, although no one deserves an alarm-clock-free morning more than our beloved Mrs. Neill, it is tough news nonetheless. Maybe the best words to be found in describing Anellen Neill are those of the students who dedicated the 1997 Barstow Weathercock yearbook to her. They wrote: “You instilled in us what it means to be a student at Barstow, and on a greater scale, a student of the world.” And, “The 1997 senior class would like to thank you for helping us to start our lives, for it is really true that everything you need to know, you learned in kindergarten.” And, so Barstow families from far and wide bid adieu to one of the best… best teacher, best friend, best co-worker, and best human being. Anellen, enjoy your days and nights, your Bunco groups and K-State alumni pals, your travels and so much more. Know that you have touched an entire generation with your wit and wisdom.
You instilled in us what it means to be a student of the world…Thank you for helping us to start our lives, for it is really true that everything you need to know, you learned in kindergarten.
20 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
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National Teachers Hall of Fame Inducts SM South Science Teacher
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n a surprise assembly, Jan Alderson, a science teacher at SM South, recently learned she will be in the next class of educators to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Alderson is honored for her 45 years of dedication as an educator and will be officially inducted during a ceremony this June in Emporia. Alderson, an honors biology and human anatomy/physiology teacher, will be the ninth educator from Kansas to be inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. Throughout her career, Alderson has received numerous national awards, including but not limited to the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, an Outstanding Public Service Award from the National Weather Service, and was a semifinalist for the National Science Teachers Association Science Teaching Award. She has facilitated numerous student science demonstrations and competitions, has coached students to top honors in national science contests, and has contributed work in several major publications. Alderson was nominated by colleague Sally Bell who said that Alderson’s “educational paradigms, energy and passion to teach has had an impact on local, state, and national educational communities especially the thousands of students she has deeply cared about learning science.” Over the next few weeks, Alderson will be honored in a series of induction events in Washington, D.C, and Emporia.
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May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 21
Johnny Cascone’s 60 Years of Happiness on a Platter Article Heather Trent Beers | Photography Alexis Cook
f you’re an only child or live far away from family, prepare yourself before dining at Johnny Cascone’s. Because once you’re through that door, you feel like family. The Cascones opened their restaurants (one in the Northland and one in Overland Park) in 1954. Their dedication to family graces the wall with the words sempre famiglia - Family Forever. Family photos of youngsters, oldsters, family gatherings and individuals line the wall of the lobby, illustrating slices of family life. Beyond the lobby, the large dining room is cozy and inviting. And on Saturday nights when the band performs big band hits from the ‘40s and ‘50s, the atmosphere transforms from family dinner to family party. My husband and I dined with two friends. Our waitress delivered fresh bread with butter as we perused the menu. The delicious mushrooms appetizer ($9)—stuffed with crab and baked in a creamy herb butter—set our expectations high for the rest of our meal. Next came the choice of house salad or soup. Although the chicken soup tempted us, we saw our fellow diners’ generous meal portions, so we chose salad, which is served with the house dressing. Our waitress suggested one of the popular menu items, Chicken Limonata Elaina ($20), which is a lightly floured chicken breast sautéed in a creamy white wine lemon butter sauce and served
22 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
with fettuccini Alfredo. Chicken? Butter? Alfredo? Yes, please! When I offered the first bite to my friend, she said, “You’re going to be so glad you ordered that.” She was right. I was so glad, in fact, that I’m not sure I’ll try anything new next time. My husband ordered the Canneloni Florentine ($16)—fresh pasta tubes filled with veal and spinach, topped with cheese and then baked in a light creamy tomato sauce. He loved the savory blend of the veal and spinach. After much deliberation, my friend ordered Cascone’s Baked Lasagne ($14), which has been the house specialty since 1954. The lasagna is huge and is served with their original pasta sauce. And did I mention how huge it is? Her response? Delicious. My friend’s husband ordered the pork roast from the night’s specials. The pork was cooked for several hours in wine, and fell off the bone. The accompanying mashed potatoes were—in his words—“Oh, my goodness.” When I asked him how his dinner tasted, he said, “This is one of the best meals I’ve eaten.” The restaurants’ website touts the Italian food prepared by Chef Victor Cascone as “happiness served on a platter.” After my experience, I heartily agree. Appetizers and small plates run from $8-10, and olive oil dipping
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service is only $3. Dinner prices range from $14-21, which includes everything from pasta and chicken to veal, beef and seafood. And don’t forget to order dessert to share or take home and enjoy later. Tirimisu, cheesecake, bread pudding, lemon cake, chocolate cake and canoli are all great for sharing at $6-8. We ordered the apple dumpling from the night’s specials ($6), and our friends ordered the chocolate cake to share ($8). Try Cascone’s for lunch; a variety of appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches (meatball or hot beef sandwich, anyone?), pasta bowls and entrées await you. Dinner and lunch menus differ between Johnny Cascone’s (91st and Metcalf) and Cascone’s (North Oak Trafficway). Check their website for menus and prices (and for their recipe for baked mosticiolli). Both locations reward early diners (Monday through Friday 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from noon until 5 p.m.) with an early dinner menu, which features a selection of nine entrées priced at $9.99 each with
Details johnny cascone’s italian restaurant 6863 W. 91st Street 913.381.6837
cascone’s italian restaurant 3733 North Oak Trafficway 816.454.7977 Cascones.com
the purchase of any beverage. Also included in this price are the bread-and-butter service, your choice of a house salad or the day’s soup, and a small spumoni for dessert. Menu selections change, so call before your visit to hear the entrées available for that day. To help ease your transition back into the “real world” after your Cascone family dining experience, be sure to stop by the front register where you can purchase the Cascone pasta sauce, salad dressings, and marinades, all manufactured right here in Kansas City. These products are also available online at LaFontanellaFoods.com, so you can share them with loved ones far away. Or fill the shelves in your own pantry. Both Cascone’s restaurant locations provide unique spaces to help you celebrate family or business events with outstanding food, hospitality, and service. Call the location you prefer for quotes or reservations. One last thing: The Cascone family motto is “Let our family serve yours.” So go ahead and let them. You’ll be pleased you did.
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Gary Morsch is JCCC Foundation’s Johnson Countian of the Year Article Julie Haas | Photography Provided
ary Morsch of Olathe has been named by the Johnson County Community College Foundation as the Johnson Countian of the Year for 2014. He will be honored at the Foundation’s 28th annual Some Enchanted Evening gala on November 8, at the Overland Park Marriott Hotel. Proceeds from the event support student scholarships at JCCC. Over the past 28 years, the Foundation has raised more than $5.5 million for the college’s scholarship program through Some Enchanted Evening. “Dr. Gary Morsch and Heart to Heart International bring aid, comfort and hope to those who suffer anywhere in the world,” says Joe Sopcich, JCCC president. “His humanitarian efforts toward individual relief have global consequences. In his quest to alleviate suffering, he does what is right, and as a result, is an inspiration to those around him and beyond. It is our honor to recognize him as the 2014 Johnson Countian of the Year.” Trained as a physician, Morsch spent 21
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years in the United States Army and Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of colonel. During his years of service, he deployed to Kosovo, Iraq, Germany and Kuwait and served as commander of the 325th Combat Support Hospital. His commitment to volunteerism and
passion to serve led him to found Heart to Heart International, of which he is president. Heart to Heart International is a non-profit humanitarian medical aid, training and disaster relief non-governmental organization (NGO) that is committed to connecting people and resources to a world in need. Since its founding in 1992, Heart to Heart International has delivered medical aid and supplies worth more than $1 billion to more than 150 countries, including the United States. The organization responds to crises and natural disasters both domestically and internationally by supplying medical relief and mobilizing volunteers. Heart to Heart International works with U.S. safety-net clinics to help increase its capacity by providing medical equipment, supplies and volunteers that are vital to operations. The organization has been named to Forbes magazine’s prestigious list of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” and is recognized as one of the top nonprofits in the categories of donor efficiency and charitable commitment. Morsch continues to practice family and emergency medicine through Docs Who Care, a medical staffing company he founded in 1993 to serve rural clinics and hospitals throughout the Midwest. Morsch is also the author of several books, including the bestselling The Power Of Serving Others. The book, which has been translated into multiple languages, has inspired thousands of people across the globe to dedicate their lives to serving the needs of others. Morsch and his wife, Vickie, have four children and eight grandchildren.
past johnson countians of the year Lynn Mitchelson, 2013 Audrey Langworthy, 2012 David Wysong, 2010 Terry and Peggy Dunn, 2009 Fred Logan, 2008 Dick & Barbara Shull, 2007 Norman & Elaine Polsky, 2006 Ed Eilert, 2005 Robert D. Regnier, 2004 Walter Hiersteiner, 2003 Mary Birch, 2002 Drue Jennings, 2001 Betty Keim, 2000
Steve Rose, 1999 Charles J. Carlsen, 1998 George & Floriene Lieberman, 1997 Dick Bond, 1996 William Dunn, 1995 Adele Hall, 1994 SuEllen Fried, 1993 James P. Sunderland, 1992 Stan & Shirley Rose, 1991 John H. Robinson, 1990 Paul H. Henson, 1989 Ben Craig, 1988 Robert H. Meneilly, 1987
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May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 25
Does Your Garage Floor Need a Makeover? Article Ann E. Butenas | Photography Provided
hut the front door! Why? Because it’s time to address what is quickly becoming the main entry point to many homes these days – the garage door. What used to be the entry and exit point for vehicles only has now become the primary entry point where family and friends enter the home. With the real estate market improving, many homeowners are looking for ways to continue the appreciation of their home’s value. One area that continues to gain popularity is improving the garage space. It typically represents up to 10 per cent of the total square footage of the home, yet is often overlooked as an opportunity to upgrade and make that first impression entering a home. It’s the belief of Erin Slicker, owner of Prairie Village-based Granite Garage Floors of KC, that if today’s homeowners were aware an option existed for their garage floor beyond the oil stained concrete or peeling gray paint, they would jump on the opportunity to upgrade it with a designer quality finish that looks and lasts like granite. Fully licensed, insured and bonded, Granite Garage Floors truly sets itself apart from the rest, especially when it comes to their prep work. Slicker emphasizes what is unique to their approach. “We specifically focus on the preparation of the floor using an industrial diamond grinding process to remove all previous coatings and stains to get the floor mechanically clean and porous, which maximizes the adhesion of the coating system to the concrete. This is really important as we guarantee against hot-tire pick up, which is the number one failure that most people experience when attempting to have a coating applied to their garage floor. Our proprietary system 26 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
utilizes commercial grade product, which is not what you would typically find in kits at local home improvement or paint stores. We then we add decorative flakes at varying rates to create the look of granite, quartz or terrazzo, depending on the finish chosen.” Once installed, the final product not only looks amazing, it is extremely durable, chemical resistant, and easy to clean. Additionally, the process add the ‘orange peel’ texture that has anti-slip properties. Of course, it’s not just the product that sets Granite Garage Floors above the rest. Their premier customer service truly raises the bar. “We take the necessary time with each customer to determine what’s best for them,” emphasizes Slicker. Recent customer Amanda Myers who resides in Leawood agrees. “Granite Garage Floors provided exceptional service while installing our garage floor. It was a quick process and completely transformed the look and function of our garage.” With a variety of color finishes available, they have something for everyone. For those who want to make their garage floor even more unique, there are newly added local team finishes, which are prefect for diehard KU, MU, KSU and Chiefs fans. They also have flooring system options that are ideal for basements, mechanical rooms, and those highly coveted man caves. It is not just the product that sets Granite Garage Floors apart from the rest. Their team promises professional communication and timely installation, and it is all backed by a lifetime satisfaction warranty. For more information, visit GraniteGarageFloors.com or call 913.752.9906.
Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening By Becky Blades $13.99 147 pages Reviewed by Anne Potter Russ
arenthood does now, indeed, come with a manual! We can all stop complaining that no one ever provided a “how-to” book on raising children and doing laundry and navigating life. Kansas City author Becky Blades has come to our collective aid and written the most important little square book in the history of self-help tomes, Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give If She Thought You Were Listening. She’s a rock star, a mom, a genius, an artist, and the voice in your head telling you that children who are self-sufficient launderers will rule the world. The 269 nuggets of advice are almost as gorgeous as the artwork Blades provides for the backdrop. She wrote it all down for us (and illustrated it), and all we have to do is read and share with our kids (when they look like they might be listening). My personal favorite nugget is #36 – “A bad attitude makes your butt look big.” Right? 28 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
ou r ce y Advi uld give ht wo mom e thoug if sh u were yo ning liste
Blades began her journey of putting the finishing touches on her college-bound daughter by having a panic attack. Did her daughter, Taylor, know the other stuff–not the grades, the test scores, the leadership qualities–but, #’s 160, 161 and 162? “Move your body;” “Still your mind;” and “Fasten your seat belt.” Maybe she hadn’t been listening to #118, “Keep your household cleaning products separate from your personal hygiene products. Using Pledge instead of hairspray can set back your morning.” See, this stuff is genius! Blades' instinct to write her advice to Taylor turned into a home run for the rest of us. The combination of serious and silly, frank and fabulous, and utter common sense make this little gem of a book the parenting bible of the 21st century–or at least this week. Number 74 – “If you want to shorten an argument, break into a French accent.” I’m actually going to try that one. My favorite theme of Blades'–and it’s included in the title of her blog, Startistry.com, is the art of stARTing something. As #71 proclaims, “Don’t put off starting something because you aren’t sure you can finish it… Only one thing is sure to keep you from finishing: not starting.” The woman is spying on me. I am the guiltiest of guilty overstretched and under-motivated moms. Blades gives us all permission to start something and follow the urge, even if it doesn’t end in creative perfection. Hey, we started our kids, didn’t we? The thing is, though, Becky Blades did finish this one with style and flair and grace. And for that, I’m grateful. Who else would have thought to tell my two teens, “Don’t sit on aluminum bleachers in a lightening storm?” (#58) This is the best gift of the spring season for you, your kids or your parents (highlight the parts for your own parents that you really did listen to!). Blades' brilliance is your best pair of jeans – makin’ you look good! Find her, the book and her daughters at LaundryOrDie.com.
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A Nice Little Place on the North Side: Wrigley Field at One Hundred By George Will Crown Archetype Press $25.00 224 pages Reviewed by Julie Hubble
s the grass greens and days get longer, it is time to go to the ball fields. And who better to sit with in the bleachers than the rabid fan, full of facts and anecdotes and opinions on the state of the game? George Will, arguably the most famous fan of the Chicago Cubs, takes off his political pundit hat and waxes nostalgic on the 100th birthday of Wrigley Field. This is not field reporting, but an emotional and personal reflection on the history of a team, a place, of baseball. As there are few triumphs to record, Will meanders through the Lincoln Park neighborhood and reveals the oddities of personalities that stop through Chicago and leave stories that create legend. Readers will learn about America’s first female member of a President’s cabinet, about the baseball-related shooting that inspired Bernard Malamud’s The Natural, and will consider the relationship between beer and attendance at baseball games. The greatness of Ernie Banks, “Mr. Cub,” will be on display for all to see. But Will also provides commentary on the architecture of the building itself, and provides fodder for why the structure has contributed to the fortunes of the team. He suggests, despite his love for the Chicago Cubs, that historic decisions by the owners, including chewing-gum magnate P.K. Wrigley, made the stadium too successful. A less popular structure would have forced the Cubs to purchase a winning team. But in the era of Jumbotrons and product placement and concession stand apps, Wrigley Field is that bright and shining Valhalla, purposely slow to install night lights and video screens at the urinals. She is beloved, wise and full of characters that tell America’s 30 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
story of competition and loyalty, success and defeat, yesterday and today. Carl Sandburg describes Chicago as a city “with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning,” aware of those sneering at her. He must have been a Cubs fan. The writing is graceful and funny, the information is stunning, and the critique is sharp – the perfect way to spend an afternoon for any baseball fan.
Other New Baseball Titles To Consider: New Kid by Tim Green (Harper/Collins) The Glory of Their Times: The Story of the Early Days of Baseball Told by the Men Who Played It by Lawrence Ritter (Harper Perennial) Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball by John Feinstein (Doubleday) 1954: The Year Willie Mays and the First Generation of Black Superstars Changed Major League Baseball by Bill Madden (Da Capo) Pete Rose: An American Dilemma by Kostya Kennedy (Sports Illustrated)
Racquetball Pro Lucy Kupish DelSarto She plays; she wins. You can, too! Article Ann E. Butenas Photography Studio 56 –Diana Foster
ucy Kupish DelSarto loves to present the question: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were? This 51-year-old Olathe resident bears no shame reflex when it comes to admitting her age, as, after all, it truly is a mind-overmatter mentality that trumps the clock time and again. Of all her primary senses, DelSarto’s sense of humor most notably leads the pack. No matter where she goes or what she does, fun and laughter are usually on the agenda. Originally from Decatur, Ill., DelSarto, the youngest of ten kids, found her way to Olathe in a rather circuitous way but had a ball (pun intended) along the way. DelSarto was serendipitously introduced to the game of racquetball when one of her sisters gave her a membership to a racquetball club as a high school graduation gift. She had never even heard of the game, yet somehow managed to beat her opponent the first time out on the court. “I fell in love with the game from the start,” she says with a smile. She quickly rose to great heights in the game, becoming the top player in the state of Illinois at the Women’s Open within one year. She eventually relocated to Oregon after being hired as a Club Pro for two clubs in the area and within a year was coaching and became professionally certified. A year later at a tournament in the San Francisco Bay area, one of the area’s top clubs offered her a Club Pro position.. This ultimately led to jobs at other clubs and subsequently at Stanford University, where she coached the co-ed team winning 3rd in the Collegiate Nationals, all while simultaneously headlining on the Women’s Pro Tour, becoming one of the Top 16 players in the world. While honing her racquetball skills, transitioning to new jobs and perfecting her coaching skills, she also attended college with an academic focus on business and psychology. In 1991, Lucy retired from the pro circuit and turned her focus on raising her daughter. She moved to Kansas in 1998 and felt compelled to get back into the game. “I was offered the pro instructor position at different clubs in the area and began coaching again,” she recalls. That same year, she nabbed the Kansas Women’s Open Singles Title and the Mixed Open Doubles Title, which she continues to hold. Currently, DelSarto offers clinics and private lessons for racquetball enthusiasts of all ages at the Athletic Club in Overland Park. She also continues to indulge that competitive spirit that never fades. “The club hosted the Winter Classic Racquetball Tournament in February along with the Ladies Pro division,” she says. “I played in three divisions: the Pro Draw; the Women’s Open; and the Men’s 35+ Division.” 32 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
She competed in her first match in the Pro Division against an 18-year-old girl from Guatemala. Although she did not win the game, she played with unwavering determination. She did win her match in the Women’s Open Singles against another 18-year-old but then lost in the next round to a 24-year-old. DelSarto embraces pure joy when competing with players still in their teens and 20s, as well as with the top men players, while confidently reveling in the fifth decade of her life. “Racquetball is a lifetime sport and is fun fitness even from the first time on the court.” she explains, “Many racquetball players have been competing for twenty or thirty years. It’s a good and healthy addiction where your brain and body get a workout, or ‘fun-out!’” Her life’s personal journey as a former professional athlete and coach for more than 30 years has taught her so much about the human body, commitment, choices and discipline. As a result, DelSarto developed her wellness practice called TCOY (Take Care of You) Wellness. Her mission is to empower others to embrace complete well-being: mind, heart and body. She is passionate about helping individuals make positive changes in their lives. Her mantra is a truism: “If you don’t take care of your body, where will you live?” “Success is about personal best, and through racquetball I have seen many life lessons played out,” she explains. “Racquetball teaches us to be in the moment; to adjust and adapt; to play out every point; to realize there are choices in all situations; and to appreciate the challenges as they push us to grow. Being active keeps you healthy and thus a winner. If you are playing, whether in racquetball or in life, you are winning.” For more information, visit DelSarto online at TCOYWellness.com.
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Take Me — and My Family — Out to the
Article Trisha Drape | Photography Taylor Pemberton and KC Royals
f you dislike those sappy baseball movies, ala Fields of Dreams, The Natural, The Sandlot, et al, and you find it completely self-indulgent when people write about their children, stop reading now. I just can’t help myself this one time. Oh, and do you despise baseball fanatics who wait all year to hear those six little words: “Pitchers and catcher report for training”? If so, again, this article may not be for you. If, however, you are a soon-to-be empty-nester who can’t seem to gather your young adult children for more than three straight hours even during the holidays, and you’re looking for a possible trick up your sleeve for more family time, I can tell you what works for me. My artifice? Baseball. And this year, knowing the days of family vacations may be nearing an end, my husband and I enticed them with a trip we knew they wouldn’t refuse: Spring training in Surprise, Arizona. Our son, now in his second year of college, traded in baseball tournaments and soccer practices for guitars and girls around the time he turned 15. But if I call him up to invite him to go to a Kansas City Royals game, he suddenly has time to see me and make the 15-minute drive from his college to the stadium. Interestingly enough, the drive to Lee’s Summit isn’t much farther, but without the incentive of a ballgame, it might as well be 1,000 miles. My youngest daughter, who leaves for college in August, only peeks up from her Netflix binges of “House of Cards” and “Or-
34 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
ange is the New Black” to ask if I’ve been to the ATM. She recently changed her plans to go to college out of state, telling us she “really likes Kansas City; it has everything I need.” Is this code for “I don’t want to be far from a town that has professional baseball, football, soccer, music, theatre, art, etc.?” My oldest daughter will drive home from college nearly every weekend the Royals are in town, but once the baseball season
is over, the price of gas suddenly seems to have risen too high for her to make the 3-hour trip home. She is our family’s biggest baseball fan. Every Christmas since she was very young, she has asked for season tickets to the Royals, and every birthday she has asked us to take her to spring training — a wish we had not granted until this year. Baseball isn’t everyone’s passion, but for us there is something about the game that brings us together. Perhaps it’s the pace and the fact we can carry on conversations in between the moments of action. Maybe it’s the sights and sounds and smells making us feel nostalgic for all of those times when we spent many afternoons outside together. Maybe it’s just a love of the game itself. Even if baseball isn’t your thing, spending a day at The K with your family might surprise you as a great way to get together. And for next year, I highly recommend considering a few days away in Surprise, Arizona. If the winter of 2015 is anything like this past winter, you’ll be happy to get away to Arizona where the weather is ideal in February and
March. With 15 MLB teams in the Cactus League and 10 stadiums in the greater Phoenix area, there are plenty of ball games to catch, but there also is so much more to explore. We drove to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Scottsdale and Tempe in between games. We also met up with friends from other states and unexpectedly ran into several people from our community — baseball seems to bring lots of people together. If baseball is your thing, there is no better place than spring training to get up close and personal with the players, who are very accessible during these games and practices. My oldest daughter insisted on getting up early every morning to watch batting practice, where she was able to speak with several players. Over the years, we’ve taken family vacations to many cities (most of them with major league baseball stadiums), and we have always tried to go some place different every year. However, I already am planning for our trip back to spring training — it’s definitely a trip worth repeating. I am so thankful to baseball for bringing my family together.
May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 35
The Way Things Were DeAnna Rose Children’s Farmstead expands Main Street. Article Lisa Allen | Photography Provided
he weather might lie, but there’s one true harbinger of spring for countless families in Kansas City: every April 1, Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead opens for the season. And just like the turning of a calendar page, the Farmstead has emerged from our blankets of snow and ice with new attractions and a fresh take on bringing to life what it was like to live on a Kansas farm at the turn of the century. Past the ubiquitous red barn that everyone sees at the main entrance there is the general store, the fishing pond, the dairy barn and the schoolhouse. New in 2014 is an expansion of Main Street: three new buildings, including Ray’s Barber Shop, Pat’s Photography Parlor and John’s Blacksmith Shop, all designed to enhance the experience of rewinding history.
36 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
“There is always an educational focus to everything we do at the Farmstead,” says Kerrie Nichols, public program supervisor. With the additions to Main Street, visitors can not only learn about how life once was, but they can experience it as well. Ray’s Barber Shop is set up to depict how social interactions of that time were so vastly different than what we know today. A throwback to an earlier time when life was a little simpler, the barbershop was a place that men went not only for grooming services, but sometimes for dentistry and medical procedures. “Throughout history, the barbershop was an important gathering place,” says Nichols. “Men didn’t go to just get their hair cut; they started their days there, talking to neighbors and building relationships. It was more than just a place for a shave and a haircut.”
Same is true of John’s Blacksmith Shop, which is an interactive experience between an actual blacksmith and visitors. In turn of the century rural communities, a blacksmith was the person who created or repaired almost anything comprised of wrought iron or steel through a process of bending, cutting and forging metal. Nails, harness rings, latches, horseshoes and a variety of tools were all produced by a blacksmith. “We’ve brought in an actual blacksmith who is terrific at engaging and communicating with the public, so that not only is it a true learning experience about smithing, but it’s also fun and interactive,” says Nichols. In a nod to the junction of history and progress, Pat’s Photography Parlor will employ green screen technology to transform photos of guests in creative ways that have nothing to do with selfies and photobombs. “The expansion of Main Street gives us another opportunity to interact with our visitors,” says Nichols. “We love that people enjoy spending the day with us, and these new additions are just another way that we can illustrate what Kansas farm life was like so long ago.”
Another new feature this season that younger kids will especially appreciate is the renovated Prairie Playground. Thanks to funding from Overland Park Rotary, new equipment—including a tractor—has been added as well. The number of visitors to the Farmstead each year rivals that of Kansas City’s most popular attractions; from April to October of 2013, the Farmstead hosted more than 411,000 visitors. Last year alone, workers served 58,059 hand-scooped ice cream cones and cups; 125,000 worms were flung into the fishing pond and baby goats drank 98,571 bottles of milk. The Farmstead has changed significantly over the years. When it first opened, it had two miniature horses, two Shetland ponies, nine goats, six sheep, three calves, a dozen chickens, a vegetable garden and child-sized replicas of a barn with a loft, a silo with a slide and a shaded seating area. There was one supervisor and four seasonal employees. Today, the Farmstead has almost 200 farm animals and birds of prey, flower and vegetable gardens, Helen’s One Room Country Schoolhouse, Deanna Rose’s Dairy Barn, Grandpa Bob’s Fishing Pond and horse
drawn wagon rides and more. There are seven supervisors, 46 seasonal staff members and 25 regular weekly volunteers. Now in its 36th season, the three additions to Main Street join Vic’s General Store, Alex and Emily’s Ice Cream Parlor and Ben’s Bank. Guests can still enjoy what they’ve come to love about each of those features, such as purchasing keepsakes at Vic’s or enjoying an ice cream from Alex and Emily’s. “There is always something new here,” says Nichols. “Just come see!” For hours, more history and a schedule of events, visit DRFarmstead.org.
special events at the farmstead June Bug Ball
– June 5
Blacksmith Celebration Dairy Day
– June 14
Fishing Tournament Independence Day Chicken Run Stampede 5K Safety Day
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– June 21 – July 4
– July 26
– August 9
– August 16
– September 6
Pumpkin Hollow – September 26-October 31 Night of the Living Farm – October 17 & 18 and Oct. 24 & 25 holiday lights – Thanksgiving -Jan. 3 free weekends
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May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 37
a meaningful bike ride Leawood Police Officers honor fallen comrades. Article Mary Bush | Photography Provided
s the only Leawood police officer on bike patrol, Erik Butler spends a lot of time cycling. But these days, the biking doesn’t stop when he finishes his shift. Butler, along with fellow Officer Ben Slenker, Sgt. Tim Anderson and Sgt. Kirt Yoder, is training for the Police Unity Tour, a 230-mile, bicycle ride that raises national awareness for officers who have died in the line of duty. The tour, which began in 1997 with 18 participants, will attract more than 1800 police officers from around the country this year. Participating bikers will begin their journey on May 10 in Richmond, Va., and three days later, pedal through Washington D.C.’s National Mall finally arriving at the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial where they will be surrounded by the families of fallen officers. This is the third year that Butler and Yoder will ride in the challenging biking event and the first for Anderson and Slenker. “Our route is very hilly and it’s hard for us to get prepared for the hills of Virginia here in Kansas,”
says Butler. “We spend as much of our off time as possible riding but the weather around here can make that a bit tricky.” Part of Yoder’s training includes biking from his home in Olathe to his job in Leawood. He also includes running in his rigorous regimen. “For me, training means a combination of road biking and running,” says Yoder. “These last couple months were crunch time so I biked about 25 miles a day for four or five days a week and added a long ride on the weekends.” Biking and More
The Police Unity Tour isn’t just about biking. All participants are required to raise funds that are used to maintain the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial, a massive, bronze sculpture depicting a series of adult lions protecting their cubs, symbolizing the protective role of police officers. The sculpture’s blue and gray marble walls are inscribed with the names of more than 19,000 officers killed in the line of duty dating back to 1792. National Police Week kicks off each May at the end of the Police Unity Tour and names of the nation’s most recent fallen officers are added to the memorial. Cyclists participating in the Tour wear bracelets bearing the names of those who have died in the line of duty.
It’s important people are aware of the danger police officers face each day. The Police Unity Tour is part of that awareness.
38 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
“It is quite a sobering experience to honor the sacrifice of these officers,” says Butler. “Raising awareness about these special heroes is one of the most rewarding things we do.” Fun Fundraising
Though meals and lodging are covered by local and national supporters of the the Police Unity Tour, the Leawood officers are responsible for providing their own road bikes and out-of-pocket expenses. This year, they have also raised $1,700 each in donations by sponsoring fundraising events such as a bowling tournament that attracted 160 participants and a bike ride on the Katy Trail that attracted about 50 supporters. In April, about 150 donor/supporters attended the Police Unity Tour Date Night, a special happy hour sponsored by Gordon Biersch Brewery in Leawood followed by a private screening at AMC Theaters in Town Center. Additionally, local businesses and residents contribute to help sponsor the Leawood officers on their meaningful ride. Each year, the Police Unity Tour attracts more cyclists and donations from around the country. The first year’s event in 1997 raised $18,000 compared to this year’s event which will raise about $1.9 million. A Special Meaning Close to Home
Officers Butler and Slenker are also instructors for the Defensive Tactics Program which is part of the Johnson County Regional Police Academy’s curriculum. Butler shares with each class of fledgling police officers a story about Sedgwick County (Kansas) Deputy Brian Etheridge who was ambushed, shot and killed in 2009 after responding to a report of larceny. The 26-year-old officer had been on the job for 18 months, was married and father to two-year-old daughter Natalie. “It is a worst case scenario each of us faces every day,” says Butler, who has worn a bracelet inscribed with Deputy Etheridge’s name during each of the Police Unity Tours in which he has participated. Butler met Sarah Purcell, Etheridge’s widow, at the end of last year’s Police Unity Tour when he and fellow Leawood offi-
cers stopped by an Alexandria, Va., hotel where she was traveling with a non-profit organization called Final Call Quilts. The organization constructs quilts for the families of fallen officers and in 2009, Sarah was presented with a handmade, memorial quilt of Brian Etheridge’s uniforms. She was the organization’s first recipient. After meeting Sarah, Butler gave her the bracelet he had worn during the Police Unity Tour inscribed with Brian’s name. “Meeting Sarah was a humbling experience and made an already meaningful experience more meaningful,” says Butler who is married and father to two young sons. “She has handled a terrible experience with courage, grace and dignity and inspires all of us.” Sarah’s life continues to revolve around law enforcement as she married Police Officer Derek Purcell in 2011, also wounded in the line of duty several years ago but now recovered. The couple lives in Wichita and are parents to now 7-year-old Natalie and 2-year-old Kate. Sarah is very proud of the officers who ride in the Police Unity Tour and has attended the last day’s ceremony twice when cyclists fly flags with photos of that year’s fallen officers. She is particularly grateful to Officer Butler who has sent a letter to Natalie after each of his Police Unity Tours. “She loves getting the letters and hearing about her father,” says Sarah. “It warms my heart that Erik not only wears Brian’s bracelet every year but also remembers Natalie with his wonderful pictures and letters that she reads and rereads. It means so much to both of us.” Since Etheridge’s death, Sarah also speaks to the families of new officers before graduation each year. “It’s important people are aware of the danger police officers face each day,” says Sarah. “The Police Unity Tour is part of that awareness and I’m so grateful to the
officers who ride. They help us remember that all police officers are part of a very special family.” Leawood Police Officer Mark Chudik has ridden in the arduous Police Unity Tour twice though he is not riding this year. He notes the route from Richmond to Washington, D.C. is a beautiful urban and rural mix often lined with cheering supporters as officers roll by. But Chudik says it is the end of the Police Unity Tour that is a surreal experience for cyclists.
“When you pedal through the National Mall with all the other officers in the Tour and start seeing the families of the fallen officers, it’s impossible not to get choked up,” says Chudik. “It’s a humbling experience to say the least.” May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 39
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Chateau on the Lake Spectacular Views Make This Gem of Table Rock a Priority Destination Article Lisa Harrison | Photography Provided
pring break was looming and we still didn’t have plans for the long weekend get-away we’d promised our two teens. It was time for this busy mom to start fretting. But then I learned about a resort at Table Rock Lake in Branson called Chateau on the Lake and suddenly it looked like our regional destination mini-vacation would happen after all. We stopped at Lamberts (“Home of the throwed rolls”) on our way to the lake. I’d heard of it but had never been, so it warrants a quick mention here. Even at 2 p.m. on a Friday afternoon we had to wait 45 minutes for a table so if this is on your to-do list, know that it’s not a quick in and out dining destination. Having never vacationed in Branson, I didn’t know what to expect, but any preconceived notions we had about lodge themed motels and country music inspired inns were dashed when we rounded the bend in the highway and saw the stunning 10-story resort looming on the horizon. “We’re staying THERE?” they asked too loudly with earbuds still firmly in place. All I could do was smile. And then we saw the lake, and I was instantly assured we’d have a wonderful three days. I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan. We lived on one side of the Great Lake and vacationed on the other. A family joke is that lake water runs through our veins. And as much as I’ve tried to embrace the many (many) man-made lakes of Missouri, I was worried that Table Rock would be another murky little docklined lake. I’m thrilled to admit I was impressed by its grandeur.
42 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
My husband and sons bonded over an afternoon of fly fishing with an outstanding guide at nearby Lake Taneycomo. They each caught (and released) close to a dozen fish so the afternoon was officially a success. While they perfected their casting skills and harassment of the local fish, I practiced deep relaxation in the Spa Chateau. Opened just seven years ago, the 14,000-square-foot spa offers everything from a hot tub, massage and facials, to manicures, pedicures and hair styling. Make sure you plan to indulge a bit during your stay. Our special dinner at the Chateau Grille was one my boys are still talking about. We splurged on a fruits of the sea appetizer
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($17) that offered impressive shrimp and crab legs alongside a chunky scoop of lobster salad. Our steaks, salads and short ribs were outstanding and perfectly prepared. And the Grand Marnier soufflé ($12) was absolutely divine. It’s no wonder that visitors to the lake enjoy traveling by boat to this restaurant all summer long. My boys loved stopping in the Sweet Shoppe and we loved giving them the freedom to wake up when they were ready and go downstairs to get breakfast at their leisure while we enjoyed a morning walk along the lake. They could easily pick up muffins, fruit or cereal for breakfast, a soda or candy bar in the afternoon, or a dessert to share after dinner and simply charge the cost to our room. Our room was lovely and had a spectacular view of the lake. Two sink vanities, one in the bathroom and one in the main room, meant that there was a little less chaos in our weekend of sharing a room. The balcony allowed us to sit outside and enjoy the view with coffee in hand. Speaking of coffee, shall we take a moment to collectively thank the hotelier who started putting little coffee makers in hotel rooms back in the 1990s?
The 10-story atrium is breathtaking. The lobby is built around a three- story tall tree as well as gentle waterfalls and flowing water features that are home to lovely koi fish. It’s no wonder at all that this is a popular convention and wedding destination. Other amenities include a marina, kids club, pools, tennis courts and a movie theater. The marina offers ski boats, pontoons, wave runners, canoes, kayaks and paddle boats available for rent. Fishing gear, tubes and skis are available as well, allowing guests to pack a little lighter. The Crawdaddies Kids Club offers indoor and outdoor activities ideal for elementary-aged children while the movie theater shows G-rated films several times a day. Indoor and outdoor pools are open 24 hours a day. For those of you who choose to visit during the summer or fall, Moonshine Beach is just a ten-minute walk or a two-minute drive from the resort. For a small fee, beach goers have access to a snack stand, restroom facilities and a safe, sandy beach. The Branson strip offered more than we could absorb in our three day stay. Highlights included riding go carts, zip-lining, the
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outlet mall and a celebrity car museum. But remember, my travel companions were 15- and 17-year-old boys. While I could have spent half the day at the outlet mall they were content to leave after visiting a half dozen stores. If a visit to Branson is on your to-do list, or if you’re in charge of organizing the next family reunion or company convention, start your planning with Chateau on the Lake and you won’t be disappointed.
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Social Security: Don’t Leave Money on the Table H
ave you considered how social security fits into your retirement plan? Social Security is an important factor when determining the amount of income you will have in retirement, but it is also a factor that causes confusion for many. With so many questions surrounding Social Security, such as when to start receiving benefits, the ins and outs of filing and suspending, survivor benefits and how to supplement your Social Security income, making the decision that works best for you can be a challenge. Working with an advisor who can walk you through the process may help you maximize your Social Security benefits. Without help, you may be leaving money on the table. Improper timing of starting to receive benefits or unknowingly accepting fewer benefits than you are entitled can cost Americans tens of thousands of dollars over their lifetime. Consider these factors that may affect your benefits before making a decision: When to Receive Benefits – Knowing how long you can wait to start receiving your benefits is very valuable. According to the 2013 Annual Statistical Supplement from the Social Security Administration, 37.2 percent of Americans start taking benefits as soon as they are eligible. But, could you afford to wait a few more years until you reach the full age of retirement? Doing so should increase your monthly benefit for life. If you are still working or have income from other sources that covers your financial needs for those years, you may want to hold off beginning to collect. However, if delaying would force you to take taxable distributions from your Individual Retirement Account, it may not be the best solution. Special Situations with Death and Divorce – There are special
situations that can affect your Social Security benefits, such as being a widow/er or an unmarried divorcee that was married 10 years or longer. In these situations, you should consider if the benefits to which you are entitled are less than those you would receive if you switched to your deceased spouse or former spouse’s work benefits. Life Expectancy – Considering your life expectancy can help you determine if you will have an appropriate amount to live on until death. If you are not expected to live well into your 80s or 90s, it could be to your benefit to start your benefits early. However, if you are in good health and may live several decades in retirement, you should consider if your additional retirement savings will last until your death, and if not, consider if a lower Social Security benefit would be able to sustain you once your other assets are depleted. There is not one general rule for maximizing your Social Security benefits that applies to all situations. In order to maximize benefits for your personal situation, having someone walk you through the possibilities may save you thousands of dollars in the long run. If you are interested in learning more about Social Security, email me at Marc@SearcyFinancial.com to request our free resource packet: Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits. Marc C. Shaffer, CFP®, AIF®, EA, is a principal of Searcy Financial Services Inc., a registered investment advisory and financial planning firm located in Overland Park. For additional information, visit SearcyFinancial.com.
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50 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
Come Clean this Spring Article Heather Trent Beers
hake away winter doldrums and welcome sunny days with spring cleaning. Before you hit the bike trails, though, add this task to bust clutter: Ditch expired drugs. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, held each spring and fall, was started by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2009 to educate the public about medication abuse and to safeguard the water supply by offering a way to get rid of old and unwanted medications. On these twice-a-year Take- Back days, members of the community can safely leave expired or unneeded over-the-counter and prescription medicines with police officers at the Leawood Police Department, located in the Justice Center at 4201 Town Center Drive. To make the most of these one-day events, officers suggest these tips: 1. Plan ahead. Gather medications in a storage container such as a grocery bag and store them safely prior to drop off. 2. If possible, leave medications in original containers so little pills don’t fall out or spill before disposal. Removing personal information from labels is not necessary. The DEA seals, secures and incinerates each drop box within a few days. Neither police officers nor the DEA count or keep records of drugs turned in. The process is completely anonymous. Just seal it, drop it off and be done. 3. Do not bring needles, lancets or syringes. Instead, place these in an empty laundry detergent bottle, seal it with the lid, and dispose with regular trash. 4. Also do not bring thermometers; bloody or infectious waste; hydrogen peroxide or business/hazardous material waste; and aerosol cans. Inhalers are accepted, however, since DEA incinerators are made for combustible material. 5. Offer to help gather expired medications for elderly family members or friends who can’t make the event. Flushing medications down the drain or toilet is never recommended. Between spring and fall Take-Back dates, remove medications from their containers and mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter. This makes them unpalatable to pets and children. Then throw the sealed bag in the trash. This spring, definitely take time to pump up the bicycle tires and repair the lawn mower, but also clear out old medicines. Spread the news: Make your home cleaner AND safer. Then get out there and soak up that long-hoped-for sun.
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or many of us, we have a story to tell about the way a special dog or cat has touched our lives. The power of that one soul teaching us a life lesson, helping us experience the purest form of unconditional love, bringing us comfort and peace. Animals have a magical way of positively changing our lives. With our big goals to continue serving more than 30,000 pets this year at our bi-state campuses, the power of one person, one new connection, one social media share, one more hour volunteered or more dollar donated, will be the difference in our ability to continue providing the highest life-saving guarantee – a 96 per cent live-release rate – to the local, homeless and needy pets in our community. One more life saved… it matters! Never doubt what the power of one can do. That one cat or dog you will never forget. What they did to enrich your life, bring you peace, hope and likely many smiles and laughs. And just the same, you can change the life, the future and the heart of a pet looking for hope. Please join our organization in saving lives in Kansas City. We are providing 11 lifesaving programs and services every day and with more than 700 pets in our care daily, we need your support. Being a hero for pets is as easy as adopting, donating, volunteering, fostering, or telling a new person about Great Plains SPCA. Spread the word and you’ll help us save more lives in the Kansas City Metro area and beyond. We believe in the power of you!
Courtney Thomas is the President and CEO of Great Plains SPCA.
It’s Not Just Nutrition, It’s Life
Revel with us in traditional black-tie attire to commemorate 25 years and three new species of cold-weather penguins at the zoo. You will enjoy cuisine from Kansas City’s finest restaurants, live music and more. Tickets now available. JUNE 6, 2014 | 816.595.1234 | WWW.JAZZOOKC.ORG PRESENTING SPONSOR
May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 53
Providing Food for the Body and Soul MANNA Worldwide changes countless children’s lives one meal at a time Article Katherine Bontrager | Photography Provided
ruce and Pam O’Neal were missionaries in the outskirts of Manila, Philippines, in the early 1990s, with a church located near squatter villages. The church lacked the means to care for the poor who came, weekly, to beg for assistance. Desperate to help, the O’Neals began looking for partners to support their ministry in the hopes of starting a school and feeding the marginalized children in the community. From this very basic need grew the roots of the first MANNA nutrition center. The funds the O’Neals gathered soon became an outpouring of support, enabling the construction of a school that welcomed the poor, provided books, uniforms and warm meals each day. And, as a happy byproduct, by taking care of these children’s education and many of their meals, local families were able to stretch their meager budgets—often less than $2 a day—to better survive. Yet the story didn’t stop there. Like the proverbial mustard seed, the charity, now known as MANNA Worldwide, spread and now has 134 nutrition centers in 39 countries. More than 13,000 children are fed a day through these impressive efforts, which is expanding to also aid 18 orphanages in need. Oddly enough, the ripple effects are felt even here. Lee’s Summit resident Rick Friesen was so moved by MANNA Worldwide’s mission and impact that he left a very comfortable position as executive pastor of Abundant Life Baptist Church to become Director of Africa for MANNA Worldwide. “The commitment of MANNA Worldwide is to care for children regardless of gender, nationality, or religion,” Friesen says. Projects include efforts for clean water, nutrition centers, orphan care, and the formation of primary schools, high schools and a trade school for women; each is long-term and sustainable to impact the community for years to come. Because MANNA Worldwide offers long-term services, the charity is able to follow its children all the way from preschool to high school. And what a difference a few years can make. “We witness a reduction in disease because of proper nutrition; 54 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
a spiritual hope because of the love and hands on care and mentoring; and an opportunity to obtain jobs or attend college because of the education provided,” Friesen says. “We also have opportunity to see the cycle of poverty end as some graduate from high school and go on to college or trade school and are then able to provide for their family and give back to their community.” The organization receives donations from corporations, individuals, churches, and government grants. And Friesen is not afraid to go the extra mile—literally—for MANNA Worldwide; this year he’s joining a coast-to-coast bike ride to raise funds and awareness. Alongside Keith O’Neal, MANNA’s vice president, the duo will ride their bicycles from Los Angeles to Annapolis starting Sept. 7 in the hopes of raising $100,000. And more funding is desperately needed. “I was recently in Malawi where we set up our newest nutrition center,” Friesen says. “We feed 50 children two meals a day, six days a week in the village of Kachere. As the children were singing and eating, I noticed about 60 other kids looking through the crack of the door wanting to be in our program. It’s gut wrenching. We can’t help every single child, but we can help some—and we can help more as funding comes in.” For the children who have been touched by the generosity of MANNA Worldwide, it’s life altering. Recently, Bruce O’Neal was in Guatemala visiting a nutrition center, when a young girl took his hand and accompanied him as he toured the facility. Finally, she whispered, “Thank you, Mr. MANNA.” It was only later that the center’s director told Bruce that the young girl had arrived almost blind. She had to be led to the nutrition center and through all the activities every day. A visiting U.S. ophthalmologist noticed the little girl, examined her, and determined that a surgical procedure would correct her eyesight. The ophthalmologist paid for the girl to have surgery done in Guatemala. “Of course Mr. MANNA, Bruce O’Neal, and all who serve at MANNA are quick to point out that it’s God’s love that makes all this possible,” Friesen says. “‘Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is heaven,’ (Matthew 5:16).” For more information or to offer a donation, visit MannaWorldwide.com.
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www.amhomefurnishings.com f & May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 55
Jag’s New Roadster is a Serious Sports Car Article and Photography Tom Strongman
aguar’s beautiful new F-Type V-8 S sports car has an exhaust that pops and crackles with a sound that is part Formula One and part ‘48 Mercury with straight pipes when you trigger the active exhaust system with a button on the console. The change in sound serves notice that this is not a Jag like any other. Don’t be mistaken, the new F-Type with the 495-horsepower, supercharged V-8 is not a boulevard cruiser beefed up for performance; it is a bonafide performance car softened enough to be a boulevard cruiser. It packs plenty of bite to go with its bark. Poke the throttle and the surge pastes you back in the seat as the car slingshots to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds. The electronically limited top track speed is 186 mph. As a friend once said, it goes fast quick. 56 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
The F-Type is a lightweight, all-aluminum, rear-wheel-drive two-seater built to challenge any car in its segment. It is beautifully styled, carefully crafted and built to have world-class performance. It’s only available as a convertible, but a coupe version is rumored. There’s a price for this excellence. The well-optioned test car, a V-8 S model, had a base price of $92,000 and a sticker price of $105,245. That’s more than a similarly equipped Porsche Boxster and less than the 911 Carrera S that was one of the performance targets. Other lower-priced competitors include the 335-horsepower BMW Z4, the Mercedes-Benz SLK with a 415-horsepower V-8 and, to a lesser extent, the 450-horsepower Corvette Stingray. Two other F-Types are available, and both
have a supercharged, 3.0-liter V-6. One with 340 horsepower starts at $69,000, and the S model with 380 horsepower begins at $81,000. All use an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. No manual gearbox is offered as of yet. Both the V-6 and the V-8 from which it was derived have dual overhead cams, variable camshaft timing, direct fuel injection and an Eaton supercharger. Moving from the base model to the S also includes bigger brakes, an upgraded suspension and 19-inch instead of 18inch wheels. The V-8 S model has 20-inch wheels, an electronic limited slip differential and even bigger brakes. It’s hard to explore the V-8’s performance without a racetrack, but my brief drive around town gave hints as to just
2014 Jaguar F-Type V-8 S model
how capable the car is. The ride was compliant and comfortable despite the 20-inch wheels and ultra-low profile tires. I didnâ€™t notice any undue harshness on the highway. When pushed through turns, the F-Type was composed and confident, at least at street speeds. The V-8 S model just begs for an open track so one can safely explore its performance. The well-finished cabin was finished with soft-touch leather piano black trim. It was cozy but not crowded. The sport seats fit nicely and instrumentation was simple and clear. The fully automatic power top goes up or down in 12 seconds. The smallish trunk has 7 cubic feet of space so packing light is the order of the day for weekend trips but that is the case for most sports cars of this size.
Convenience and safety items included heated seats, heated steering wheel, heated windshield, front parking sensors, rearview camera, blindspot monitor, vehicle stability control and front and side airbags. Price: The base price
Point: The F-Type shows that Jaguar is serious about building a performance car. The V-8 makes prodigious power with great sound, the handling is tight and the ride is compliant. counterpoint: A well-optioned V-8 is pretty expensive. engine: 5.0-liter, 495-horsepower V-8 Transmission: Eight-speed automatic Rear-wheel drive Wheelbase: 103.2 inches Curb weight: 3,671 pounds base price: $92,000 As driven: $105,245 MPG equivalent: 16 in the city, 23 on the highway
of the V-8 S model was $92,000. Options included heated seats and steering wheel, garage door opener, wind deflector, adaptive front lighting, parking sensors and rearview camera, HD radio and satellite radio, heated windshield, Meridian premium audio system, performance seats, flat-bottomed steering wheel, selectable active exhaust, black interior trim and black metallic paint. The sticker price was $105,245. Warranty: Four years or 50,000 miles.
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house from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The historic home is at 1246 W. 59th Street, KC, Mo. Spend a beautiful spring afternoon touring the home followed by a delicious box lunch under one of the tents. Benefits non-profit groups for the under-privileged and uninsured. For reservations send a $30 check by May 5 to Mary Ann Westhoff, 3312 W. 132nd St, Leawood, KS 66209
May 13 Bird: The Life, Career, and Recordings of Charlie Parker
May 2-19 Container Gardening Exhibit Overland Park
Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens will host a Container Gardening Exhibit. Displays from garden organizations and volunteers will inspire and motivate you to build creative container plantings for your own patio, window boxes, entryway and backyard.
Chuck Haddix, director of the Marr Sound Archives and host of “Fish Fry” on KCUR FM radio, will present information from his latest book about Charlie Parker’s life and career in Kansas City. Copies of his book will be available for purchase and autographs. Free. 7 p.m. Shawnee Town 1929 Museum, 11600 Johnson Drive.
May 13 The Dinosaur Hunter
Lenexa Art Fair
Central Green Park
This annual spring event will take place from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Lenexa’s Central Green Park in Lenexa. It will feature nearly 50 fine artists and performances by jazz bands throughout the day. A wine and craft beer tasting event will take place from 4-8 p.m. Lenexa.com/parks/festivals_artfair
Having discovered more than two-dozen new species of dinosaurs on five continents, Paul Sereno has been called a modern-day Indiana Jones. His string of breakthrough discoveries began in the foothills of the Andes when his team discovered the first dinosaurs to roam the Earth. Program starts at 7:30 p.m. KauffmanCenter.org
Village Crawfish Festival
The Art of Gil Rumsey
From 6 – 11 p.m., The Secret Order of Crawdaddies will be serving up Kansas City’s best boiled crawfish, red beans & rice, barbecue pork, whole pig and beignets from Nica’s Lagniappe Cajun Kitchen. Benefits Head Start of Shawnee Mission. $45/person. Location: St. Pius X Church, 5500 Woodson. CrawDaddies.org
Come and see the wonderful art of Johnson County artist, Gil Rumsey at the Overland Park Convention Center’s lower level. Show times on Friday are 5-9 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
May 12 Designers’ Showhouse Private Showing Kansas City
The Ladies of Charity will host a private showing of this year’s Designers’ Show60 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
May 17 Jammin’ at the Gem Kansas City
The Jammin’ at the Gem series presents the Massey Hall 60th Anniversary Concert celebrating the legendary and improvised concert that occurred in Toronto’s
Massey Hall in 1953 and has since been lauded as “the greatest jazz concert ever.” For ticket information, call the American Jazz Museum at 816.474.8463 or visit AmericanJazzMuseum.org.
May 20 Overland Park Civic Band Spring Concert Olathe
The Overland Park Civic Band kicks off its 2014 season with a concert at the Bell Cultural Events Center on the campus of MidAmerica Nazarene University. Free admission. 7:30 p.m. OPCivicBand.com.
May 23 Girl in Reverse Book Talk Nelson-Atkins Museum
Life-long Kansas Citian Barbara Stuber’s novel, Girl In Reverse, will be released this month by Simon & Schuster. The book is set in 1951 in Kansas City and much of it takes place in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art where Stuber has been a docent for 20 years. The program will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. and will include a reading, a signing and a book talk about the ways art can inspire literature. BarbaraStuber.com
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MAY 23 One Night Only with Tony Bennett KAUFFMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Seventeen-time Grammy Award winning musician Tony Bennett will perform on in Muriel Kauffman Theatre. Ticket prices range from $69 to $189 and are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at 816.994.7222, or online at KauffmanCenter.org.
May 29 EVENING WAGON RIDE AND SWALES WALK Independence
A great opportunity to learn about the Santa Fe Trail in this hour-long program that includes a wagon ride through the swales (grass-covered wagon ruts) created in the 1830’s and an insightful tour of the museum’s Santa Fe exhibit gallery. 6 p.m. $15/adult, $10 children ages 6 – 17. Advance reservations required. National Frontier Trails Museum. 816.325.7575 or FrontierTrailsMuseum.org.
June 6-7 29th Sugar Creek Slavic Festival Sugar Creek
The Festival invites visitors of all ages to enjoy entertainment and activities fit for a king. Grammy Award winner Brave Combo headlines the event, joined by the Miss Czech-Slovak Missouri Pageant and the annual Kielbasa Eating Contest. Two days of music, food and dance complete the Midwest’s premier celebration of Slavic heritage. SlavicFest.com
June 6 25th Anniversary Jazzoo Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City’s WILDEST fundraiser helps raise funds for children’s educational programs and feeds the Zoo’s more than 1,100 animals. Guests will enjoy delicious dishes from many Kansas City area restaurants, limitless libations and entertainment throughout the night on four 62 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
different stages. Show your animal inspired creative black-tie attire and make a grand entrance at Jazzoo. $175/person. JazzooKC.org
JUNE 7 Garden Tour The Wornall/ Majors House Museums
Held on a biennial basis, the Wornall/Majors House Museums Garden Tour is the organization’s largest fundraiser, allowing it to bring history to life through innovative, hands-on programs and experiences for thousands of children and adults from throughout the greater KC region. Both houses are on the National Register of Historic Places. $25. Call 816.444.1858 or visit WornallHouse.org.
The Birthing Experience advanced care in a comfortable, intimate setting June 10 Heritage Cooking in the Heartland Shawnee
Chef Mark Alan Mollentine will talk about ethnic cooking in the heartland and provide samples for the audience to taste. Bring a dish to share that represents your own family’s ethnic heritage along with the recipe and we’ll share stories about our roots. If available, bring a photograph of the first relative to make this dish and possibly the recipe in his/her own hand. Drop off your recipe several days before the event and the Museum will make copies to share. Free. 7 p.m. Shawnee Town 1929 Museum, 11600 Johnson Drive.
At Menorah Medical Center’s Family Birthing Center mothers can experience labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care in one beautifully decorated, spacious birthing suite. These specially designed rooms create the ultimate soothing, private atmosphere for life’s biggest miracle. And along with the amenities of a home-like environment, Menorah’s team of experts delivers signature high-quality, exceptional care. It’s what you’ve come to expect from Menorah Medical Center.
Call (913) 498-6652 to schedule your personal tour. Personalized care throughout every stage of pregnancy and childbirth Prenatal counseling and education classes • Level II NICU
June 11 Community Blood Drive Stanley
Make an appointment to help save a life. Join neighbors and friends at the Presbyterian Church of Stanley (14895 Antioch) between noon and 5 p.m. for a Community Blood Center blood drive. Donors must be 17.
5721 W. 119th Street Overland Park, KS 66209 MenorahMedicalCenter.com May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 63
Health & Wellness of
Animals & Animal Care Liberty Meadows Training Center (816) 547-0602 liberty-meadows.com
Art & Photography
Art & Frame Warehouse (913) 385-9199 afwkc.com
Hendrick Buick GMC Cadillac (816) 942-7100 hendrickbuickgmccadillac.com Santa Fe Tow Service (913) 894-5201 santafetowservice.com
Charities & Fundraisers Heartland Habitat For Humanity-RESTORE (913) 648-6001 heartlandhabitat.org/restore
Community Events & Organizations Just for Her Expo (913) 634-4337 justforherexpo.kc.com
Stems a Garden Soiree (913) 322-6467 stemssoiree.org
Dentists & Orthodontics H2O Orthodontics (913) 782-7223 h2orthodontics.com
Tide Dry Cleaners (913) 239-8473 tidedrycleaners.com
Park University (816) 746-2579 park.edu/AtoMBA 64 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
The Barstow School (816) 942-3255 barstowschool.org/summer
Entertainment & Recreation
Kansas City Royals (816) 504-4159 royals.com/johnsoncounty Kansas City Zoo (816) 513-5800 jazzookc.org Reno's Power Sports KC (816) 942-8900 renoscanam.com The Culture House (913) 393-3141 culturehouse.com
Fashion & Accessories
Meierotto Midwest Jewelers (816) 453-1111 mjewelry.com Tivol (800) 829-1515 tivol.com
Financial Services & Planning
Community America cacu.ocom/high-interest-savings Searcy Financial Services (913) 814-3800 searcyfinancial.com Waddell & Reed (913) 491-9202 donnatilden.wrfa.com
Funeral Homes The Amos Family Funeral Home (913) 631-5566 amosfamily.com
Healthy Meals Inc (816) 587-6325 healthymealsinc.com/40days Reflections Body Solutions Body Contouring and Medical Spa (913) 322-3433 reflectionsbodysolutions.com
Home Communities Falcon Valley (913) 780-9004 falconvalleyhomes.com The Communities at River Ridge (816) 898-5477 riverridgeks.com
Home Design & Furnishings
Tile & Stone Warehouse (913) 432-7900 tileandstonewarehouse.com
American Family Insurance Cole Wilson (913) 681-3000 The Apollo Group Inc. (816) 582-6409 apollo-insurance.com
Medical Clinics & Facilities
Aesthetistry Med Spa (913) 491-9777 aesthetistrymedspa.com After Hours Pediatrics (913) 825-4700 after-hourspediatrics.com
A&M Home Furnishings (913) 438-3868 amhomefurnishings.com
Menorah Medical Center (913) 498-6652 menorahmedicalcenter.com
Design Connection Inc. (913) 851-8776 designconnectioninc.com
Visiting Nurse Association (816) 531-1200 vnakc.com
Seasonal Concepts (913) 642-4999 seasonalconceptsonline.com
Amber Roofing (816) 994-2556 amberroofingkc.com Braden Roofing (913) 341-0200 bradenroofing.com Deco-Crete (913) 203-8412 Granite Garage Floors (913) 752-9906 granitegaragefloors.com Handyman USA (913) 534-4715 handymanusa.biz LuLu & Mimi's Cleaning (913) 649-6022 luluandmimis.com Midwest Lifetime Roof Systems (913) 393-3008 lifetimeroofsystems.com Millennium Painting (913) 915-7503 millenniumpaintingcompany.com
Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Kansas City Homes (913) 345-8877 goldsteinteam.com Home Rental Services (913) 469-6633 home4rent.com RE/MAX Heartland 360 Partners (816) 665-4228 360LifestyleProperties.com The Kim Yuille Team (913) 558-9533 kimskeytokc.com Coldwell Banker (913) 345-9999 goodlifekc.com
Restaurants, Food & Beverage
Corner Bakery Cafe (913) 766-0486 (Leawood) (913) 955-2370 (Overland Park) cornerbakery.com Gaslight Grill & Back Room (913) 897-3540 gaslightgrill.com
Shopping Centers Town Center Plaza (913) 498-1111 towncenterplaza.com
New Construction • Insurance Claims • Re-Roofs / Repairs (816) 994-2556 • Licensed & Insured • AmberRoofingKC.com Serving the Kansas City Metro area for over 30 years
May 2014 | Johnson County Lifestyle 65
Stepping Up to the Plate Words Ryan Rosser
he helmet wobbled around my head as I cautiously took my first steps to stand over home base. A not-so-confident 6-year-old, I tapped the plate with my bat, glanced over my shoulder to find my parents, and gulped air. Across the field stood the enemy. The other team. A group determined to dash my hoped-for success. Their shortstop pulled a pinch of Big Chew and shoved the wad inside his cheeks. He started the chant. Hey batter, batter, batter... SWING! Suddenly, little league didn’t seem so little anymore. Was it too late to quit? Mom could get a refund on my jersey, right? It wasn’t even dirty yet. Then I looked to the pitcher’s mound. A friendly face. My coach. I breathed relief. I had heard horror stories about kid-pitch baseball. I kicked a dirt cloud behind my cleats and brought the bat over my shoulder. The coach smiled, and I grimaced in return. He raised his arm and released the ball. It zeroed in on me at breakneck speed. THUD! I dropped the bat and grabbed my shoulder where the ball had struck. My face burned hot with embarrassment, steaming away my tears. The umpire escorted me to first base. The game had just begun and already I longed for the concession stand inning. Today, I’ve graduated from the little league of childhood to the big league of parenting. My thoughts race as I stare out toward the next few months. Two kids, about to have three. Three kids aged 3 and under. A whole outfield of children. The diapers. The exhaustion. The teething. Oh, the teething! There’s not enough air to swallow. My daughter is sound asleep; one down. Now time for the older boy. I escort him from the living room to his bedroom. It’s his and
66 Johnson County Lifestyle | May 2014
his alone for just a little while longer. I tuck him in. He listens to a story and prayer. “Two pray?” he asks as I stand to leave. How can I say no to that? I pray my regular prayer again, “God, thank you for my children. May they lie down and rest in peace, and know that you alone are their security.” But I hear a taunt chanting in my ear. Hey daddy, daddy, daddy... SWING! My son’s eyes drowsily close as I continue to pray. His peace is infectious. The future doesn’t look so daunting anymore. I ignore the taunt, kiss my son goodnight, and leave him to his dreams. I was called up into the majors when I became a dad. No longer just a guy with a great wife. I have a tiny team. Diapers get filled. Sleep is lost. And teething is a fact of life. But so is stepping up to the plate when it matters most. Sometimes it means taking a few lumps and limping to base. Sometimes it means hitting the homerun and knowing that today—even if just for today—I did it right. When my kids are older, I’ll tell them about little league. “It’s okay to be afraid when you first step to the plate,” I’ll say, “Because fear is just an opportunity to be courageous.” And when the time comes for them to swing their own bat at parenting, I’ll pray I coached them well.
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Published on Apr 28, 2014