A New Host to Hostess
Home Field Advantage
Meet the latest business to call Edgerton home
Local sisters know a thing or two about what it means to grow up in Gardner.
Chamber Listing A membership index, membership spotlight and annual event guide
Growing with you.
The same great care, more providers and services. After 25 years of proudly serving the Gardner Edgerton area, Olathe Health is expanding again to meet the community’s needs. Our new medical campus, conveniently located at I-35 and Gardner Road, will offer enhanced convenience and new services and providers — with more to come in the future.
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welcome Dear Readers,
This is an exciting time to be part of the Gardner Edgerton community. You can find new possibilities opening up around every cornerâ€”in education, employment, and new businesses. This issue of GE Magazine touches on some of those exciting opportunities coming to the community, and we learn more about a new Olathe Medical Health campus in Gardner and the Hostess distribution center soon to bring new jobs to Edgerton. Opportunity can also be seen in our students, both current and former. Sisters Kendra and Cassie Wait share how growing up in the community helped shape their notable athletic careers in high school and beyond. Students also have the chance to gain real-world experience when they spent a week with a team of paleontologists, digging up fossils in the Badlands. It was a trip of a lifetime, thanks to GEHS science teacher Derrick Stockton and the organization Paleo X. We also chat with the people behind the counters of our favorite places to grab a bite to eat. They share their stories on starting their businesses, their time in the community, and even some of their favorite menu items. Exciting new possibilities have arrived in the community and will continue to as we move forward in the year. Now is the time to get out and explore where your next opportunity may be!
All the best, Haleigh, editor
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A New Host to Hostess
Home Field Advantage
Meet the latest business to call Edgerton home
Local sisters know a thing or two about what it means to grow up in Gardner.
Chamber Listing A membership index, membership spotlight and annual event guide
on the cover GEHS science teacher Derrick Stockton takes on educational expedition in the Badlands. Photo courtesy Nick Krug.
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departments 6 development
PLAYING HOST TO HOSTESS Edgerton takes the snack cake with the opening of new Hostess distribution center.
HEALTHY CHANGES IN STORE FOR THE COMMUNITY Developments in health care bring promise of expanded services and better access to residents in Gardner and Edgerton.
from the chamber 35
WELCOME LETTER A greeting from Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT KC Wine Co., Shaw Stone and Tile, and SafeDefend
THE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE
Kendra and Cassie Wait know a thing or two about what it means to grow up in Gardner.
GEHS science teacher takes students on an educational expedition of a lifetime.
CHAMBER MEMBERSHIP LISTINGS
A guide to businesses and services
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
BEHIND THE EATS
Find out whatâ€™s happening in your community
Step on the other side of the counter and meet the faces behind some local places to grab a bite.
BY THE NUMBERS All about Gardner Edgerton
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Playing Host to Hostess Edgerton takes the snack cake with the opening of new Hostess distribution center. Interview Conducted by Jackie Hostetler Photography by Brian Goodman
ogistics Park Kansas City, located in Edgerton, is home to a variety of companies. Its industrial design and uniform buildings make it difficult to know what is hiding within the large warehouses—one building might hold trailer hitches while the next is filled with couches and another with toasters. These business park neighbors welcomed a new resident in 2019—one that aims to bring a little zing to the area. Logistics Park closed a sweet deal on November 1, 2019, with the opening of a new Hostess Distribution Center. “We’ve assembled a spectacular management team for the facility. Culture will be great. Safe work environment. Fun. It’s Hostess Brands. You can’t get much more fun than that,” says Matt Hall, Hostess vice president of human resources. Hostess Brands is an American bakery company that produces snack cakes under the Hostess and Dolly Madison brand names. Some of its most popular products are HoHos, Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Snoballs. Edgerton isn’t the only Kansas town to be part of the 100-year Hostess legacy. A new Hostess headquarters will open soon just north of Edgerton in Lenexa. Additionally, about 75 miles south of Edgerton is the flagship Hostess factory, located in Emporia. “We don’t run too fast—only about 1,000 Twinkies per minute,” Hall says. Sixty percent of all Hostess goods are produced at this facility, which includes every single Twinkie in the world.
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This is a community and location that we can work well with. We’ve been looking at this for a long time and we have a longterm plan to be in this location for years to come. –Robert Freeman, Hostess director of warehouse operations
But don’t expect Twinkies, or any other snack cake, to be flying out of an oven at the Edgerton facility. The 765,000 square foot space will be for distribution only. “This will be a high velocity distribution center,” says Robert Freeman, director of warehouse operations for Hostess. “You won’t actually see a Twinkie. You won’t actually see a Ding Dong. It all stays within contained packaging.” “We don’t make everything that we sell in [grocery stores] in every plant, which is why we have to have a single distribution center,” Hall says. “In order to fulfill a customer’s order, we send all of our product to a central distribution center.” In addition to the Hostess plant in Emporia, there are plants in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Columbus, Georgia. All four factories produce the baked goods and will ship them to Edgerton, which will be the only Hostess Distribution Center. New distribution center will elevate job numbers in the community with at least 200 full-time positions and the possibility for an additional 200.
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“Hostess brands distributes through two different methods,” Hall says. “We distribute frozen to a small percentage of retailers, due to customer request, and then we have fresh. The bulk of our business is fresh. Our fresh product will run through the single distribution center in Edgerton, Kansas.” The Edgerton facility is part of what the Hostess team humorously refers to as “the trifecta.” “Kansas has been an outstanding partner with Hostess since we started this brand. We can give any customers that come through the area our trifecta tour with our new headquarters building, our Edgerton distribution facility and our flagship Emporia manufacturing plant,” Hall says. With growth comes the promise of employment in Edgerton. “We are targeting around 200 full time employees, with a contingency work force of an additional 200,” Freeman says. In addition to creating jobs, the Hostess Distribution Center looks forward to being a good corporate citizen of the Gardner Edgerton community. “We want to partner with the community in different aspects. We are very active in the communities in which we do business, whether that is through donations or charitable organizations. We do a lot of work with schools in the areas that we are in. We are excited to be able to expand that work with the addition of the Edgerton facility. We participated in the Frontier Days Parade and we plan to continue to do more of those types of activities,” Hall says. Edgerton residents aren’t the only ones excited about the new venture. “We’re gonna rock it out!” Hall says with a laugh, “The folks in Edgerton have been beyond tremendous in working with us ... It’s a great addition to the current landscape in that area. They are excited to see us coming.” Whether rocking it out or shipping it out, the Hostess Distribution Center is certain to be a promising addition to the Gardner Edgerton community. “When we were doing the research and the modeling for this facility, we looked at several different locations. We found Edgerton to be very willing to partner. This is a community and location that we can work well with. We’ve been looking at this for a long time and we have a long-term plan to be in this location for years to come,” Freeman says.
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The Home Field Advantage Kendra and Cassie Wait know a thing or two about what it means to grow up in Gardner. Story by Rachel C. Murphy Photography by Reeves Photo Co.
magine the training montage: the sun rises over a high school track as young athletes put in the before-school time needed to excel in their sports. This is reality for many of the students at Gardner Edgerton High School, and that commitment and drive have paid off. In the recent past, several elite athletes from the Gardner Edgerton area have excelled at the high school, college and professional levels. You’ll recognize the name Derek “Bubba,” Starling if you’ve caught a Royals game this season. After years in the minors, Starling was called up to play in the outfield this season. He graduated from GEHS in 2011, where he was an All-State selection in three different sports—football, basketball and baseball. After making history with the largest signing bonus in draft history for a high school student, he decided to bypass college football for professional baseball. After toiling away for years in the minors, Starling was called up to the Royals in July of 2018. Starling’s history in multiple sports isn’t unique—in fact, it’s one of the things that allows Gardner Edgerton athletes to excel, according to Kendra and Cassie Wait.
Current GEHS student Kendra made history this year by being named the Gatorade Player of the Year in track and field for the state of Kansas, the first person from Gardner to receive this honor. She holds the GEHS record for 100m, 200m and shot put, and she was part of the record-holding 4x100 relay team. She also plays volleyball for GEHS and, though only a junior, has verbally committed to playing volleyball for Creighton University. The Wait family has always been athletically inclined. Darrell Wait, father to Kyle, Cassie and Kendra, started coaching when he was in college and has coached throughout his career as a middle school social studies teacher. He currently coaches middle school track and club volleyball. According to Darrell, growing up in a small town offers opportunities to excel in multiple sports. “It’s nice to have opportunities to do everything. None of my kids did just one sport; they did everything, and we kept them involved as much as possible. In bigger schools, they tend to push more for specialization, whereas here you have a great opportunity to do everything,” Darrell says.
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Every single coach encouraged us to participate in more than one sport. Our teachers challenged us in the classroom but also supported us in our sports endeavors. –Cassie Wait
Cassie Wait, who played volleyball at KU for four years and also ran track at GEHS, credits Coach Don Bechard with introducing a generation to the teamwork. “Coach Bechard did a really great job of getting the community involved in summer basketball and volleyball camps. I think that was, for a lot of us, our introduction to the sports environment but also that there is so much more to sports than just winning and losing. It’s about learning to compete and how to be a good teammate and about how your family supports you on and off the court,” Cassie says. She also credits a strong weight-lifting program with building a platform of athleticism that allows students to excel. She says they were encouraged to start lifting in middle school. “Beyond that, every single coach encouraged us to participate in more than one sport. Our teachers always challenged us in the classroom but also supported us in our sports endeavors,” Cassie says. The community and the fans also have a big impact on the athletes, according to Kendra. “I grew up around the sports environment, watching my brother and sister excel and working with great coaches along the way. They encouraged me to get better and keep fighting to excel. And there are also fans out there that have always come and
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watched and encouraged me. Knowing they are out there makes me want to get out there and perform the best I can,” Kendra says. Kendra, who loves both track and volleyball, says that each sport has its own value. “I think being able to go out and play, not just for yourself but for the rest of your team, is really great. That drives me to want to compete harder and get better and up my skills, so that I know that I’m helping out everybody and not just myself,” Kendra says. Kendra plans to play volleyball in college and then wants to go on to a career that harnesses that same teamwork—nursing. She’s currently interested in pediatric and labor and delivery. The Wait family is only one small section of the current roster of great athletes in the Gardner Edgerton community. Varsity volleyball coach Alex Fitzmorris-Sorn says that most of the varsity team has the potential to play at the college level. Brothers Jake and John Means have excelled in baseball, with Jake drafted by the Royals and John pitching for the Baltimore Orioles. A number of girls from the women’s softball team have gone on to play at the college level as well. With a community of support at their backs, the students of GEHS have a platform from which to launch into athletic and academic excellence for years to come.
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Behind the Eats
Step on the other side of the counter and meet the faces of some local places to grab a bite. Story by Kari Williams Photos by Reeves Photo Co.
utual support between locally owned businesses and the community helps the men and women behind the establishments pursue passions and build a following in the town of roughly 22,000 people.
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Betty’s Pies and Cobblers
At six years old, Jennifer Smith, owner of Betty’s Pies and Cobblers, was already helping her mother in the kitchen—baking pies and making memories. Smith says those moments helped her learn to follow her grandmother’s recipes. Smith still uses some today in her catering business, which is named after her mother, who passed away from ovarian cancer in August 2015. Smith opened Betty’s Pies and Cobblers last year and says naming it after her mother was a way to both carry on a “tradition of kindness” and recognize not only her love for her mother but also the community’s. One of the catering company’s signature dishes is her mother’s apple pie. “It gives me comfort that people still request that knew my mom,” Smith says. It’s also fun, according to Smith, to hear customers recall their own childhood memories because of the business. “I wanted to create something that gave memory and honor to my mom with the type of person that she was,” Smith says. Smith focused on “old-school comfort foods” when crafting her business plan. “Nobody had those really anymore,” Smith says. “I wanted to go back to the old school where you would sit around the kitchen table and have desserts… [There’s a] comfort in the desserts you crave.” Currently, Smith is focused on catering. “I do a lot of custom orders, like egg custard,” Smith says, “or we get a lot of requests for the lemon meringue and just big party pies.”
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Celebrity’s Cheese Steaks, Burgers & More Jay Olson takes and makes orders, chatting with customers, proud that Celebrity’s Cheese Steaks, Burgers & More made it through the Great Recession. “We were able to survive and keep it going,” says Olson, who opened the Gardner restaurant in 2013, and owned another location in Olathe until 2011. Initially, Olson did not want to get in the restaurant business. He moved to the Kansas City area in 1989 to manage a Back Yard Burgers franchise in Olathe. After expanding to five locations, the owner decided in 2000 that he wanted to sell. Olson continued working in the restaurant industry, and he became the owner of Celebrity’s in Olathe. The first Celebrity’s opened in Olathe in 2000 and lasted for 11 years. Working in Gardner, Olson says, “came by accident.” His manager, who lived in Gardner, learned that the current (and now only) Celebrity’s location had become available. “We wanted to do something different, especially [where] the delivery process of the food was concerned, and that was easy to come up with after we chose our restaurant name,” Olson says. Using celebrity names for orders, rather than numbers, “adds a lot” to the restaurant’s atmosphere. They have a list of “hundreds of names” at the register and whoever pays for the food receives the name. “You get an 80 year old woman, you give them Jennifer Aniston and they love it,” Olson says. Catering also is part of the business, but Olson says the celebrity names are strictly for brick-and-mortar orders. The Gardner community, according to Olson, supports Celebrity’s and wants to assist locally-owned establishments that show an interest in the town. Olson says Celebrity’s adds good food, a clean restaurant and “great service” to the city. He also gets the business involved in the community through school and church fundraisers. “That’s another thing,” Olson says. “When you get involved in the community, I believe that they want to help as well.”
When you get involved in the community, I believe they want to help as well. –Jay Olson, owner, Celebrity’s Cheese Steaks, Burgers & More
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Hot takes: Dishing on favorite dishes Wally Borth, Blazer’s Restaurant
On any given day, Blazer’s patrons are welcomed with an upbeat, fun and talkative environment. According to owner Wally Borth, families line up in the evenings for the “old-fashioned burger that you can’t get anywhere else.” Borth also notes visitors tend to run into a friendly face, too. “You’ll see people when they’re sitting out in cars, when [they] pull them around for the drive thru, you’ll see people get out of their cars and go talk to [each other],” Borth says. And that’s what makes the Gardner staple unique, according to Borth—it’s the only location in the Kansas City area that offers “fresh, ground-on-site hamburger patties.” “We still cook it on the flat-top grill with the same seasoning that started this place 40 some years ago,” Borth says. Borth and his wife, Dawn, were nervous when they bought Blazer’s back in 2011. “We didn’t know if we were going to be able to wake it up,” Borth says. “The response from the community was just amazing.” Borth was interested in buying the restaurant when he learned it was for sale. Prior to purchasing
Blazer’s, the Borths had rented space in shopping centers and operated Wally’s Bar & Grill since 2000. Blazer’s gave them a chance to own their business and bring back a Gardner staple. Borth displays items from the Gardner Edgerton High School’s and youth football programs and adorns the walls with memorabilia from the business’ namesake—the GEHS mascot, the Trailblazers. The Borths support the community through fundraisers ranging from kickball tournaments to the PTAs, and Borth says Blazer’s is the perfect place to continue giving back to the community. Borth praises Gardner as one of the “most welcoming and supportive communities” he has been a part of. “You can count on that these people are going to support you if you support them,” Borth says. The restaurant’s longevity has helped it become a Gardner icon, he says. Blazer’s has been a part of the community for roughly 40 years, and, according to Borth, some patrons drive “hundreds of miles” to experience the restaurant. “Everybody wants a little hometown place like this,” Borth says.
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Sausage special (Smoked sausage, grilled onions and Swiss cheese on a hoagie) Reuben sandwich
Jennifer Smith, Betty’s Pies and Cobblers
Bread pudding (Chocolate, pumpkin and traditional with apple butter and fig butter sauces) Gooseberry pie Strawberry rhubarb pie
Jay Olson, Celebrity’s Cheese Steaks, Burgers & More Cajun cheesesteak
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CHANGES I N S TO R E F O R T H E C O M M U N I T Y Story by Rachel C. Murphy | Photos by Reeves Photo Co.
mall town life has many advantages—friendly neighbors, short commutes, and a sense of community are just a few. But many small towns lack some of the amenities people crave, namely, world-class health care. As one of the fastest growing communities in Kansas, the Gardner Edgerton area’s health needs are rapidly expanding as well. Fortunately, recent developments are providing a variety of care options, from major health campus projects to all-encompassing urgent care to personalized on-call medicine. While Gardner and Edgerton have always been a short sprint down the highway from the Olathe Medical Center off 151st Street, soon options will expand closer to home. Olathe Health, offering family medicine at Olathe Health Family Medicine-Gardner since 1994, added urgent care at Care Express in 2008. More recently, they started offering physical and occupational therapy at Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services in 2014. In 2020, the first phase of Olathe Health’s new medical campus will open. Construction has already begun at the intersection of I-35 and Gardner Road. The first phase will allow more freedom and flexibility, according to Mike Jensen, chief strategy officer. Services for phase one will include family medicine, urgent care, and expanded lab and imaging services. Future phases could include emergency services, innovative health options, surgery and more.
“ M OV I N G O L AT H E H E A LT H FA M I LY M E D I C I N E TO T H E N E W C A M P U S S H O U L D M E A N G R E AT E R CO N V E N I E N C E F O R C U R R E N T A N D N E W PAT I E N T S .” —Mike Jensen, chief strategy officer Olathe Health
With 25 acres to work with, Jensen is confident that Olathe Health can grow with the needs of the Gardner Edgerton community and hopes to offer services that will allow people to take preventative measures for their own well being. “Our mission is to help people through healing, health, and happiness. Healing is what we do within our walls now. Health is helping people stay healthier so they don’t need our services. Being innovative in that realm could mean collaborating with other organizations that are utilizing cutting edge technology, or incorporating exercise, massage, or stress management. We are looking forward to being able to expand those offerings in coming years,” Jensen says. During phase one, Olathe Health Family Medicine will become the anchor of the new campus, moving from its current location. “Moving Olathe Health Family Medicine to the new campus should mean greater convenience for current and new patients. There will be more providers, so access to care will be increased. The time to get in for an appointment will decrease significantly. Residents and patients to the south should have immediate access to care, which is a big benefit [of] the new location,” Jensen says. In addition to the new health campus, there are also new independent options for care. Two new urgent cares have opened in the last year, First Point Urgent Care and Urgent Care of Kansas. Urgent Care of Kansas opened in July of 2019. Dr. Saboor Rashid and his wife, Vara, happened upon Gardner on the way back from visiting family in Oklahoma and fell in love with the town. At the time, there were few options for care outside of the long-established Olathe Health practices, and the couple felt there was a need for more choices.
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Together, they built Urgent Care of Kansas. The office, which offers not only urgent care but also primary care, vaccines and immunizations, STD testing and X-ray services, was a passion project for the couple, down to the construction. While there are now more urgent care services available in the area, Dr. Rashid feels that he offers something different. He is trained in both family medicine and emergency care and spent eight years as an emergency room doctor, so he feels equipped to handle more than a standard urgent care. He’s also taken steps to qualify for Vaccines for Children. “This program is especially for Medicaid kids so that they can get their flu shots and childhood vaccinations. We have to register with the state and have the right refrigeration, training, and certifications to qualify to administer to the low-income families. In rural areas, it’s a huge convenience to not have to drive down to the city and wait in line for their vaccines. And it’s free for them,” Vara Rashid says. “Childhood vaccines are something that I feel very strongly about,” says Dr. Rashid. “I had meningitis as a child, so we are very committed to vaccinating children.” One thing that Dr. Rashid and Dr. James B. Smith, the practitioner of Infinium Health, share is a commitment to a “small town doctor” style of care. Both are on call around the clock, with ample office hours as well. Infinium Health has a little different take, though, offering health care outside of the traditional insurance structure. Dr. Smith’s patients pay a monthly fee that allows them access to direct primary care, whether that’s a check-up or a sick visit. Agreements with local diagnostic providers keep extra expenses low, and an in-house pharmacy allows prescriptions to stay reasonable as well. Infinium Health’s location in Gardner is no accident. With family in the area, Dr. Smith feels committed to providing a different care experience. “Direct primary care is really about cultivating relationships with patients, rather than cultivating profits,” Dr. Smith says. “With the direct primary care model, we’ve eliminated insurance from the equation. We don’t bill insurance, patients pay directly for the services they receive. And with that monthly membership, patients have 24-hour access to me, no matter where they are.” Smith says that one of the ways that he ensures enough time with each patient is to cap the number of memberships at 500. Rather than expecting seven minutes with the doctor, direct care members can spend enough time to truly assess their health and create plans to improve it. In small, but growing, communities like Gardner and Edgerton, options are a sign of progress. With three different care models now available, the community can thrive and grow in healthy ways.
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UNEXPLORED PTERRITORIES GEHS science teacher takes students on an educational expedition of a lifetime.
Story by Jackie Hostetler | Photos by Nick Krug and courtesy Derrick Stockton
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lass is back in session for Gardner Edgerton High School science teacher Derrick Stockton. Like many educators, he enjoys the school-free weeks between May and August. But while some teachers might use that time to visit with family, hit the pool or catch up on sleep, Stockton’s agenda is a little different. Stockton has taken a small group of high school students on the adventure of a lifetime over the past two summers. The group travels to the Badlands of Montana to engage in a paleontology expedition. This isn’t the sort of trip that is spent touring natural history museums and visiting mock dig sites. This trip involves discovering and digging up real dinosaur bones, on real field sites, alongside real paleontologists. “This is a great opportunity. There are no other students in the metro area that get to do this,” Stockton says. The group spends a week in July trekking through 100-degree heat, driving through rivers, and hacking through sage bush in search of the ultimate treasure—an undiscovered fossil, which they have been fortunate enough to find on both trips. Stockton already held an interest and had some background in paleontology prior to his experiences with his students. His college mentor at Emporia State University, Dr. Michael Morales, is a paleontologist, and Stockton enrolled in all of his classes. “I’d been bothering him long enough and he hired me to work for him in the geology department. He made the mistake of mentioning one time that he was going to go to Montana to dig up dinosaurs. He eventually invited me to go,” Stockton says. Stockton made the trip to Montana with Morales in the summer of 2016. Following that trip, Stockton completed his student teaching at Trail Ridge Middle School and Pioneer Ridge Middle School in Gardner. “The whole goal at this point was to teach in my hometown. I grew up here. My family owns a business here in town. I want my kids to grow up in Gardner. I think it’s a great place to be,” Stockton says. Stockton began the position of a full-time science teacher at GEHS soon after completing his student teaching. It was then that he began sharing the wonders of paleontology, and, eventually, his trips to Montana with his students. The excursions started small in the summer of 2018 with Stockton and one student. This student’s interest in paleontology was sparked by membership in the Earth and Space Science –DERRICK STOCKTON Club, an organization at GEHS that was started and sponsored by Stockton. “This one particular student just took off with it,” Stockton says. Stockton knew he was headed back to the Badlands that summer. “I worked really hard to get this Montana trip sponsored through the school, but the timing was too fast and we couldn’t get everything approved,” Stockton says. Even without official school sponsorship, Stockton went ahead with the trip. With the permission and support of the student’s parents, they headed up to Montana. Stockton works in conjunction with an organization headquartered in St. Louis, but located in Montana, called Paleo X. The organization provides field experience for students in the Badlands of Montana. That summer, the student had the rare experience of finding and digging up genuine fossils.
“THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET STUDENTS TO DO REAL SCIENCE. THEY CAN GO UP THERE AND THEY CAN FIND SOMETHING THAT COULD BE PUBLISHED. THAT’S AS REAL AS IT GETS.”
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“She did some really great work on a triceratops skull. We found another long bone. We aren’t exactly sure what it was. She found it. She jacketed it. She did all the prep work and carried it out of the field,” Stockton says. The two were allowed to bring the fossil home to Gardner on loan from the Museum of the Rockies, which is the repository for all of the fossils found in Montana. Returning with the fossil sparked the interest of more students. With growing enthusiasm for his cause, Stockton began his own private foundation, The Stockton Foundation for Paleontology Education. “We did some fundraising. We had quite few people in the community support us. We had a hotdog sale at Price Chopper and some people just made straight donations. In total, we raised $1,100,” Stockton says. Stockton made the trip again in the summer of 2019 with two GEHS students thanks to the help of the donations and support of families.
“THIS IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY. THERE ARE NO OTHER STUDENTS IN THE METRO AREA THAT GET TO DO THIS.” –DERRICK STOCKTON
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The trio spent seven days in the field for eight hours each day. Once again, the group was successful in their exploits and found multiple bones. “We went to a site that hadn’t had much traffic. My students and I started poking around and we found this bone sitting under a sage bush. We assume it is from a triceratops, but we really don’t know yet. One paleontologist thinks it’s a piece of a jaw. Once we get it cleaned up a little bit more, we’ll have a much better view,” Stockton says. “My students, without me, collected another one. It turned out to be the back of a skull, with more of an elongated shape, which is more like a theropod. That would be really cool because a T-rex is a theropod,” Stockton says. “I want this to be an annual thing. A handful of students every summer would be perfect,” Stockton says. “This is an opportunity to get students to do real science. They can go up there and they can find something that could be published. That’s as real as it gets.”
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by the numbers
calendar of events
membership directory Business is booming in SW Johnson County, and with our third annual edition of GE Magazine, we’re thrilled to once again share just a small sample of all the exciting things happening in Gardner and Edgerton. For the last two editions we have talked about the growth in our communities, and this year is no different. Edgerton continues to lay the groundwork for the future with infrastructure projects around the community that will facilitate additional opportunities for years to come. Kubota’s recently opened North American Distribution Center and Hostess’ upcoming operation are just a couple of the nationally known companies to set up shop here. By this time next year, one or two new truck stops (and related services) could be in place to serve workers and the local community.
Gardner has seen progress, both in the planning process (Gardner Destination Downtown Plan) and new construction. Early in the year, the community saw the opening of Excelligence Learning Corporation, an education material distributor. Shortly thereafter the new $15 million Gardner Justice Center opened, as did the Hampton Inn Gardner Conference Center, benefitting both local employers and weary travelers nightly. Cosentino’s Price Chopper broke ground on a new 60,000 square foot grocery store that will open in mid-2020. And finally, the recently announced $260 million project by Grata Development will take Gardner to another level in the years to come. As you can see, this is enormous growth for our region, and it provides a lot of opportunity for the community.
We look forward to another great year in 2020 working on your behalf and as always, encourage you to get involved with the Chamber and be part of something bigger than yourself.
Rex Cummings, Chairman
Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce
Jason E Camis, President/CEO Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce
109 E. Main St | PO Box 402 Gardner, KS 66030 913.856.6464 email@example.com www.gardneredgerton.org
KC Wine Co. 13875 S. Gardner Road Olathe, KS Stop by for a sip of some delicious wines and ciders at the KC Wine Co. Whether you are a master sommelier or just want to taste some excellent wine, there is something to please any palate. The venue plays host to private parties, group tastings, and even weddings. Keep an eye out for upcoming events on its calendar, which include tasty pairings and even some fur-iendly activities with pets. Photograph by Molly Kuplen
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Shaw Stone and Tile
What better way to celebrate the start of a new decade than with some long-awaited upgrades to your home? Shaw Stone and Tile will tackle all of those projects on your “Honey Do” list and transform your home into a masterpiece. In addition to its skilled craftsmanship, Shaw Stone and Tile also does its part in the community by working with the nonprofit Sleep in Heavenly Peace and its efforts to make sure local kids have a bed to sleep in at night.
• Est. 2005 • Licensed & Insured Contact us today for a free roof inspection
Photograph by Sarah Reeves
Professional Grooming & Bathing
Founder Jeff Green was a school principal when the Sandy Hook tragedy occurred. It was after that when he reviewed his school’s safety plan and looked into what improvements had been made in regards to law enforcement’s approach to active shooter situations. As both a parent and principal, Jeff sought to create an emergency notification system to protect students, staff, and his children while empowering them. After meeting with local and national threat assessment experts and law enforcement officials, Jeff designed the SafeDefend Personnel Protection and Shelter in Place Systems for schools, hospitals, corporate offices, and government buildings. “The rapid response system prepare, notifies, and protects staff and students in the event of an armed intruder.”
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membership listings Listings highlighted in blue are GE Magazine advertisers.
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Airport Johnson County Airport Commission
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Apartments Aspen Place Apartments (913) 856-8185 www.tiehengroup.com
Horizon Trails Apartments (913) 605-1060 www.horizontrails.com
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Assisted Living Home Rock Creek of Ottawa
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Attorney Stockton & Stern, Attorneys at Law (913) 856-2828 www.stocktonlaw.com
Central National Bank
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New Life Community Church
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Car Wash Belfonte’s Carwash
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Marriott Garage & Tow
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Automobile Dealer Used cars Bill George’s Car City
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Child Care Children’s Lighthouse Learning Centers
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Chiropractors Jeurink Family Chiropractic and Wellness Center (913) 856-4595 www.drtobi.com
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Faith Chapel Gardner
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First Baptist Church
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(913) 210-4043 www.greaterthanlifeministries.org (913) 856-5683 www.newlifegardner.com
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The Truth Church
(913) 660-6936 www.edgertontruth.com
City Offices City of Edgerton
(913) 893-6231 www.edgertonks.org
City of Gardner
(913) 856-7535 www.gardnerkansas.gov
Civic Organizations Gardner Grange
(913) 558-5261 www.grange.org/gardnerks68/
Gardner Lions Club
(913) 220-1343 www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/ gardnerks/
Gardner Optimists Club
(816) 863-6144 www.optimist.org/default. cfm?content=clubdetail.cfm&club= 37304&type=A&page=member
Gardner Rotary Club
(913) 279-3300 www.gardnerrotary.org
Johnson County Fair Association (913) 856-8860 www.jocokansasfair.com
Kiwanis Club of Gardner (913) 963-3126
Prairie Paws Animal Shelter (785) 242-2967 www.prairiepaws.org
Cleaning Service Whole Home Cleaners
(913) 856-8717 www.wholehomecleaners.com
Commercial Developer Grata Development (913) 7324778 www.grata.land
Commercial Office Furniture & Design United Office Products
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Commercial Real Estate Big Water LLC (913) 406-4678
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The Bristol Groupe
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Community College Johnson County Community College (913) 469-8500 www.jccc.edu
Construction Contractors Cruse Construction
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Deck & Rail Supply LLC
(913) 884-3335 www.deckandrailsupply.com
(913) 715-0430 www.jocogov.org/dept/boardcounty-commissioners/home
Johnson County Park and Recreation District
(913) 438-7275 www.jocogov.org/recreation
Johnson County Sheriff ’s Office (913) 715-5511 www.jocosheriff.org
Custom Woodworking Duggan Woodworks (913) 269-8950 www.facebook.com/ DugganWoodworks
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Johnson County Election Office
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Johnson County Government
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Entertainment & Attractions InstaFunKC Photobooth LLC (913) 439-5066 www.instafunkc.com
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Financial Services Edward Jones - Aaron Wyant (913) 856-6233 www.edwardjones.com
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Woody Financial Group
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Fireworks Retailer Pyro Papas Fireworks (913) 787-2219 www.pyropapas.com
Fitness Center Olathe Family YMCA
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Florist In Full Bloom Too
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Funeral Home Bruce Funeral Home, Inc.
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Gas Stations Casey’s General Store, Inc. Gardner Road (913) 856-6288 www.caseys.com
membership listings Casey’s General Store, Inc. Moonlight (913) 884-6102 www.caseys.com
Golf Course Great Life Golf Gardner
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Grocery Store Cosentino’s Price Chopper #117 (913) 856-8380 www.mypricechopper.com
Hair Care Fantastic Sams
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DIRECTORY/LISTINGS Insurance Agencies Minden Lawns (913) 856-6900
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Legal Services LegalShield
(913) 788-0589 mmcruse.wearelegalshield.com
American Family Insurance Dustin Brown Agency
(913) 829-7007 agent.amfam.com/dustin-brown
Manufacturer Cramer Products, Inc.
American Family Insurance Tim Miller
(913) 856-7511 www.cramersportsmed.com
(913) 856-6177 www.timmilleragency.com
TradeNet Publishing, Inc.
Farm Bureau Financial Services (913) 856-2197 www.fbfs.com
(800) 884-7301 www.tradenetonline.com
Farmers Insurance - Robert K Kelly Insurance Agency, Inc
Joe Oldham’s State Farm Agency (913) 856-6124 www.joeoldhamagency.com
BCI Mechanical, Inc.
(913) 856-6747 www.bcimechanicalinc.com
(913) 856-7055 www.conestogakansas.com
Museums Gardner Historical Museum, Inc. (913) 856-4447 www.gardnerhistoricalmuseum.com
Lanesfield Historic Site (913) 715-2575 www.jocomuseum.org
Newspapers Ottawa Herald
(785) 242-4700 www.OttawaHerald.com
The Gardner News
(913) 856-7615 www.gardnernews.com
Nonprofit Safe Families for Children (913) 933-3357 kansas.safe-families.org
Optometrist Drs. Hawks, Besler, Rogers & Stoppel, O.D. (913) 856-6360 www.hbreyecare.com
Paint Retailer Sherwin Williams
(913) 856-7888 www.sherwin-williams.com
(913) 764-5550 www.vestcom.com
(913) 856-3816 agents.farmers.com/ks/gardner/ robert-kelly
(913) 961-5767 www.wellbodybysuzy.com
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(913) 488-7605 www.karricody.com
Midwest Payroll LLC (913) 302-1570
Support Local. Call Today. 913-856-5801
trip charge When you mention this ad
1100 E Santa Fe St. Gardner, KS 66030 • santafeair.com • 913-856-5801 Mon-Fri 7am-10pm • Weekends 9am-10pm
membership listings Pet Grooming Pups-n-Suds
(913) 884-7044 www.pupsnsudsks.com
(913) 856-0280 www.cvs.com
(913) 884-7912 www.walgreens.com
Photographers Alyann Photography (913) 884-2933 www.alyann.com
Robot Monster Creative
(913) 303-0289 www.robotmonstercreative.com
Physical Therapy Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services - Gardner (913) 324-8680 www.olathehealth.org/ rehabgardner
SERC Physical Therapy (913) 856-7927 www.serctherapy.com
Plumbers/Plumbing Heartland Plumbing Inc.
(913) 856-5846 www.heartlandplumbing.com
Pools & Spas Continental Pools Inc
(913) 856-2841 www.continentalpools.com
Printing Shawnee Copy Center (913) 268-4343 www.sccink.com
The UPS Store
(913) 856-4501 www.theupsstorelocal.com/5784
MARKit Branding Solutions
(913) 579-2304 www.markitbranding.com
W.D. Gay Rentals
(913) 856-6487 www.ForRent.WDGay.com
(913) 254-0500 www.russellhampton.com
Fronteras Mexican Restaurant
(913) 884-2303 www.fronterasmexrestaurant.com
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
(913) 271-5801 www.johnsonhomesteam.com
(913) 856-4611 www.mrgoodcents.com
The Crossroads Real Estate Group - Keller Williams Realty Diamond Partners
(913) 208-2873 www.suzietownleyhomes.com
(913) 884-4700 stores.perkinsrestaurants.com/us/ ks/gardner/2000-e--santa-fe.html
Pizza Hut of Gardner, KS
(913) 215-9004 www.crownrealty.com
(913) 884-6116 www.pizzahut.com
Keller Williams Diamond Partners Inc.
(913) 605-1068 www.planetsub.com
(913) 605-1022 olathe.yourkwoffice.com/
Keller Williams Realty Partners / John Tramble Jr. (913) 653-8640 www.john-tramblejr.kw.com
Kirk Home & Land (Reece & Nichols)
(913) 244-5480 www.NancyKirkMatthew@ ReeceNichols.com
Layton Real Estate (785) 883-2379 www.laytonre.com
Sonic Drive-In of Gardner, KS (913) 856-5111 www.sonicdrivein.com
Tumbleweed Saloon Bar & Grill (913) 856-4510 www.tumbleweedgardner.com
Retail Costco Wholesale (913) 227-3700 www.costco.com
Orscheln Farm & Home
Sue Bates - Platinum Realty (913) 706-7284 www.teamcutter.com
Susan J. Lowe, Keller Williams (913) 927-3416 www.slowe.kwrealty.com
(913) 884-6767 www.orschelnfarmhome.com
Wal-Mart Supercenter of Gardner 913-884-8004 www.Wal-mart.com
Roofing & Construction
Rehabilitation Hospital Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital (913) 856-8747 www.meadowbrookrehab.com
Cordray Construction and Roofing (913) 856-7663 www.kcroofing.com
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H&H Roofing and Restoration LLC (913) 940-3373 www.hhroofing.com
RV Sales Olathe Ford RV Center (913) 856-8145 www.olathefordrv.com
Schools First Student
(913) 856-5650 www.firststudentinc.com
(913) 856-2000 www.usd231.com
Security Systems & Training SafeDefend, LLC.
(913) 856-2800 www.safedefend.com
Senior Living Bethel Estates of Gardner
(913) 856-4107 www.wheatlandinvestmentsgroup.com
Travanse Living at Olathe (913) 228-0229 www.islllc.com
Vintage Park at Gardner
(913) 856-7643 www.vintageparkassistedliving.com
Sign Shop and Design Sign Here, Inc.
(913) 856-0148 signhereinc.com
Skilled Nursing Care Medicalodges of Gardner (913) 856-6520 www.medicalodges.com
Social Services Johnson County Developmental Supports (913) 826-2212 www.jocogov.org/dept/ developmental-supports/home
Modern Living $364,500 with a Hometown Feel Homes Starting at
Symphony Farms QUALIT Y- B U ILT N EW H OMES COM BINED WITH U NM ATCHED AMEN ITIES Encompassing more than 227 acres, Symphony Farms is a community where children and families can make the most of their play time without leaving the neighborhood. Symphony Farms combines the nostalgic environment of yesterday with the modern luxuries you want in a new home today.
New Phase is Open, Come Choose Your New Home Visit SYMPHONYFARMS.NET or call (913) 884-6300
membership listings Southwest Multi Service Center
(913) 715-6653 www.jocogov.org/facility/southwestmulti-service-center
Spa Relax Skin Studio
(785) 317-7209 www.facebook.com/relax.skinstudio
Storage Santa Fe Storage
(913) 856-5757 www.attic-storage.com
T-Shirt Design and Printers Datco, Inc. (913) 856-5900 www.datcosports.com
Storage Design 4 Sports
(913) 938-5393 www.design4sports.com
Tax Preparation & Bookkeeping H&R Block
(913) 884-4495 www.hrblock.com
Telecomm. System Consulting KsFiberNet
(316) 712-6030 www.ksfiber.net
Tile Installation Shaw Stone and Tile (913) 602-4489
Title Company Security 1st Title
(913) 938-5340 www.security1stks.com
Trash Removal Service Gardner Disposal Service
(913) 856-3851 www.gardnerdisposalservice.com
Trucking Five Star Trucking, LLC
(913) 390-8384 fivestartrucking.com/contact-us
TransAm Trucking, Inc. (913) 538-4172 www.transamtruck.com
TSL Companies (531) 444-4820 www.4tsl.com
Utilities Atmos Energy
(913) 254-6344 www.atmosenergy.com
(816) 556-2200 www.kcpl.com
Kansas Gas Service
CONTACT US TODAY
(913) 758-2737 www.kansasgasservice.com
Water District #7, Johnson County (913) 856-7375 www.water7.com
and our creative team will provide you the experience and resources to produce your job quickly and effectively.
Veterinarians Gardner Animal Hospital (913) 856-6255 www.gardnerah.com/home
Oakbrook Animal Hospital
(913) 884-8778 www.oakbrookanimalhospital.com
A COMMUNITY GUIDE
M AG A ZINE
(913) 208-0349 www.buzzfishmedia.com
FIELDS OF FLOWERS AT YARDLEY’S FLOWER FARM
2019 spring/ summer
PLUS S MOK E ON W HE E L S VOL U N T E E R S
(888) 516-7401 www.distributorcentral.com
L O C A L A U T HOR S HI T T HE S HE LV E S
C O OK ING U P A S TOR M
BU S INE S S RE S OURC E G UIDE
strong Finding Our Foundations
promises k e p t
Funds Making Community Dreams Possible
Dove Web Consulting
(913) 439-0166 www.dovewebconsulting.com
(913) 449-7935 www.thegraphixtech.com
excels at providing editorial, design, production, and advertising sales services for any project. We publish community magazines, association directories, performance arts programs, community guides and other specialty publications.
(785) 832-7264 / sunflowerpub.com
(913) 440-0672 www.strategynewmedia.com
KC Wine Co.
(913) 915-4297 www.kcwineco.com
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FOUNDATION Wants You to Be Principal for a (Half) Day
Nestled in the southwest corner of Johnson County, Edgerton is a small town with a big reach. We’re home to Logistics Park Kansas City, one of the largest inland ports in the United States. We haven’t lost touch with our values. Neighbors help neighbors here. Thanks to LPKC, our residents are reaping big benefits: new roads, upgraded parks and lower city taxes. We have big plans for the future too, including a new community building. Come see us in Edgerton! We think you’ll want to stay.
4,500 JOBS 13 MILLION SQUARE FEET AND GROWING
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calendar of events
KC F E AT UR E D E V E NT
Air Show 2020
KC Air Show Charities Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, will hold the Kansas City Air Show 2020 Saturday and Sunday, September 5 and 6, at the picturesque New Century AirCenter in Gardner, Kansas. Building on the momentum of a successful 2019 KC Air Show, organizers are excited to bring a world-class event to Johnson County, Kansas, in the fall of 2020. The world-famous United States Air Force Thunderbirds Flight Demonstration Squadron will headline the 2020 Air Show, when they return to the heartland for the first time since 2008 to showcase the pride and professionalism of the U.S. Air Force. The Thunderbirds inspire a culture of excellence and service to country through their incomparable flight demonstrations and community outreach. The 2020 KC Air Show—expected to be one of the nation’s best—will include two days of spectacular civilian aerobatic performances, military jet demonstrations, aviation STEM exhibits and thrilling entertainment for the whole family. Additional information will be posted early December at www.kcairshow.org/ tickets including early ticket sales packages pricing, and civilian performer lineup.
Spring Gardner City Wide Garage Sale Do some spring cleaning with the community during the city-wide garage sale the first weekend in May. Advertising fee is $10. Visit
www.gardneredgerton.org/ events for final dates/times
and more information.
Summer Edgerton Frontier Days
Head to Downtown Edgerton the third weekend in June to celebrate Edgerton’s heritage. The event is free to attend and all ages are welcome. Visit www.frontier-days.com for final dates/times and new information.
3rd of July Community Picnic and Fireworks
Celebrate Independence Day at Edgerton’s annual Community Picnic with a fireworks show on July 3, 2020 at Martin Creek Park. Visit www.edgertonks.org/events
for final dates/times and more information.
Independence Day Celebration Gardner Parks and Recreation brings you one of the best Fourth of July celebrations in the region on July 4 at City Park. Visit
www.gardnerkansas.gov/ government/departmentsand-divisions-/parks-andrecreation/special-events/ july-4th-celebration for more
Johnson County Fair
Keep your calendar open late July through early August for the Johnson County fair at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. Visit www.jocokansasfair.com for final dates/times and more information.
Johnson County Fair Parade
Get a good spot in Downtown Gardner to watch the Johnson County Fair Parade. The parade will be the morning of the last day of the fair. Visit www.gardneredgerton.org/ events for final dates/times
and more information.
Gardner Grind Adventure Race
Wrap up the month of August with Gardner Parks and Recreation’s adventure race in Celebration Park. Expect to get muddy and have a great time. Visit
www.gardnerkansas.gov/ government/departmentsand-divisions-/parks-andrecreation/special-events/ gardner-grind-adventurerace-1537 for final dates/
times and more information.
Fall Grand Slam Craft Beer/Wine Fest Discover local breweries, wineries and distilleries mid-September 2020 at Celebration Park. Visit
www.gardnerkansas.gov/ government/departmentsand-divisions-/parks-andrecreation/special-events/ grand-slam-beer-winefestival for final dates/times
and more information.
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Smoke on the Trails BBQ Competition
Early October means it’s time for the Smoke on the Trails BBQ Competition at Celebration Park. The event is free and open to all ages. Visit www.gardnerkansas.gov/ government/departmentsand-divisions-/parks-andrecreation/special-events/ smoke-on-the-trails-bbqcompetition for final dates/
times and more information.
Come to Celebration Park for an evening in late October filled with ghostly games, spooktacular activities, candy, prizes, and more! Visit www.gardnerkansas.gov/ government/departmentsand-divisions-/parks-andrecreation/halloween-boobash for final dates/times
and more information.
Winter Holiday Happenings in the Community
Be on the lookout late November and early December for festive holiday events including Christmas in the Park, Breakfast with Santa, Flashlight Candy Cane Hunt and Santa’s Workshop. Visit www. gardnerkansas.gov/ government/departmentsand-divisions-/parks-andrecreation/special-events/ christmas-in-the-park and www.edgertonks.org/ departments/parks-andrecreation for final dates/
times and more information.
#GEMag Hereâ€™s a peek at a few community events celebrating heritage and happenings around Gardner, Edgerton and New Century. Weâ€™d love to see how you celebrate your community! Send us your photos for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue. Photos courtesy the Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce
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Economic Profile LIVING GARDNER EDGERTON
crime Median Household Income (2018)
square feet of new construction since 2012
0-19 years old (8,791) 20-34 years old (4,908) 35-59 years old (8,866) 60+ years old (3,231)
Gardner 11,253 to 23,252 (106%)
16.8 Johnson County (all)
Gardner & Edgerton combined
in new investment in 2018
460 new jobs created
Growth of population since 2000
Edgerton 2,258 to 2,644 (17%)
Edgerton in private investment
population of Gardner
population of Edgerton
new jobs created since opening of Logistics Park Kansas City
Edgerton and Gardner continue to be two of the safest communities in the region.
Ranked 3rd fastest
growing city in Kansas in 2018
new single-family homes
Edgerton estimate is served by JoCo Sheriff, which reports for all areas in county.
Johnson County 2.6%
Most populous county in Kansas â€“ 591,178 residents
Schools/USD 231/Gardner Edgerton School District Students
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Lanesfield Historic Site 18745 S. Dillie Rd. Edgerton, KS 66021
Visit the schoolhouse, learn about trail history and the story of the railroad in 19th century rural Kansas. jocomuseum.org
Offering business solutions in your area: Ethernet Scalable 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps to significantly increase bandwidth to accomodate your growing business.
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Transport With more than 3,000 miles of fiber and connectivity to various data centers, we keep your data secure.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. www.ksfiber.net | 877-492-2555 | email@example.com
Bret’s Autoworks is a full-service auto repair facility using the latest technology to bring you peace of mind. When you bring your vehicle in for a repair, you will receive a video inspection via email or text. Our video inspections set us apart from the rest and provides another reason Bret’s Autoworks is your #1 Dealership Alternative. Turn to Bret’s Autoworks for honest auto repair. Let our 30 years of Honesty, Integrity and Transparency be of service to you.
Why Choose Bret’s Autoworks? = Amazing 3 Year / 36,000 Mile Nationwide Warranty = FREE Shuttle Service = Family Friendly Environment = AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility = Bret’s Autoworks is proud to be a member of the Gardner Edgerton Chamber of Commerce.
We service all makes and models, including hybrids and diesels. 913-856-5169
522 W. Main Street, Gardner, KS 66030
Behind the Eats of Gardner Edgerton | Unexplored Pterritories | Hostess Comes to Edgerton | Home Field Advantage