January 2012


Nick and Jake’s Overland Park owner Kevin Timmons recently presented a $100,000 check to Children’s Mercy and a $5,000 check to the Blue Valley Education Foundation. The money being given was raised at Nick and Jake’s annual “Fore the Kids” golf tournament this past October. Children’s Mercy will use the money to purchase iPads for 73 patient beds in the new Elizabeth Ann Hall Tower, which will be completed in 2012. The iPads help distract Children’s Mercy patients from their discomfort and help them cope with invasive procedures. The money given to the Blue Valley Education Foundation will be used towards supplementing the needs of the students in the Blue Valley school district through teacher grants and supplemental programs.


It Takes Guts and Beauty to End Abuse

It’s official: beauty products can help save the world! Beauty Brands announced that its recently concluded 2011 “It Takes Guts to End Abuse” campaign has generated a record $125,268. The money raised will help shelters across the country maintain and expand their services to victims of domestic abuse. The annual campaign, now in its 10th year, was conducted in partnership with Redken, a global leader in professional hair care products. Headquartered in Kansas City, Beauty Brands’ 54 locations across the U.S. participated, offering customers and salon professionals in local markets the opportunity to make a direct impact on the prevention and elimination of domestic abuse. During the End Abuse campaign, more than 13,000 cans of Redken Guts volumizing hairspray were sold at the special price of $7.98 (regular retail is $15.98) with all proceeds donated to local shelters. In addition, all the profits from special “It Takes Guts to End Abuse” t-shirts sold at www.beautybrands.com were donated to the shelters. Since its inception in 2001, the Beauty Brands program has raised more than $795,000 and benefitted more than 50 domestic violence shelters nationwide.

“We created the End Abuse program not only to raise money for the cause, but also to raise awareness of domestic violence and offer solutions for those in need,” says David Bernstein, president of Beauty Brands. The Web site, www.ittakesguts.org, is available year-round and contains information about domestic violence as well as local, state and national crisis telephone numbers.


Not Your Average Middle School Teacher

The Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators (KAMSA) has named Pioneer Trail Middle School principal Michael Wolgast one of three Exemplary Middle School Principals of the Year. “It is a great honor to receive this award, however it is not a result of one person, but a result of the hard work of the assistant principals, faculty, staff, students, and parents of Pioneer Trail,” says Wolgast. “It is truly great to be a Panther!” Additional administrators named with Wolgast were Brad Miner, principal of Royster Middle School in Chanute, Kan., and Pat Reinhardt, principal of Hoisington Middle School in Hoisington, Kan. The award will be presented at the KAMSA Spring Conference Luncheon on May 7 in Topeka.


Academy of Stars

For the first time, Starlight Theatre’s Education Department and the City of Leawood’s Parks and Recreation Department will partner to create a series of classes to challenge youngsters’ acting and vocal abilities. Conveniently located at the Community Center on the lower level of Leawood City Hall, Starlight Theatre Classes give children in the southern metropolitan area an opportunity to polish their skills without making the long drive downtown. Four seven-week classes—beginning through advanced—will be offered on Thursday evenings Jan. 19th through March 1st. Acting I – Adventures in Acting for Grades 1-3, explores the basics of being an actor, using improvisation, movement and storytelling to find character and personal voice. In Musical Theatre II – Showstoppers for Grades 4-6, students will strengthen their skills and confidence as vocalists as they sing some of Broadway’s most popular musicals. The cost for each class is $140 per Leawood resident student or $145 for non-resident students. For more class information please contact the Starlight Theatre’s Education Department at (816) 997-1134 or visit www.starlight.com. Register with Leawood Parks & Recreation Department by phone at (913) 339-6700 x154 or online at https://webtrac.leawood.org/. Registration deadline is Jan. 13th.


Engineering Excellence

Perceptive Software and the University of Kansas School of Engineering surprised Olathe Northwest High School instructor Becky Metcalf with an Educating Excellence award in late 2011. The Educating Excellence program was launched by the software giant and the University in March 2010 to recognize outstanding Kansas and Kansas City area high school science, technology, engineering and math teachers. Metcalf currently teaches math in the school’s Engineering and Aerospace Program, a curriculum she helped design and implement at Olathe Northwest. A dedicated teacher who reaches out to students beyond the confines of the classroom, Metcalf mentors students individually and helps place them in engineering internships with local professional organizations. She has also overseen the growth and development of the school’s Battle Bot program and has put extensive work into her students’ robotic competitions. Representatives presented Metcalf with the $1,500 Educating Excellence award check during a special assembly at Olathe Northwest on Nov. 16, 2011. For more information visit www.educatingexcellence.org.


Space Jams

Dino O’Dell, an award-winning musician, combines an eclectic mix of Jamaican reggae, English Ska, German polka and American rock & roll on his new CD titled “Outer Space.” The Leawood Arts Council will host the CD launch party Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. in the Community Center Oak Room on the lower level of Leawood City Hall. This interactive concert encourages kids to sing and move with the lyrics featuring itty-bitty monsters, space aliens and a swimming pool filled with peanut butter. The musician has worked as a professional actor on stage and TV, and opened for Angelique Kidjo, the great West African singer, and for Richard Thompson, the legendary British singer/songwriter who led Fairport Convention. To receive a discount on the purchase of Dino’s new CD “Outer Space,” bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the Village Presbyterian Food Pantry. This Super Saturday concert will thrill children out of their winter blues. The concert is free but space is limited to the first 200 to arrive. Doors open at 9:30 am. For more information please call the Leawood Arts Council (913) 339-6700 ext. 157 or visit www.leawood.org.


A Royal Holiday Season

Kansas City Royals left their bats at home plate and put on their holiday spirit Dec. 2 when they volunteered for the Johnson County Christmas Bureau. Pitcher Aaron Crow and outfielder Alex Gordon joined Royals associates in distributing food, winter clothing and holiday gifts at the Johnson County Christmas Bureau Holiday Shop, located at the former Steve and Barry’s store in the Great Mall of the Great Plains. The Johnson County Christmas Bureau is a volunteer, nonprofit organization and United Way agency created in 1960 that provides necessary assistance to low-income families of Johnson County, Kan. The organization’s Holiday Shop, established in 1977, is open each year during the first week in December at a donated location in Johnson County. The Holiday Shop served more than 3,000 families in 2010.


Green From the Ground Up

Johnson County Community College (JCCC) is about to get some green. Tentatively named Galileo Pavilion, a 3,000-square-foot general education building complete with wind turbine, photovoltaic roof panels and roof garden will be built and completed by summer 2012. Johnson County Community College will partner with Studio 804, a design/build program at the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Planning, to construct a classroom building on the JCCC campus. The JCCC board of trustees on Nov. 17 approved $700,000 for construction of the classrooms to be located on existing green space between the science building and the three-level Galileo Garden parking garage. The green building is to be designed to achieve LEED platinum certification and will house two classrooms, a lounge, kitchen and small meeting room. The building will use creative materials like reclaimed slate chalkboards as flooring in the classrooms and gabion walls filled with regionally sourced river rocks to achieve environmental sustainability in college infrastructure and transform the physical campus into a living, learning laboratory. For more information visit www.jccc.edu.