Hollywood Comes to Kansas


You won’t feel like you’re in Kansas anymore when you take a trip to KC’s brand new Hollywood casino. Glamour, high rolling and fine dining, the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway shines bright as the first Las Vegas-style casino in the Kansas City market in 15 years. In true Hollywood style, the grand opening Feb. 3 featured NASCAR drivers Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer, elected officials and executives from International Speedway Corporation and Penn National Gaming. Hollywood Casino’s 2000 slot machines, 52 table games and five restaurants are expected to attract more than 4 million guests annually. Fill up at the Epic Buffet, stay awhile and enjoy premium steak and seafood at Final Cut Steakhouse or grab a cup of coffee and a bowl of gelato on the way to the craps table. For more information, visit


Sterling Level Success

Overland Park’s Ginny Fiscella is sterling silver jewelry company Silpada’s first
representative to reach Sterling Director status. Congrats, Ginny!
photo: Rachael Swetnam

Ginny Fiscella of Overland Park has become the first Silpada Designs representative to be promoted to Sterling Director status, the highest level possible within the sterling silver jewelry home party company. Climbing the corporate ladder at an exponential rate, Fiscella who has been with Silpada Designs for more than a decade, quickly became an entrepreneurial powerhouse. Fiscella’s success and ambition were seen throughout the company and she was promoted to Star Leader in May of 2001. On the anniversary of her third year, she was promoted to Silver Manager, and just three months after that she became a Sterling Manager, and later went on to become the first-ever Silver Director. Silpada Designs’ mission to empower women is exemplified by Fiscella and her overwhelming success in business. Earning more first place awards than any other representative worldwide, Fiscella was awarded the “Million Moments Award” in early 2011 for having personal jewelry sales of more than $1 million.


Follow the Trail to a New Safari Experience

Jump with a kangaroo, climb in an eagle’s nest, swing like a monkey and even discover a cave inhabited by a black bear and her cubs. It’s all in a day’s work at Crown Center’s newest exhibit, “Animal Tales and Trails.” The exhibit presents a series of interactive stations, a reading area and weekend programs that promise to educate and entertain thousands of children. Open through April 29, this unique safari experience is located in the Crown Center Shops Showplace on Level 1 at 2450 Grand Blvd. The main attraction—the exhibit space—entices youngsters with Indiana Jones-style adventures such as slipping down a penguin’s iceberg slide and using alligator backs as stepping stones across a river. The exhibit will also feature two live shows throughout March and April. Rep-Tails Animal Shows on March 3 highlights some of the earth’s most unique creatures, including alligators, chinchillas, snakes and tortoises. On April 14, Wings of Love presents Awesome Birds, including parrots, toucans and cockatoos. Shows begin at noon and 2 p.m. in the Crown Center Shops Atrium and are complimentary. “Animal Tales & Trails” will be open to the public during Crown Center Shops regular hours: Monday through Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Closed on Easter Sunday (April 8). For more information about “Animal Tales & Trails” and other Crown Center activities, please call (816) 274-8444, or visit Crown Center at


A Blue Ribbon for the Saints

Saint Thomas Aquinas High School has been nominated as a high-performing National Blue Ribbon School (NBRS) to the United States Department of Education by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).
The four-year, co-educational Archdiocesan high school is one of just 50 private and parochial schools of the 33,740 private elementary, middle and secondary schools in the country to be nominated by CAPE this year. To qualify for the NBRS designation, a school must meet certain academic criteria over a five-year period including the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measurement and the state’s Academic Performance Index (API). The news arrived just in time for the school’s celebration of Catholic Schools Week 2012, themed “Faith, Academics, Service,” while also arriving on the heels of the recent Governor’s Achievement Award announcement. Saint Thomas Aquinas was awarded the Kansas Department of Education’s 2011 Governor’s Achievement Award, which recognizes schools that score in the top 5 percent of all high schools in both math and reading on the Kansas State Assessment tests. Since the program was established in 2006, Saint Thomas Aquinas has received the Governor’s Achievement Award designation four times and is the only high school in Johnson County to receive the recognition this year.


Performing for the Community

Johnson County Community College’s Performing Arts Series is seeking applications for the college’s Community Arts Partners program. Through March 15, 2012, the college will accept applications from organizations wishing to become Community Arts Partners for the 2012-2013 academic year. The partnerships help nonprofit community organizations present programming in the college’s performing arts spaces. For partners, the rental fee is waived for Yardley Hall, Polsky Theatre or Recital Hall for one day (8 a.m. to midnight) on a space-available basis. Potential community arts partners must be not-for-profit 501(c3) organizations, but not necessarily performing arts groups. Johnson County groups receive preferential consideration. Benefits or fundraising activities are not eligible. Community Arts Partnership applications are available from the Performing Arts office; call (913) 469-4450 to request one or pick one up on campus in room 105 in the Carlsen Center. Applications are also available online at Return completed applications to the Performing Arts office on the college campus or mail them to Johnson County Community College, Box 14, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan. 66210.


The Magic of Marceline

Gain an intimate understanding of the man behind the magic at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum established in Disney’s childhood hometown of Marceline, Mo.
(c) Disney; courtesy: D23 – The Official Disney Fan Club

Relive the magic of Walt Disney’s childhood as you take a trip down memory lane in Marceline, Missouri. Walt Disney has celebrated his years in this enchanting town in animation, theme parks and motion pictures, and now, Disney and Marceline have come together to present a tour that honors the town’s rich Disney heritage. On March 14, D23 Members (you must join the Official Disney Fan Club to participate in the tour) are invited to experience Walt’s Marceline. Board a motor coach from the Westin Crown Center and travel to the idyllic town where the Disney Hometown Museum and the Walt Disney Post Office Building await. A screening of the documentary short “So Dear to My Heart” will be shown at the Uptown Theatre, where two Disney premieres have been held. End the day with a view of the Midwestern sunset at the Disney Farm and hear the story of the Disney Family Circus and Walt and Ruth’s time under “The Dreaming Tree.” Homemade lunch and dinner and a Missouri wine tasting are included in the tour. Tickets are $195 per person. To join D23, visit


The Brew that Beat the Rest

Something big is brewing in town. Kansas City, Missouri’s own Boulevard Brewing Company has not only been named one of the top 20 craft breweries in the U.S., it ranks as number 12. Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest, with its distinctive beers available everywhere from Oregon to Massachusetts. Boulevard Brewery claims their message is in their bottle, and by using the finest ingredients to produce fresh, flavorful beers the craft brewery is sending out powerful vibes across KC and throughout the nation. According to industry estimates from Beer Marketer’s Insights, Boulevard Brewing Company is one of the 1,900 craft breweries in operation that recorded 15 percent growth in volume of barrels shipped, compared to a 1.5 percent decrease in the beer industry overall. Americans want their brewskis fresh and local, and Boulevard Brewing Company caters to the market. For more information, visit


Crossing Lines to End Hunger

Since 1963, Cross-Lines Community Outreach has focused on helping the less fortunate break their cycle of poverty by providing an environment that instills both hope and belief in the individual’s potential for self-sufficiency. Helping everyone from at-risk families to the elderly, Cross-Lines devotes its attention to relieving hunger, providing rent and utility assistance, free clean clothing, hot showers, laundry services and emergency medical assistance. Cross-Lines is participating in the Feinstein Challenge, an annual fundraiser from the Feinstein Foundation, which will divide $1 million among agencies nationwide, who agree to meet the challenge. Help Cross-Lines meet its goal by making cash, check or food donations through April 30. Focusing on healthy living in all aspects of life, Cross-Lines requests low-sodium canned veggies and canned fruit in natural juices. For more information visit


Best of the Best

Kansas City knows a luxury vehicle and a top-notch dealer when it sees one. Mercedes-Benz has just announced that Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City has achieved Mercedes-Benz USA’s “Best of the Best” dealer recognition award for 2011. This award goes to the highest achieving dealerships that demonstrate superior performance in various areas of their business including leadership, customer satisfaction, new vehicle sales, certified pre-owned sales, parts and service operations, and management. This award is given to only 40 Mercedes-Benz dealers out of the 357 total Mercedes-Benz dealers in the United States. It is a formal recognition of the focus and care the entire Mercedes-Benz staff brings to its efforts everyday to serve customers and business partners.