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Actor to portray Amelia Earhart, and other community notes

Updated: 2014-02-05T03:23:36Z

Harvest Ball donates $427,000

The Harvest Ball Society donated over $427,000 to area charities during their annual meeting Jan. 27.

Jerri Landsberg, who served as the Society’s president in 2013, presented checks to 27 non-profit organizations. Society members raised the funds by hosting the Adorn Style Show & Brunch in September and the Harvest Ball in November.

Since 1987, nearly $7 million has been presented to organizations that primarily serve people in need in the Northland.

“We hope these gifts inspire charitable giving by creating hope that touches the heart,” said Landsberg. “As Harvest Ball Society members, our goal is for others to take notice and embrace the examples we provide in leadership, kindness and compassion toward fulfilling our community’s needs.”

Landsberg also praised Harvest Ball Society members for their volunteer service and commitment to helping their Northland neighbors.

Nonprofits that received grants were Angel Flight Central, Assistance League of Kansas City, Autism Works, Children’s Mercy Northland, Clay County Clothes Closet, Concerned Care, The Farmer’s House, Gilda’s Club Kansas City, Harvester’s, Heartland Habitat for Humanity, Hillcrest Transitional Housing, HOPE.wrx, Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, Miles of Smiles, NorthCare Hospice & Palliative Care, Northland Assistance Center, Northland Early Education Center, Northland Health Care Access, Northland Meals on Wheels, Platte Senior Services, Salvation Army Northland, Shepherd’s Center of the Northland, Southern Platte Emergency Assistance Center, St. Charles Food Pantry, Synergy Services, Tri-County Mental Health Services, Women’s Employment Network.

For information on the society or to apply for a 2014 grant go to http://harvestballsociety.org. Beneficiaries for 2014 will be announced in April.

A visit with Earhart

Famed aviator Amelia Earhart will be portrayed by scholar and performer Ann Birney Feb. 22 at the Staley Farms Golf Club.

The Parkville branch of the American Association of University Women is sponsoring the luncheon event, which is open to the public. Guests will gather at 11:30 a.m. Lunch is at noon followed by Birney’s performance.

Tickets are $25. Reservations must made by Friday by calling Betty Dusing at 816-584-6285.

Birney is a member of Ride Into History, a historical performance touring troupe. During her presentation she will take the audience back to 1937, just before Earhart’s disappearance over the Pacific Ocean.

“Her flight was around the world so she went over the Atlantic Ocean and presumably went down in the Pacific, so she made it about three-quarter around the globe,” said Birney, who has done the performance many times.

“She is my signature performance. I enjoy her because of her sense of risk. She said the scariest thing she ever did was get married, it wasn’t that flight thing… She had a pretty strong base under her and sense she could do things, she could accomplish things. She really used her bully pulpit to promote woman being allowed to take the risks to do the things they wanted to do.”

Birney, a native Kansan, holds a doctorate in American studies from the University of Kansas. In March 2000, Birney performed at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, where she was described as “what living history should be — accurate, natural, evocative and accessible” by Clare Cuddy, the museum’s manager of educational programs and publications.

Main Street Parkville honored

Main Street Parkville Association was named as Outstanding Community Partner for 2013 by the Parkville Area Chamber of Commerce at their annual Gala on Jan. 24.

“The award is presented to an organization or business that has had a special impact on the Parkville area. Main Street Parkville Association has a huge presence in downtown Parkville. They are responsible for all the festivities and events in the park. They do a lot of events that bring a lot of people to Parkville, which benefits all the businesses in Parkville,” said Marsha VanDever, executive director of the Parkville Chamber. “They are an outstanding community partner. They deserved the award, that’s for sure.”

Main Street Parkville was chosen by a vote of chamber members. The award was presented to MSPA executive director Danelle Nichols and 2014 chairman Tom Hutsler at the Gala.

The association’s mission is to preserve, maintain and promote the hometown charm of Historic Downtown Parkville.

Liberty offers neighborhood grants

The city of Liberty is offering Neighborhood Improvement Grants for projects proposed by neighborhoods. Grant awards range from $500 to $10,000.

This is the fourth year for the program, which allows residents to reinvest in their own neighborhoods, said Jonna Wensel, community development manager for Liberty.

Neighborhood associations must have an elected board, adopted by-laws and have been registered with the city to apply. Neighborhoods without an association can seek the assistance of city staff to organize one and then apply for a grant.

Grant recipients are required to provide a 25 percent match to the cost of the project, through donated services, materials or labor, in addition to cash. Grants must benefit the entire neighborhood with projects such as landscaping, planting street trees, replacing sidewalk sections or installing signs.

Projects that have received grants so far include new historical district signs in the Doughtery Neighborhood, trees along Progress Street in Parkview Meadows and replacing damaged sidewalks in the Jewell neighborhood.

“We hope that the grants will serve two purposes. One is to get neighborhoods organized that aren’t already and the other is to help improve those neighborhoods in small ways but in ways that the residents might not do otherwise,” said Wensel.

For more information about the grant or an application form, call Wensel at 816-439-4537. The deadline for submitting a grant application is April 1. Grant awards will be announced in late April.

Choir to hold Valentine’s concert

The Northland Community Choir will present a concert of “Chocolate, Carnations and Love Songs” at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel at Park University.

The concert will be a benefit for Hillcrest Transitional Housing. The suggested donation is $10. Students are free.

The choir’s music and artistic director is Paul Erickson, accompanist is Leonard Linweld.

| Norma King, Special to The Star

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