The Liberty Community Christmas Tree program brightened the holiday for 248 families with 714 children as well as 118 other households during December.
The program raised $46,800 from individual donations, which was used to buy gifts, perishable food items, and other necessities for needy families and adults.
More than 300 volunteers, ranging in age 3 to 80, helped sort food, shop for gifts, and deliver the gifts and food to those in need, Community Services Coordinator for Liberty Hailey Kenkel said.
“There was more than one message similar to this message I received from a 2017 recipient, ‘Thank you so much for a magical Christmas morning for our family! We explained to our children about all the thoughtful angels who made their Christmas this year, and they wanted to write thank you notes,’” Kenkel said.
Gladstone gets in on Biggest Loser craze
A fitness-and-weight-loss competition will get underway this January in Gladstone.
“Everyone walks away a winner in the Gladstone Community Center’s New Year, New You competition. As long as they participate they get a prize of some sort,” said Liz Soria, a fitness specialist with the city.
All Community Center members 18 and older can participate in the 12-week fitness contest, which kicks off at 6 p.m. Jan. 8 with a weigh-in at the community center. Registration is $10 and can be done ahead of time or that night.
Participants will receive points for working out at the community center, attending program events and fitness classes, and for weight loss. Members also will have the opportunity meet with a dietician and learn about healthy eating.
The top male and female contestant winners will receive a six-month community center membership. Second- and third-place finishers will receive quarterly and single-month memberships.
“It is based off of a certain percentage of weight loss and their participation in the program,” Soria said.
For more information, go to gladstonecommunitycenter.com.
Historical society plans banquet
The Clay County Museum and Historical Society will hold a banquet and auction from 6 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 27 at Shoal Creek Golf Course, 8905 Shoal Creek Parkway in Kansas City, North
The evening also will include a program and live music. Guests are invited to attend in historical dress.
“After two years of holding in-house receptions and open houses for members and prospective members at the Clay County Historical Museum, we feel our patrons are ready for something different and will enjoy the return to this banquet tradition,” said Jana Jessee Becker, past president of the organization and event organizer. “We hope they will invite their families and friends to attend as well. All are welcome.”
Tickets are $40 and reservations are encouraged by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 816-792-2854.
Guitarist Eric Nettle and trumpeter Pete Carroll will provide the live music. The program is “The Battle of Liberty,” presented by historians Jay Jackson and Tony Meyers, which chronicles a Civil War battle fought in Clay County on Sept. 17, 1861.
Silent auction items include paintings by local artist Jim Hamil and a sequined celebrity dress from Branson, which is currently on display at the Clay County Historical Museum.
Park appoints new director of institutional effectiveness
Jennifer Heller has been named director of institutional effectiveness at Park University.
Heller served in the same position at the Center for Institutional Effectiveness at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kan., before coming to Park.
Her responsibilities include using research and data analysis to guide decision-making and institutional improvement.
Heller was assistant dean and director of the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., from 2012-16. She was also an assistant director of Humanities and Western Civilization at the University of Kansas and director of the Multicultural Scholars Program there.
Local realtors raise money for Veteran’s Community Project
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHGRE) Kansas City Homes announced recently that it exceeded its goal of $30,000 to build a second tiny home for the Veteran’s Community Project.
Eight area BHGRE Kansas City Homes offices, including the College Boulevard, Prairie Village/State Line, Blue Valley, Leawood, Plaza/Kansas City, Liberty, Northland, and Lee’s Summit real estate offices, created unique fundraisers to reach the $30,000 goal.
To date, Veteran’s Community Project has built 10 tiny homes, and veterans will start moving in early 2018.
Northlander wins regional Realtor of the Year
Two local realtors with Better Homes and Gardens Realty Kansas City Homes won Industry Achievement Awards from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors (KCRAR).
Alex Goering, from Better Homes KC’s Blue Valley office, was chosen as the 2017 Salesperson of the Year and Kristi Ferrara, a broker in the Northland office, was chosen as the 2017 Realtor of the Year.
“Everything I do, both as a managing broker of my office and as an industry advocate, is for my agents,” Ferrara said in a release. “Helping them succeed is my fuel. As much as I love it, this kind of work takes time and energy away from the office and my family.
“So for me, this award means that the sacrifices I make, the sacrifices made by my agents, my family, and all real estate professionals, mean something. This award encourages me to keep doing what I love.”
By Norma King, Special to The Star