Liberty Community Chorus
The Liberty Community Chorus welcomes interested singers to attend its annual Fall Picnic Kick-Off, 6-8 p.m. Aug. 25 at Stocksdale Park in Liberty.
The 70-member chorus is in its 12th year. The choir has sung across the metro and is led by Bryan Taylor, a member of the Grammy-winning Kansas City Chorale.
The choir’s first rehearsal is Aug. 27. Singers from age 16 and up are invited to participate.
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“It’s an open call for people. Quick and easy, pretty place, free,” Taylor said.
The choir will perform at four concerts including the city’s Community Christmas Tree lighting event. Choir dues are $45 per semester, scholarships are available, he said.
The chorus is a nonprofit organization. For information on joining the choir contact Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 816-510-5933.
Stocksdale Park is at 901 S La Frenz Road, Liberty.
2015 Annual Joint Luncheon
The annual joint luncheon of the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Northland Clay County EDC and the Platte County Economic Development Council is Sept. 9 at the Hilton Kansas City.
The keynote speaker for the event is Kansas City Mayor Sly James.
Tickets are $30 each or $350 for a table of 10. Make reservations by Sept. 2 online at www.northlandchamber.com or call the NRCC office at 816-455-9911.
Nominations for healthier community
The Community Health in Action (CHIA) committee is accepting nominations for the CHIA awards, which are given to individuals and businesses who are working toward a healthier community.
Awards will be given for health policy; community wellness initiatives, and individual community health champion. Individuals or organizations in Clay County can be nominated.
“We know that there are groups and individuals that are working in Clay County to better the health of the communities in which they live, work and play. This award is a great opportunity to help honor the hard work of these groups and individuals who are working every day to improve the health of Clay County,” said Aaron Smullin, communications specialist with the Clay County Public Health Center.
Nominees must be actively working on initiatives that focus on healthy living and addressing improved health outcomes, policy change or health cost savings.
Members of CHIA are Clay County Public Health Center, Excelsior Springs Hospital, Liberty Hospital, North Kansas City Hospital, Saint Luke’s North Hospital and Tri-County Mental Health.
An awards luncheon will be held Oct. 7 at Metropolitan Community College, Maple Woods.
For information or to make a nomination, email email@example.com or call Smullin at 816-595-4257.
Platte Cert volunteers needed
Platte County will host a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training Aug. 21, 22 and 29 at the Platte County Resource Center.
Volunteers are trained in basic disaster response skills, which will allow them to assist their family, their neighbors and the community when professional responders are not immediately available, according to Sgt. Michael O’Neal with the Platte County Sheriff’s Department.
The class is free and will be held 6-9 p.m. Aug. 21; and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 and 29.
For information or to register go to http://northlandcert.readytohelp.org. Call 816-858-1966 for information.
“For those individuals who do not wish to participate in the training program, I encourage them to have a family disaster kit and plan prepared for home, work and automobile,” said Sheriff Mark Owen in a press release. “Disaster can strike without warning; being prepared should be a priority for every family.”
The Platte County Resource Center is at 11724 NW Plaza Circle, Kansas City, North.
KC Lemonade day stand
Seven Platte City children and an appreciative mom raised $103 to donate to the Ronald McDonald house as part of KC Lemonade Day on July 30.
The lemonade stand was the idea of Christine Savage, who knew firsthand how important the Ronald McDonald house is to families in crisis.
“The Ronald McDonald House is very dear to my heart because we almost lost my son his senior year when he was almost 18,” Savage said. The Savages, who lived in Platte City, found they could eat and do their wash at the House during the long days spent at the hospital. “That was wonderful and that was such a blessing for us.”
When Savage learned through social media about KC Lemonade Day — a day to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities — she came up with the idea of having a lemonade stand at her home in Platte City and invited neighborhood children to participate.
“They were so excited when I told them what we were doing. They were excited to make the posters. They would yell down cars to stop and buy lemonade. They were adorable,” she said. “People who don’t even like lemonade would give them money.”
Savage and the children plan to sell lemonade again next year. “Absolutely, it was so fun,” Savage said.
Volunteers serve children’s home
Honeywell and its employees rolled up their sleeves and emptied their pockets to provide a makeover of a 130-year-old Niles Home for Children in Kansas City.
One-hundred-twenty volunteers remodeled, painted, did electrical and plumbing repairs, pulled weeds, landscaped and generally repaired and improved the home for the at-risk children and youth.
“What Honeywell did for us on Saturday is truly amazing,” said Rita Holmes-Bobo, CEO and president of Niles Home for Children. “We know that there was about $30,000 (in donated materials). But we estimate there was twice as much value in the manpower here.
“Honeywell took a big storage room and transformed it into a classroom for K-4. It is so beautiful and the kids love it. We needed one more classroom.”
In addition, a new teaching kitchen was build which will allow Niles to teach residents life skills, nutrition, kitchen safety and eating healthy.
“We know that by eating healthy they will love longer and have more productive lives,” she said.
The school opened the following Monday, Aug. 10, and classes in the new teaching kitchen started right away.
“For our residents it is critical to have that teaching kitchen. Because these students may leave our services and be put into a traditional housing or apartment, they need to have life skills…We’re their family so we have to teach them those skills others might take for granted,” Holmes-Bobo said.
Niles has about 25 children, from kindergarten through ninth grade, in the residential program and about 27 in the school program.
The home was founded in 1883 by Samuel Eason, an African-American bricklayer who lived in the 18th and Vine area and began caring for homeless children. Following his death in the early 1900s, Dr. Katherine B. Richardson, founder of Children’s Mercy Hospital, and other concerned citizens began a campaign to build a new home for homeless children; and in 1924 Frank and Emma Niles donated land and constructed a mansion for such a facility.
Niles Home for Children, at 23rd and Brooklyn in Kansas City, is the only organization that provides services to children who have been severely traumatized by abuse, neglect or abandonment in the urban core, Holmes-Bobo said.
“That makes us unique and a much-needed service in the community.”
The work that Honeywell and its employee volunteers did will help Niles expand its services to the community and be able to serve more children, she said.
“These are things that were on our wish list. This was a list of things we wanted to do when we hit the jackpot. We feel like we hit the jackpot.”
Platte historian receives state award
Lu Durham of Dearborn has been awarded the Missouri State Genealogical Association’s Director’s Award.
Durham’s award was a unanimous decision by the association.
Now 95, Durham was one of the charter members of the Platte County Historical and Genealogical Society (PCHGS) in 1948.
She was responsible for establishing the archives room in the Ben Ferrel Museum in Platte City and became known as records archivist. She also served on the board of directors and was a docent at the museum.
“It is Lu’s remarkable ability to assemble and organize written historical and genealogical materials pertaining to Platte County that has perhaps benefited the society the most,” said Ken Klamm, director with the society. “She has made research in the archives easy, efficient and productive for visitors who research Platte County history topics.”
Platte County has experienced increased vehicle break-ins this summer and the Platte County Sheriff’s Office is urging residents to be vigilant.
During the period of July 20 to Aug. 7 the sheriff’s office received 15 reports regarding theft from vehicles.
Vehicles are being targeted during early morning hours and thieves are focusing on those vehicles that have been left unlocked and stealing personal items, electronics and things people commonly leave in vehicles, Sgt. Jeffrey Shanks said.
Some of the areas thieves have been focusing on are Lakes of Oakmont, Bedford Falls, Running Horse, Hills of Oakmont, Fox Creek, Seven Bridges and Brookfield subdivisions.
In an effort to reduce the likelihood of a vehicle break-in Shanks encourages residents to do the following:
“Lock your vehicles, keep in vehicles in lighted areas if possible; and report suspicious activity, vehicles or persons in your area.”
To report suspicious vehicles or persons call the Platte County Sheriff’s Dispatch at 816-858-3521 or 816-858-5848.
Anyone with information regarding car break-ins is encouraged to call the Investigations Division at 816-858-3210 or submit a Crime Tip form at plattesheriff.org/crime-tip-form.
| Norma King, Special to The Star