816 North

April 1, 2014

Paw Paws for Platte festival celebrates historic tree, and other community notes

Northland community notes
Paw Paws for Platte

Paw Paws for Platte, an event to celebrate Platte County’s 175th anniversary and establish an official tree for the county, is planned from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Platte Ridge Park, 17130 Missouri Highway 371, Platte City.

A wide variety of activities are planned, including old-time ukulele music and events for kids. Author Matt Silber who wrote “An Illustrated History of Platte County” will be on hand to autograph his book.

Volunteers, scouts, students, 4-H clubs and county officials will help plant a large bur oak tree representing 100 years and 75 saplings to represent 75 years. The saplings will include pawpaws, redbuds and bur oaks. Over 500 seedlings of native trees will be given out to those at the event, along with instruction on planting and caring for the seedlings.

Platte County Commissioners will name the pawpaw as the official country tree for its historical significance. Patrick Gass of the Lewis and Clark expedition wrote that when the explorers ran out of provisions they survived on the fruit of the Pawpaw tree.

“It’s easy to grow, it’s native, it has connections to the Native Americans who survived on it and cultivated it,” said Mary Beth Ogle, an organizer of the event. “It’s the sole food for the beautiful zebra swallowtail butterfly caterpillar. There is so much development that the native plants are being destroyed, so when the zebra swallowtail butterflies come there’s no food for them.”

The tree planting is part of Replant Platte, which aims to educate people about the value of native plants. It is sponsored by the Platte County Extension Council and the Missouri Department of Conservation and Platte Land Trust with the help of a Platte County Parks and Recreation outreach grant.

For more information contact Ogle at

816-569-2575 or send email to marybethogle@msn.com


Handbell ensemble concert

The Rezound! Handbell Choir will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday at Avondale United Methodist Church, 3101 N.E. Winn Road, Kansas City, North.

The group will play a variety of music from classical and sacred to folk music. The performance is free.

Rezound! plays year round in the Midwest and has performed with the Kansas City Symphony and Symphony Chorus.



for more information.

STD tests available

Clay County Public Health is offering free testing for sexually transmitted diseases this month.



for an appointment. Screenings are held daily.

There are approximately 19 million new STDs cases every year in the United States, almost half involving people ages 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treating STDs costs the U.S. health care system about $17 billion annually. Some STDs are major causes of infertility among women and some can increase the risk of HIV transmission.

More information is available at

www.clayhealth.com or www.cdcnpin.org/stdawareness or by calling 816-595-4261


The Health Center is at 800 Haines Drive, Liberty.

Civil rights events

A panel discussion on “Celebrating Fifty Years of Civil Rights: Liberty Voices Speak” is planned for 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Garrison School Cultural Center in Liberty.

The guest panelist will be Lisa Young Alston, daughter of civil rights leader the Rev. Andrew Young. Young was an advisor and confidant to Martin Luther King Jr.

“This panel will provide an opportunity for the public to meet the daughter of a famous civil rights leader and a group of local Liberty residents who lived through segregation, integration and the seguing of equal rights into a Clay County community with historic ties between black and white families dating back to 1822,” said Cecelia Robinson, an organizer of the event.

Other panel members are Liberty residents Shelton Ponder, Dick Brown, Rosa Mae Patterson, Rick Nyman, Bea Young, AJ Byrd and Theresa Byrd.

A reception will follow the program.

For more information about the civil rights movement, Robinson recommends the exhibit “For All the World to See: Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights,” at the Curry Library at William Jewell College in Liberty. The nationally touring exhibition runs April 6 to May 26 and includes photographs, television clips and artifacts that influenced the American public during the Civil Rights era.

Both the panel discussion and the exhibit are free.

Garrison School is at 502 N. Water Street, Liberty.

Grandfamilies discuss estate planning

Northland Grandfamilies will learn about estate planning and other legal decisions seniors face at 10 a.m. April 9 at North Cross United Methodist Church, 1321 N.E. Vivion Road, Kansas City, North.

Kara Burgess of Northland Elder Law will speak on planning issues for grandparents and other relatives who are guardians of minors, as well as Medicaid planning and asset protection.

Northland Grandfamilies meetings are free and open to anyone raising a grandchild, niece or nephew. Northland Grandfamilies is a cooperative program of Clay County Senior Services, the Platte County Senior Fund and the University of Missouri Extension Council in Clay County. For more information call



Platte City Easter egg hunt

The annual Easter Extravaganza in Platte City is at 10 a.m. April 12 near the YMCA at 2703 Running Horse Road, Platte City.

This free event for children up to 12 years old is sponsored by the YMCA, Platte Valley Bank, Heartland Clinic of Platte City and other local businesses.

Children will be divided into age groups and prizes will be given. Children can also visit with the Easter Bunny and PC Parrot, and tour a fire truck, police car and ambulance.

For more information call

816-858-0114 or 816-746-7632


British soccer camp

Kids can register now for British soccer camp at four Northland locations.

Camps are planned for kids ages 3 to 16 depending on the location. The five-day camps will be held in June and July.

All the camp coaches come from the United Kingdom, according to Carol Horvath of Challenger Sports.

The coaches live with soccer families during the summer and travel to different camp locations.

British Soccer Camps have been held throughout the U.S. and Canada since 1984. “This year we hope to have 130,000-plus campers, especially with the world cup going on this summer,” said Horvath.

Northland soccer camps will be held at Tiffany Hills Park in conjunction with the Northland Sports Alliance, Happy Rock Park with Gladstone Parks and Recreation, Jesse James Festival Grounds with the Kearney Celtic Athletic Club and Fountain Bluff Sports Complex with Liberty Parks and Recreation.

Register at


. Those who register online at least 45 days in advance will receive a replica British sports jersey. All players get a camp T-shirt and soccer ball. Advance registration fees are $70 to $150 depending on the child’s age, camp schedule and location.

For more information call Horvath at

913-599-4884, ext. 239


Senior auction

Shepherd Center of the Northland will hold its annual auction fundraiser, Jazz Pizzazz, on May 2 at the Argosy Hotel, Casino and Spa in Riverside.

The evening includes dinner, silent and live auctions, music by James Rojas, dancing and entertainment. Honorary auction chairpersons are Larry and Jane Heng, owners of Festival Foods.

Tickets are $80. Make reservations by calling

816-452-4536 or sending emailing to rgordonscn@kc.rr.com. Tickets are also available at www.shepherdscenternorth.org


“It’s a fun evening and a very worthy cause. We have active seniors all the way to frail elderly. We’re just trying to keep them involved and in their homes longer. It’s a great group of people we need to pay attention to and help as much as we can. All our programs and services are no charge, donation only,” said Rebecca Gordon, executive director of Shepherd Center of the Northland.

Proceeds from the event go toward the group’s programs for senior citizens, including health support, home repairs, transportation, home visits, enrichment programs, support groups, exercise, tours and dancing.

Volunteers and seniors also usher at Starlight Theater during the summer.

Shepherd Center of the Northland has over 400 volunteers who provide about 51,000 hours of service to over 2,800 clients annually.

By Norma King, special to The Star

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