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Grandfamilies conference comes to Platte County

Chris Eaton (right) and Susie Hetzel (center) from Mid-Continent Public Library explain library resources with those attending a Grandfamilies conference in 2015.
Chris Eaton (right) and Susie Hetzel (center) from Mid-Continent Public Library explain library resources with those attending a Grandfamilies conference in 2015. Photo provided

Grandfamilies Conference

A Grandfamilies Conference for grandparents and other caregivers who are raising children is Oct. 14 at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church.

The free conference, “You Matter Too,” will include exhibits, workshops, speakers and door prizes. Conference hours are 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A morning snack and lunch will be provided.

Topics include Navigating the Legal System, TLC for the Caregiver, Leaving the Nest — Helping Teens Transition to Adulthood, ParentLink-Programs and Resources for Missouri Grandfamilies, and Trauma: What Grandfamilies Need to Know.

The Grandfamilies Conference is sponsored by AARP, the University of Missouri Extension, Clay County Senior Services and the Platte County Senior Fund.

“The Grandfamily Conference provides valuable information and resources for grandparents raising their grandchildren. The information is free and all are invited to attend,” said Kathy Macken, executive director of the Platte County Senior Fund.

Register by Oct. 7 at aarp.cvent.com/MOgrandfamilies2016 or call 1-877-926-8300.

Pleasant Valley Baptist Church is at 1600 N. Missouri 291 Highway, Liberty.

The conference is for adults only; childcare will not be available.

Transportation is available for those needing it. In Clay County call 816-455-4800, in Platte County call 816-270-2800.

Norterre announced COO

Melissa O’Hara has been named as the chief operating officer for Norterre, a multigenerational neighborhood focused on wellness under construction near Liberty Hospital.

O’Hara has worked in the health and senior living field for more than 30 years and said that Norterre will be a one-of-a-kind community that creates a place for all generations to discover a healthier lifestyle.

“It’s exciting to be a part of history,” said O’Hara in a press release.

O’Hara has a bachelor’s degree in speech disorders and audiology, communications and psychology from Montclair State University in New Jersey; and a master’s degree from Columbia University in New York City in communications, speech and language disorders.

Bunco Night

The Gladstone Community Center will host Bunco Night at 6 p.m. Oct. 6.

Participants must be 22 or older. Advance registration is required by Oct. 4 by calling 816-423-4200 or at the Community Center, 7010 N. Holmes, Gladstone.

The cost is $5 for members and $7 for others.

Refreshments and door prizes are planned.

Party with Stanley

Miss Missouri USA, Sydnee Stottlemyre, and Stanley the bulldog will join a Halloween party at Citizen’s Bank and Trust in Smithville on Oct. 9.

The event is a fundraiser for Smile Train, a children’s charity that helps children born with cleft lip or palate.

Stanley was born with a cleft lip and with his owner, Deborah Pack, helps Smile Train in its efforts to change the lives of children in Third World countries.

“It costs $250 to fix one child’s cleft lip or palate or both. It doesn’t cost a family anything,” Pack said. “The Smile Train helps children in 87 countries.”

The Halloween party is from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Costume judging is at 3:15 p.m. and a raffle begins at 4:30 p.m.

The local fire department will bring a fire truck and children can trick-or-treat at booths set up by local businesses. Stanley will have his $1 kissing booth.

Tickets to participate in the costume contest are $5 per child.

Youth substance abuse grant

An Excelsior Springs community coalition has received a $125,000 federal grant for youth substance abuse prevention programs and advocacy.

The coalition, Excelsior Springs Supporting Abuse-Free Environments, received the five-year federal grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Drug-free community coalitions make a vital difference in their communities, said Michael Botticelli, director of National Drug Control with the White House Drug Policy Office, in a press release.

“The evidence-based prevention work led by local DFC community coalitions is critically needed to reduce youth substance, particularly in the midst of the national prescription opioid and heroin epidemic,” Botticelli said.

The Foundation, founded in 1993, was recognized for prevention programs dealing with underage drinking, over-the-counter drug abuse, and marijuana use; as well as successfully promoting smoke-free ordinances and student drug-testing policies in the Excelsior Spring School District.

Chinese Acrobats

Acrobats from Beijing, China, will give a free performance at 6 p.m. Monday in the Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel at Park University.

The event, sponsored by Park’s Office of International Students, will feature a variety of routines and include an interpreter who will share facts about Chinese culture and customs.

For information email international@park.edu or call 816-584-6820.

By Norma King, Special to The Star

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