816 North

Northlanders honored at Embrace the Manor Ball, and other community notes

Embrace the Manor Ball

Three Northland couples will be honored at the second Embrace the Manor Ball and Couples Celebration Feb. 8.

Embracing Hearts Awards will go to Mark and Mimi Comfort, John and Nancy Dillingham, and Lou and Donna DeMarco for enduring love and inspiring strength.

The ball is sponsored by Immacolata Manor, a non-profit based in Liberty that works with developmentally disabled people.

The black-tie optional event will be hosted by Dick Wilson of KCMO at The View at Briarcliff. It begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes dinner, dancing, a cash bar, and a silent auction.

Tickets are $80, or $600 for a table of eight. They are available at


or by calling Stacie Bratcher at

816-781-4332 ext. 226


Last year’s ball generated more than $6,000 for Immacolata Manor, which has provided care for developmentally disabled people for more than 30 years.

Biggest Loser in Gladstone

The Gladstone Community Center is sponsoring its second Biggest Loser Fitness Challenge, which will run from Jan. 9 through April 3.

“We want folks to be active. It’s not just about shedding off the pounds. It’s about being heart-healthy and moving,” said Justin Merkey, community center administrator.

The grand prize is an adult annual membership to the community center, a $300 value. Other prizes will also be awarded.

Participants must be at least 18, have a Gladstone Community Center membership and enroll before Jan. 9. Registration is $10 and includes a T-shirt, special workout sessions and health screenings.

Participants will earn points for attendance, weight loss, group exercise classes, work with a trainer, swim lessons and special events at the Community Center.

Last year 91 people participated, said Merkey.

Contact the community center for information at



Atkins-Johnson receives Award

The Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum in Gladstone has been selected as a 2013 Sustainable Success Story by the Mid-America Regional Council.

This is the sixth year for the MARC program, which recognizes projects, policies and practices that exemplify sustainability in the region. Gladstone Mayor Jean Moore received the award during a special event at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center Gladstone on Dec. 6.

“For several years the Gladstone City Council has had a goal to increase the city’s ability to be green, so much so that it has become a part of our fabric and is one of our considerations with new projects or renovations,” said Moore.

Some of the sustainable practices recognized at the Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum were insulating the cabin walls, installating a geothermal heating and cooling system, using a historic cistern and planting an heirloom garden.

The heritage garden is an official project for the Master Gardeners of Great Kansas City. Volunteers maintain the raised beds and use heirloom seeds and traditional growing techniques without chemicals. Produce from the garden has been donated to Metropolitan Lutheran Ministry, given away to visitors and sold to the local Hy-Vee for fundraising.

According to city planner Chris Helmer, efforts to incorporate “green” practices during the renovation of the historic site allowed the city to preserve a culturally significant area of Gladstone.

More recently, an apple orchard has been planted on the property and there is still more to do to meet the challenges of preserving the historical aspects of the home while using modern technology, said Helmer.

In 2011 the Atkins-Johnson Farm received a Preserve Missouri Award from Missouri Preservation, which bestows the annual honor to seven entities for preserving Missouri’s historic resources.

For information on the project or other sustainable practices in Gladstone contact Helmer at





Corbin Christmas Show

The Corbin Theatre invites the community to share a A Jazzy Christmas on Friday at the theater, 15 N. Water St., Liberty.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and includes Christmas music by the Liberty Jazz Ensemble, a Christmas carol sing-a-long, and a visit by Santa Claus bearing gifts for everyone. Christmas cookies also will be served.

Families are welcome. Tickets are $10 for adults, and children are admitted free.

Purchase tickets online at


, at the Liberty Community Center, Liberty City Hall or at the door. Food, soft drinks and a cash bar will be available.

The Liberty Jazz Ensemble is made up of six friends: Lee Minor, John Richards, Paul Wheeler, Julie Dunn, Kim Murphy and Steve Hawkins.

Youth leagues

Gladstone Parks and Recreation will take registrations for competitive Youth Volleyball League and Developmental Youth Flag Football beginning Monday.

The Youth Volleyball league is co-sponsored by Gladstone and the North Kansas City School District. The 10-week program is for boys and girls in fifth through eighth grades. The league is competitive and skill level should be above average with players able to serve the ball over the net and receive service.

Cost is $75. Register as teams or individuals. Practice begins in March.

The 8-week Youth Flag Football league offers instruction in fundamentals for boys and girls of various skill levels in first through eighth grades.

The fee is $60 per player. Players can register with a buddy for the same team if they include each buddy’s name on both registration forms. Practices begin March 3 at Happy Rock Park.

The games focus on learning, sportsmanship and fun.

Register online for either league at



For information contact Russ Collins at





Shopping safety tips

The holiday season offers more opportunities for criminals, and the Liberty Police Department wants to share some holiday safety tips with citizens.

“Always be aware of your surroundings when you’re out and about. Be alert for that person who appears to be standing around for no good reason. They might be looking to steal something from you,” said Capt. Andy Hedrick. “Always lock your doors even if you’re out for a short time.”

Other safety tips:

• Park in visible locations. Most criminals who steal from automobiles are easily deterred if they think they are noticed. Choose a parking spot in a high-traffic area.

• Put goods in the trunk and avoid leaving packages or shopping bags on the seats or floorboards.

• Get in and out of your vehicle quickly. Carry your keys in your hand and be ready to lock or unlock the door as quickly as possible. When you return to your vehicle, scan the area, glance around the car and take a quick look inside before entering.

• Report suspicious activity. Citizens willing to identify and report suspicious activity to the police help fight crime and serve as a significant crime deterrent.

Hedrick encourages citizens to read the environment around them.

“Always ask yourself questions about where you’re at and who is around you and that can help keep you from being a victim of crime.”