Two Northland community theatres are issuing calls for directors for the 2016 season.
Corbin Theatre, a small 90-person theatre on the historic square in Liberty, will host six shows including “Greater Tuna” by Jaston Williams; “Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Millennial Edition” by Leslie Liautaud, and “Spoon River Anthology” adapted from an anthology by Edgar Lee Masters.
For information, contact Kim Glover at 816-284-8429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gladstone’s Theatre in the Park will present two productions at Oak Grove Park for its 29th season:
“Damn Yankees” will be presented July 8-10 and “Shrek” will be presented Aug. 5-7.
Interested director candidates are should call 816-423-4088 or go to www.gladstonetip.com.
Two Northland youth and their families are asking residents to “Stuff the Bus” Saturday with gifts for children who will spend their Christmas at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Caleb Wolf, 15, Raegan Weber, 12, and others will accept donations at their Henson’s Heroes bus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Liberty Target, 9220 N.E. Barry Road, Kansas City, North.
Both Wolf, of Kearney, and Weber, of Lawson, know what it’s like to spend Christmas as a patient in a hospital. With help from their parents, they formed a non-profit, Henson’s Heroes, three years ago. The name comes from 2 Henson, the floor in Children’s Mercy where they both were patients.
Henson’s Heroes has raised $100,000 in donations to brighten the Christmases of hospitalized children.
“I want the kids in the hospital to know someone cares,” Caleb said. “I want them to know I care.”
The Children’s Mercy Wish List includes books, Legos, Fisher Price Little People, infant toys with lights or music, infant rattles and teethers, headphones/ear buds, scarves, journals, nail polish/lip gloss, purses/wallets, watches, clothing, sleepers, sweatpants and fleece throws.
Gifts of toy guns, swords, bows/arrows or toy knives are discouraged.
“Holidays, birthdays and other significant milestones are to be celebrated regardless of where you are sleeping,” said Caleb’s mother, Traci Wolf.
“Unfortunately, some children find themselves spending these special days hospitalized. Raegan and Caleb know all too well what that is like. With the help of the staff and Children’s Mercy Hospital, Henson’s Heroes provides more than just toys, donating undergarments for children in the burn unit, meals for the staff on Christmas, balloons for the patients on Valentine’s Day, and Easter baskets.”
The donations go to hospitalized children as well as to the Snowflake Shop at Children’s Mercy, which is a place for parents to shop free while their child is hospitalized.
For more information call 816-204-5945 or email email@example.com. To donate go to http://www.hensons-heroes.com.
Senior Center bingo
The Liberty Silver Center will host a White Elephant Bingo Party 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. Monday at the Liberty Community Center.
The cost to play is a white elephant gift or 75 cents per card. Fifteen rounds will be played.
Lunch will be served. Cost is $2. Reservations for lunch must be made by noon, Dec. 11.
The Silver Center hosts weekly bingo games on Mondays and Fridays at 9:15 a.m. The cost is 75 cents per card. Prizes are household items provided by the Silver Center.
Lunch is served each weekday at the center. The fee is $2 and reservations should be made by noon the previous day.
The Liberty Silver Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., except on major holidays. It is in the Liberty Community Center at 1600 South Withers Road, Liberty.
For reservations, call 816-439-4368; for more information, go to www.ci.liberty.mo.us/SeniorServices.
Northland youth honored
Youth With Vision (YWV), a teen advocacy group from the Northland, received the Coalition of the Year Award at the annual State Prevention Conference at Lake of the Ozarks in November.
YWV was one of two coalitions to be honored for their outreach and advocacy to create safe, substance-abuse-free communities.
Members of YWV are middle and high school students from Clay, Platte and Ray counties.
Amanda Baker of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Behavioral Health presented the award for ACT Missouri, the Missouri Association of Community Task Forces. Teen YWV co-chairs Conor Henry and Jordan Elder accepted the honor on behalf of the group.
YWV is sponsored by Tri-County Mental Health Services and the Northland Coalition.
For more information about YWV programs or to learn how to get involved go to www.YouthWithVisionKC.org.
Groundbreaking for Northland Service Center
Metro Lutheran Ministry (MLM) held a groundbreaking Dec. 2 for a new service center at St. James Lutheran Church in Kansas City, North.
When completed, the new MLM Service Center will be three times the size of the present center, which has been located in a small house at St. James for more than 30 years.
The center is one of seven MLM centers in the metro area that provide food, emergency supplies and other assistance to the needy.
“In the last 12 months we have helped 1,911 households and 5,643 people at our Northland location,” said Jim Glynn, executive director of MLM.
The new facility will be in the original sanctuary of St. James, which will be repurposed as well as expanded with new construction at 1104 N.E. Vivion Road, Kansas City, North.
MLM’s programs include employment centers and counseling, rent and utility assistance, hot breakfasts at two locations and a Christmas store,
For information call 816-931-0027 or go to www.mlmkc.org.
Tri-County Meetings change
Due to the holidays, Tri-County Mental Health’s monthly Caregiver Support Group and Aging and Mental Health Coalition meetings have been moved to Dec. 17.
The Caregiver Support Group will meet at 1 p.m. on Dec. 17 in room 140 of the Northland Human Services Building.
Older-adult educator Becky Franklin will lead the meeting. Planned topics include coping skills and communication techniques.
The Aging and Mental Health Coalition of Kansas City North will hold a dessert potluck and networking event at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 17.
The meeting will include a review of the 2015 meetings and topics for 2016.
The coalition will meet in room 205 of the Northland Human Services Building.
For information on the meetings contact Tonya Rother at 816-877-0481 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or go to www.tri-countymhs.org.
The Northland Human Services building is at 3100 N.E. 83rd St., Kansas City, North.
Retailer expertise published
A book for retailers and vendors, “Retail Revelations,” has been published by Northland business consultant Ritchie Sayner.
“It covers a myriad of topics of retail management, from merchandising, bench-marking numbers, inventory control to store operations,” said Sayner, who has 46 years of experience in the retail industry.
The book is a compilation of more than 50 articles that Sayner has had published in retail industry publications over the past eight years.
Sayner is vice president of business development for RMSA, Retail Solutions and volunteers for SCORE Kansas City, a business mentoring organization.
The book is $15.95 through Sayner at RSayner@rmsa.com, by calling 816-505-7912 or at www.write4retail.com.
Park University appoints Greg Gunderson
Greg Gunderson has been appointed the 17th president of Park University, which was established in 1875.
Gunderson’s tenure will become effective Jan. 15, the first day of the 2016 spring semester.
“Dr. Gunderson’s experience and thoughtful leadership with the challenges and opportunities in higher education, along with his enthusiasm to create an environment of achievement for students, faculty, staff and alumni, positioned him well to be our next president,” said Michael Collins, chairman of Park University’s Board of Trustees and a 2004 Park graduate in a press release.
Gunderson comes to Park from Webster University in St. Louis, where he served nearly five years as the vice president and chief financial officer.
Before his service at Webster, he spent nine years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln serving as director of financial resources and budget operations and later as assistant vice chancellor for business operations in the Office of Academic Affairs.
“I look forward to the important work of leveraging a liberal arts education in transforming the lives of Park students, and in turn, transforming society as well,” Gunderson said. “Park University is a special place; anyone visiting its flagship campus in Parkville can see the commitment of its trustees, students, faculty, staff and administrators. Together, we will continue Park’s 140-year-old commitment to accessible education for those we serve.”
Gunderson replaces Jeff Ehrlich who has served as interim president since July 1.
The Elves’ Holiday Store for children only will open at Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary this weekend. Store hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Store elves will assist children with their shopping while parents wait. Parents should provide a shopping list and money.
Gifts are priced from under $1 to $10 and will be wrapped and tagged.
Admission is $3 per child.
Other activities planned for children are face painting, treats, crafts and a visit with Santa Claus.
Volunteer elves are needed and donations of new or nearly new items for the Holiday Store are welcomed through Dec. 11.
For information call 816-781-8598.
Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary is at 407 N. La Frenz Road, Liberty.
Norma King, Special to The Star