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North Kansas City School District staffer wins state honor

Rick Gentry (center) was named 2018 Support Staff Member of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Business Officials. He was joined at the ceremony by Pam Frazier, association president, and Ronnie Reynolds, president of Reynolds Construction, which sponsored the award.
Rick Gentry (center) was named 2018 Support Staff Member of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Business Officials. He was joined at the ceremony by Pam Frazier, association president, and Ronnie Reynolds, president of Reynolds Construction, which sponsored the award. Submitted photo

Rick Gentry, director of purchasing for the North Kansas City School District, was named the 2018 Support Staff Member of the Year by the Missouri Association of School Business Officials.

Gentry has worked in education for 29 years, 18 of those with NKC Schools.

The award recognizes personal excellence in service to the school district, community and profession.

Gentry has implemented a purchasing card program, developed an online procurement website for vendors and helped implement the district’s Enterprise Resource Planning system to include the general ledger, accounting, budgets, procurement, fixed assets and stores inventory processes.

Clay County public health specialist honored

Photos '18 LAFY Kathleen LIfetime
Kendra Callaway (left), Liberty Alliance for Youth program director, presented a keepsake memento and bouquet to Kathleen Welton to honor her many years of dedication to the organization. Submitted photo

Kathleen Welton, community development specialist at the Clay County Public Health Center, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Liberty Alliance for Youth (LAFY) at its annual luncheon May 9.

Welton retired this month after more than 34 years at the health department, where she was active in many health- and community-focused programs including those focused on health educators, baby clinics, HIV/AIDS education, and drug- and alcohol-abuse prevention. She plans to stay active in Northland community prevention efforts.

Welton brought energy with her to every coalition meeting, said the health center’s Kaitlyn Wallace. “You can tell she just had a passion for making life better for Clay County residents and making the community better.”

Also honored at the luncheon were student members of FRESH (Finding Reasons to Exercise Safe Habits). Special mention went to Hannah Schrag from Liberty High School, who served as president of FRESH, and Morgan Neal from Liberty North High School, who actively promoted the implementation of FRESH at the high school.

Social worker Gina Johnson was recognized for her sponsorship of FRESH at Liberty North. Liberty High School counselor Nikki Junco was cited for her contribution to the success of the organization.

Volleyball for a good cause

The annual Mud Mania Volleyball tournament at Smithville Lake will be June 23.

The event, which is open to the community, will be at the Kelsey Short Youth Camp at Smithville Lake.

The event is a fundraiser for Youth With Vision, which works on substance abuse prevention among teenagers and their families in Clay, Platte and Ray counties.

Teams of six to nine male and/or female players will compete for prizes in the double-elimination tournament.

Pre-registration online is encouraged. Fees are $10 per person through June 15. Same day registration is $15. Pre-register at youthwithvisionkc.org.

Sponsorships are available.

For information contact Sherri Miller, Tri-County Mental Health youth prevention specialist, at

816-965-1018 or sherrim@tri-countymhs.org.

Photos'16 YWV Mud Mania Ball in air
The annual Mud Mania Volleyball tournament will be June 23 at Smithville Lake. The event is sponsored by Youth With Vision. Submitted photo

Park alumni’s Kenya photos on exhibit

The work of Kansas City photographer Carl Gregory will be on exhibit at Campanella Gallery at the Park University campus June 4-July 27.

Gregory is an alumni of Park and took the photos while on a mission trips to Kenya for Eagle Projects International and Lifeway International.

“I had the opportunity to see various and beautiful tribes of Kenya, capturing portraiture of each and the unique hues of humanity they and their lands offered my lens,” said Gregory in a press release. “I was blessed to meet people of different cultures and languages in their own lands. I hope this photography provokes joy, curiosity and respect, and dispels the otherness of fear while expressing the uniqueness of each beautiful tribe.”

Summer hours for the Campanella Gallery, in Park’s Norrington Center, are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will be closed on weekends and July 4.

An artist’s reception is 2:30-4:30 p.m. July 6.

CarlGregoryExhibit_Kenya
Kansas City photographer Carl Gregory’s photos from Kenya will be on exhibit at Park University June 4-July 27. Carl Gregory

Hospital sponsors an evening of laughs

Comedian Debi Gutierrez will talk about life, love and bringing up babies for North Kansas City Hospital’s Club W on June 13 at the Improv comedy club at Zona Rosa.

Club W offers a variety of programs for women throughout the year, as well as an annual comedy show, “Wednesday Night Live.”

“This free program (Club W) is all about helping women achieve a healthier, happier life. Club W’s wellness parties, family activities and signature events add some healthy fun to life, and presentations on trending health topics make it easier to feel great, eat well and live happy each day,” said KC Hall with the hospital’s media relations.

For information or to register, go to clubwkc.com/women. Tickets are $20 for Club W members and $25 for others.

Liberty Hospital receives cardiology award

Liberty Hospital is one of 95 hospitals nationwide to receive the American College of Cardiology’s NCDR Action Registry Silver Performance Achievement Award for 2018.

The award recognizes a hospital’s commitment and success in implementing a high standard of care for heart attack patients as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association.

Liberty Hospital is a state-designated level II STEMI center. STEMI is a potentially deadly type of heart attack. STEMI centers in Missouri must meet specific standards of treatment that ensure expedient treatment for patients facing critical illnesses and heart attacks.

Compiled by Norma King, Special to The Star

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