Olathe & Southwest Joco

Part of Lake Olathe will close during park renovations

Part of Lake Olathe will close as $15 million renovations and upgrades et underway.
Part of Lake Olathe will close as $15 million renovations and upgrades et underway. File photo

Once construction begins this spring at Lake Olathe, the east side of the park will be closed until the project is finished. During that time, the east shoreline of the lake, the disc golf course and Beaver Shelter will be inaccessible.

Street closures include the north entrances at 135th Street and South Ward Cliff Drive and at 135th and South Beaver Shelter Lane. The south entrance at Dennis Avenue and South Ward Cliff Drive also will be closed.

Lake Shore Drive, on the west side of the park, will remain open unless announced otherwise.

The $15 million project includes a swimming beach, nature playground, a marina and aquatics learning area, four miles of accessible trails, an amphitheater, gardens, meeting space, sprayground, a ropes course, zip line, dock and fishing pavilion.

See OlatheKS.org/LakeOlathe for more details and construction updates.

Olathe senior named Student Trainer of the Year

Olathe North senior Georgia Mitchell has been named the American Academic Competition Institute’s Student Trainer of the Year.

Criteria included an essay on how sports medicine has influenced her life, scientific research review and analysis, written and oral tests, and a presentation. The competition was held at California State University, Northridge.

“Georgia is driven, organized, not afraid to ask a question or step up and lead,” said Sarah Hanson, facilitator of Olathe’s Sports Medicine and Exercise Science Academy. “She has learned to use everyone around her as resources and she gains knowledge from their experiences. She is goal-driven and is holding the bar high on her expectations for herself.”

In addition to Mitchell’s individual award the Sports Medicine and Exercise Science Academy team placed fourth overall out of 47 teams.

Taste of Shawnee postponed

A forecast that calls for lingering winter weather to spoil the first full weekend of April already has prompted one postponement.

The Rotary Club of Shawnee has decided to move its annual Taste of Shawnee fundraiser, which was scheduled for April 7, to next month.

The event, which will feature sample dishes from at least 20 Shawnee restaurants and food trucks as well as live music and family entertainment, now will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, but other details remain unchanged.

It will still be at Shawnee Town 1929 and Overland Park Regional Medical Center ER of Shawnee remains the presenting sponsor.

Proceeds will benefit Rotary International’s overseas polio eradication efforts, Shawnee Community Services, Newhouse and other local and international charities sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shawnee Foundation.

For a $10 admission, participants will receive five “taste tickets,” which can be redeemed for a dish from one of the participating venders. Additional “taste tickets” can be purchased at the event.

Admission passes can be purchased at the door, from any Rotary Club of Shawnee member, or by emailing tasteofshawnee@gmail.com. Children 5 and under will be admitted for free.

Taste of Shawnee raised more than $73,000 last year and attracted more than 1,700 guests.

For more information and to see a complete list of sponsors, restaurants, food trucks and other vendors, visit www.tasteofshawnee.wix.com/2018.

Forum will focus on marijuana and teen brain

The Olathe Communities that Care Coalition will present a forum on April 19 titled “Weed Out the Myths: Marijuana and the Adolescent Brain.”

The free event will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Olathe Community Center, 1205 E. Kansas City Road.

Leading the discussion will be Grant Allen from the Olathe Police Department and Kevin Kufeldt with Johnson County Mental Health Center: Adolescent Center for Treatment.

Free child care will be provided for children ages 3 and older. Call 913-971-8500 for more information.

Olathe students win arts scholarships

Two Olathe students have received scholarships from the Arts Council of Johnson County through its annual Shooting Stars Awards program.

Shooting Stars honors Johnson County high school students for achievement in nine categories of literary, performing and visual arts. Nine $1,400 first-place scholarships and nine $700 second-place scholarships were awarded to recognize excellence in each category.

In the strings category, Kenton Huff of Olathe Northwest High School won first place while Shulammite Lim of Olathe North High School claimed second place.

Gardner Earth Day wants you

Gardner residents should sign up by April 13 for an Earth Day event that involves cleaning up the Gardner Greenway Corridor before enjoying a hot dog lunch.

The free event will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 21 at Winwood Park, 520 N. White Drive. The cleanup will be along the trail behind the park. Drawings will be held for free trees, T-shirts and other prizes.

To RSVP, call 913-856-0936 or email gprd@gardnerkansas.gov.

Online nominations could help Olathe win $20,000

In the hopes of winning $20,000 to improve city parks, Olathe officials are urging residents to nominate their city as often as possible for the national Meet Me at the Park initiative.

The National Recreation and Parks Association, in collaboration with The Walt Disney Company — including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN — recently announced the effort. One city that receives the most nominations from community members will receive the $20,000.

Residents can nominate Olathe once each day through the city’s olatheks.org website. The link is in the news release about the initiative.

Every time someone nominates Olathe, that individual will be entered to win a GoPro HERO5 Prize Pack.

Students raise funds to fight blood cancers

Two students from Olathe Northwest High School raised $7,600 during the second annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year campaign.

Juniors Kayleigh Winder and Libby Fuzzell raised most of the money through social media and a team website.

Gardner announces July 4 entertainment

Here’s an early heads-up from Gardner about the city’s Fourth of July festivities at Celebration Park: The entertainment headliners will be Jerrod Niemann, Runaway June, Big Time Grain Company and Rachel Louise Taylor.

The celebration, which will include portable zip lines and fireworks at 10 p.m., will begin at 3:30 p.m. on July 4.

Hurricanes prompt fund drive for Heart to Heart

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria made an emotional impact on fifth-graders at Olathe’s Meadow Lane Elementary School. They wanted to help.

Before long, teacher Betsy Prestridge contacted a friend who works at Heart to Heart International. The friend visited the school and told students how her organization assists victims of natural disasters.

After the visit, 19 fifth-graders decided to raise money for Heart to Heart.

They raised awareness of an upcoming fundraiser through posters, fliers, morning announcements, video commercials and spirit days. Their efforts resulted in $1,064 being collected during the week of February’s parent-teacher conferences.

In late March, students invited Heart to Heart representatives to Meadow Lane for a check presentation. In addition, they packed hygiene kits and learned about how their money will help others. After the presentation, students toured Heart to Heart’s mobile medical unit.

Compiled by Elaine Adams, Special to The Olathe News