January 2022
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Meetings
Club meetings are held the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 5:15p - 6:30p at the Blue Moose in Lenexa (Woodland and K10).
 
Our club social is held on the fourth Tuesday.   Please see our EVENT CALENDAR for specific time/location information each month.
Club Executives & Directors
President
President Elect
Treasurer
Secretary
Rotary Foundation
Membership
Immediate Past President
Club Service
Speakers
Service Projects
Executive Secretary / Director
Sergeant-at-Arms
Links/Social Media
 
If you missed our club meeting earlier this week, we had a great discussion with Michele Orpin, Director of Development at Veterans Community Project - Kansas City!  Michele shared the awesome work their organization is doing for homeless Veterans here in the Kansas City area.  Michele also shared that VCP is currently expanding throughout the United States, with a goal of being in 8 cities by end of 2022!  
 
VCP started here in Kansas City in 2016.  They currently have 49 homes, located in Kansas City, MO.  Each home accommodates a Veteran, as well as a pet (4 of the 49 homes are designed for families).  Homes are completely furnished with new appliances and furniture, which Veterans get to take with them when they leave.  Each Veteran has access to a community center where they can socialize with other community Veterans. 
 
To learn more about the work VCP is doing, please visit vcp.org.     
 
     
 
THANK YOU to Becky and Mike Metcalf for hosting our club holiday party last week!  We had a nice turnout of club members and spouses join us for good food, drinks, and conversation! 
 
     
 
THANK YOU to our club members who volunteered on Tuesday, December 7th at the Johnson County Christmas Bureau!  This is an event our club members love volunteering at each year and this year was no different! 
 
The JCCB helps low-income families in our community by providing a Holiday Shop where families can pick from donated goods such as groceries, personal care items, toys, coats, and much more.  Each year, the JCCB serves over 10,000 families!  To learn more about this great program, please visit jccb.org
 
Club members and spouses who volunteered:  Gary Proctor, Kelly & Mike Vaille, Michelle Herman, Caroline Becher, Marla & Rick Williams, and Jim & Sheila Houvener. 
 
                                        
Johnson County Square Ribbon Cutting and Tree Grove Dedication

Johnson County Government and county partners will formally open the new Johnson County Square with a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 1 to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9. In addition, the Rotary Tree Grove of the County Square will be dedicated. The open space sits in the heart of Olathe, across from the new Johnson County Courthouse.  Each Rotary club in Johnson County contributed funds to make the Rotary Tree Grove possible!
 
The event will be streamed live on jocogov.org/JoCoSquare and on Facebook Live. The public is encouraged to watch online. Limited seating will be available. Physical distancing will be implemented, and masks are strongly encouraged. Public parking is available at the downtown garage, located at Cherry and Loula streets.
 
For additional details, visit jocogov.org/JoCoSquare.
 
Are you available to help a neighbor in our community? The Shawnee Neighbors Helping Neighbors program has the following opportunities available:
 
• Rake leaves in front and back yard (has rake and bags) - Pflumm and W. 67th
• Rake leaves in front and back yard, then mow over them for disposal - needs a mower - Quivera and Johnson Dr.
• Smooth holes in driveway with dirt or concrete, replace wood boards on front step (need hammer and nails), change furnace filter (has filters, furnace is in attic)
 
If you are interested, please reach out right away to Jim Houvener. Also, please consider asking other club members to join with you on a project!
 
You can learn more about the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program here: https://cityofshawnee.org/.../neighbors_helping_neighbors
 
THANK YOU to 3 of our club members who recently helped a neighbor in our community with a sun room re-painting project – Terrie Johnson, Nick Wilson, and Gary Proctor! They volunteered their time as part of Shawnee's Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, which connects volunteers with folks in our community who need help doing things around their house or yard.
 
When we're made aware of new projects, we will post them on our Facebook page and here on our website. If you see something you might be interested in helping with, please let us know!
 
You can learn more about the Neighbors Helping Neighbors program here: https://cityofshawnee.org/.../neighbors_helping_neighbors
 
          
What began as a simple idea grew to involve the whole community and raise over $10,000 for Johnson County’s only homeless shelter.
 
Peace is the cornerstone of Rotary’s mission to address the underlying causes of conflict including: Poverty, discrimination, ethnic tension, lack of access to education and economic opportunity to name a few. Rotarians refuse to accept conflict as a way of life, without peace we cannot progress as a society.
 
The 39 peace poles created by community members and shared with the community of the whole at Sar Ko Par Trails Park all summer worked their magic of bringing awareness and messages of peace to Lenexa.  Additionally, on International Peace Day September 21, the city made an International Day of Peace in Lenexa Proclamation honoring the Peace Pole Project.
 
We thank the project Sponsors – Rotary Club of Western Johnson County, Lenexa Rotary Foundation, Kiewit and Commerce Bank, and the Auction Sponsors - Park University, The Flower Market, Jack Stack Lenexa, Gill Studios, GBA Builders, and Kiewit.  These sponsorships allowed us to make good on the project team’s unanimous decision to have all auction proceeds support Project 1020 – Johnson County’s only cold-weather homeless shelter which gives care and hope to those in need.
 
The auction evening was cool and blustery, but inside City Hall artists, sponsors, project team members, Rotarians, neighbors and guest throughout the community enjoyed drinks and heavy appetizers while generously bidding until 7:30pm when the silent auction closed. Then the top 10 poles in bid dollars advanced to a live auction hosted by Lenexa Council member, Bill Nicks. There, guest enthusiastically bid up charitable proceeds to drive the total donation over $10,000 for Project 1020.
 
          
Upcoming Events
  • Friday 11/12 - Peace Poles Auction at Lenexa City Center 6:00p
  • Tuesday 11/23 - Social get-together at Transport Brewery due to Thanksgiving week (instead of our normal club meeting)
  • Tuesday 12/14 - WJC Rotary Christmas Party at the Blue Moose
  • Member Birthdays - Kelly Vaille (11/27) and Terrie Johnson (11/30)
  • Spouse Birthdays - Cindy (Dave) Huston (11/7) and John (Michelle) Herman (11/29)
  • Wedding Anniversaries - Dave & Cindy Huston (47 years on 11/23)
  • Rotary Anniversaries - Paul Mayo (20 years on 11/30)
​​​​​​Speaker  Siobhan McLaughlin Lesley, Executive Director of Gilda's Club in Kansas City, shared with us the great work their organization does for anyone affected by cancer, at any stage, from diagnosis through survivorship.  This is a no-cost program for anyone going through cancer or close family/friends impacted by cancer.  You can learn more about Gilda's Club by visiting their website at www.gildasclubkc.org
 
 
THANK YOU to each of you who were able to make it out to our Bowling Bonanza on Tuesday 10/27!  We had a nice turnout of club members, friends, and spouses!
 
If you weren't able to make the bowling event but still want to learn more about Rotary, please consider joining us at our next club meeting on Tuesday 11/9 at 5:30p at the Blue Moose in Lenexa (K10 and Woodland)!  
 
          
Congratulations to Jim Houvener, who represented our club, during the Lenexa Chili Challenge this past weekend!  Jim's homestyle chili placed 16th out of 170 homestyle entries!  🙂
 
It was GREAT seeing all of the families out enjoying the festival again this year!  If you weren't able to stop by our booth, we handed out flyers for our Rotary Bowling Social coming up on 10/26.  Watch for more information coming out about that soon!
 
          
 
Thank you to Becky and Mike Metcalf for hosting our club chili challenge last night! So many excellent chili choices! 🙂
 
Congratulations to Jim Houvener for winning the challenge! Jim will be representing our club with his chili recipe during the Lenexa Chili Challenge on Saturday 10/9.
 
The Lenexa Chili Challenge is open to the public and family-friendly. You can sample participant's chili/salsa/wings, listen to live music, and much more! While there, stop by our WJC Rotary booth and say hi!
 
         
 
The City of Lenexa proclaimed September 21, 2021 as International Day of Peace in Lenexa in recognition of the Community Peace Poles Art Project created by The Lenexa Rotary Club and The Rotary Club of Western Johnson County, with support from the City of Lenexa and the Lenexa Arts Council. 

The Peace Poles are on exhibit in Sar Ko Par Trails Park until October 31, 2021, and will then be auctioned for charity at City Hall on November 12, 2021.
 
 
Gary provided an update on our District Grant.  It was submitted for the "Sleep in Heavenly Peace" project.  If approved, the grant money will be used to build beds for kids in the Kansas City area that currently don't have one.  You can learn more about this great organization by visiting www.shpbeds.org
 
Upcoming Events
  • Our annual fireside chat chili contest will be Tuesday 9/28 at Becky Metcalf's house.  Gary will be sending an email prior for club members to RSVP.
  • The Lenexa Chili Challenge is 10/8-10/9.  The winner of our 9/28 chili contest will represent our club at the Lenexa event! 
  • District 5710 Conference will be 10/22-10/23 at the Hilton Inn - Manhattan Conference Center in Manhattan, KS
  • Member Birthdays - Matt Wright (9/2) and Kristin Johnson (9/9)
  • Spouse Birthdays - Rebecca (Mark) Emly (9/26)
  • Wedding Anniversaries - Caroline & Steve Becher's (34 years on 9/19)
  • Rotary Anniversaries - Caroline Becher (9 years on 9/18), Becky Metcalf (5 years on 9/20), Matt Wright (5 years on 9/20), and Nick Wilson (6 years on 9/30)
​​​​​​Speakers  Kay Reeves and Kim Clark joined us from the Community Blood Center.  They serve 11 territories in the Kansas City and over 70 hospitals!  They need over 600 pints/day to keep up with a normal days' need.  They coordinate 10-12 mobile blood drives each day, with roughly 30% of their blood supply coming from high schools and colleges.  They currently have 1.5 days of blood on-hand.  Holidays and Summer are the lowest donation times but usually the highest need.  Please consider donating blood the next opportunity you get!
 
 
The Rotary Club of Western Johnson County and the Rotary Club of Lenexa have teamed up to promote peace throughout the Lenexa community. The two clubs worked with the City of Lenexa and the Lenexa Arts Council to create the Peace Poles Community Art Project. This project is a series of Peace Poles designed by community artists with messages specific to peace. The poles are exhibited in Sar Ko Par Trails Park now through Fall of 2021 to promote peace, hope, and creativity throughout the community.
 
After exhibiting, the Peace Poles will be auctioned at City Hall on the evening of November 12.
 
Auction proceeds and sponsorships will support the Project 1020, Johnson County’s only shelter for adults who are experiencing homelessness. Project 1020 provides transportation to and from the shelter, a hot evening meal, grab-and-go breakfast in the morning, safe place to sleep, care, compassion and support for Johnson County’s homeless.
 
More information can be found at www.lenexa.com/peacepoles.
 
Interested in sponsoring the Peace Poles Community Art Project or the auction? Questions may be directed to Susanne Neely, 913.477.7131, sneely@lenexa.com.
 
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