April 2015 Around Town 1


Lake Lotawana Garden Tour

There is a saying at Lake Lotawana: “There is no view that is a bad view around the lake.” Come and experience the joy of the gardens selected for their annual garden tour on June 13, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. For $15, ride one of the many volunteer-driven pontoon boats from the Marina Grog and Galley and take in the beauty of the whole lake–including original cabins, luxurious and eclectic homes–from a lakeside view. Eight gardens are available on the tour to stroll through, ranging from formal grandeur to a relaxing woodland setting. There will be music, a tea garden and vendors showcasing local talent and craftsmanship. The tour will take place, rain or shine. To travel by car, just follow the signs and flags for access to the gardens. For more information, contact 913.636.4131. Tickets available via Facebook events page from April 1st.

OLP Joins Robotics Competitions

This year, FIRST Lego League (FLL) robotics teams from Our Lady of the Presentation (OLP) School joined kids worldwide to redesign how we gather knowledge and skills in the 21st century. FLL is a robotics program designed to excite students about science and technology, as well as teach valuable life skills. At competition, teams are judged not only on their project idea and robot, but also on how well the team implements FLL’s Core Values. Core Values revolve around a friendly competition spirit, professionalism, knowing that coaches do not have all the answers (teams learn together), and having fun. This year, all three OLP robotics teams earned the honor of competing against 37 of the region’s best teams in the FLL Championship Tournament.

At the Championship, the 8th grade team captured an award for Core Values: Inspiration – an award that celebrates a team that is empowered by their FLL experience and displays extraordinary enthusiasm and spirit.

Realtor Team Awarded Honor

Reece Nichol’s new Home is the Heart initiative focuses on giving back to the communities their realtors serve. The Rob Ellerman team was awarded this honor after they donated $50,000 to Drumm Farm, a foster care center, and raised more than $30,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in support of the St Jude’s Dream home.

The team also supports local teams, businesses and individuals such as Winterset Sharks, Lee’s Summit Recreation Center, LSRC Fishing Derby, Annie Dudek, Mrs. Jackson County and the Lee’s Summit Chamber. The Ellerman team also awarded scholarships to three area students with solid academics and a vision for the future.

“We feel that our charity contributions represent our team and also the clients that have entrusted us with the purchase or sale of their home. These donations represent each and every one of those clients,” says Ellerman.

Eight Students Named National Merit Scholarship Finalists

Students recognized are Lana Tuong, Lee’s Summit North High School; and Elise Blegen, Cooper Leabo, Ethan Payne, John Reuss, Kayla Shaeffer, Allison Tsay and Franklin Zhong, Lee’s Summit West High School.

Eight Lee’s Summit School District seniors were recently named National Merit Scholarship Corporation finalists. The students were named National Merit Scholarship Corporation semifinalists last fall.

From Lee’s Summit North:
Lana Tuong is the daughter of Paul Tuong and Christine Bui. Lana participates in National Honor Society, French National Honor Society, French Club, Missouri Scholars Academy and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

From Lee’s Summit West:

Elise Blegen is the daughter of Christine Blegen and Daniel Blegen. Elise participates in Truman Heartland Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council (LSWHS team leader), French Club, National Honor Society, Titan Television and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

Cooper Leabo is the son of Denise Leabo and Todd Leabo. Cooper participates in robotics, Cyber Patriot Team at Summit Technology Academy, Skills USA and is a Missouri Innovation Campus intern at Cerner Corporation.

Ethan Payne is the son of Dawn Payne and Robert Payne. Ethan participates in robotics, National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, Spanish Club, Science Bowl, All-District Orchestra, Lee’s Summit Honors Orchestra and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

John Reuss is the son of Janet Reuss and John Reuss. John participates in robotics, National Honor Society, track, cross country, Summit Technology Academy engineering design and development courses and attended Missouri Scholars Academy.

Kayla Shaeffer is the daughter of Nancy Shaeffer and Chris Shaeffer. Kayla participates in band, choir, symphony orchestra, jazz band, musical, German Honor Society, National Honor Society, UNICEF Club and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

Allison Tsay is the daughter of Joyce Chang and Frank Tsay. Allison participates in UNICEF Club, robotics, Science Bowl, Scholar Bowl, student government, orchestra, freshmen mentoring, National Honor Society and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

Franklin Zhong is the son of Doris Zhong and William Zhong. Franklin participates in tennis, volunteers for girls’ tennis team, school community garden, National Honor Society and is an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate.

Food from the Bar

What do you call hundreds of our area’s most prominent lawyers helping our local food pantries? Food from the Bar!

Join the legal community to fight hunger April 1-30. “Food from the Bar” raises donations for Cross-lines food pantry. Uniting to fight against hunger are: Berson Law Group LLP, Foulston Siefkin, LLP, Beam-Ward, Kruse, Wilson, Wright & Fletes, LLC, Walden & Pfannenstiel LLC, the Kansas and Missouri Federal courthouses, and Kansas Women Attorneys Association. Help guarantee full stomachs for our children and elderly. To donate, contact Susan Berson at sberson@banktaxlaw.com.​

In 2014, the marathon collected more than 10,445 pounds of waste. From that, 10,265 pounds were either recycled or composted. There were 132 pounds of heat sheets recycled, and more than 245 pounds of discarded clothing and 4,468 pounds of food donated to a local homeless shelter.

Lifestyle Publications Partners with Angel House

At Lifestyle Publications, we are inspired by our communities and we want to build up communities around the world. To that end, Lifestyle Publications, the parent company of Lee’s Summit Lifestyle, recently made a significant donation to Angel House in India so that an orphanage in the village of Medchal, could be opened and a clean water pump installed. The mission of the Angel House organization is to bring abandoned children from the slums to safety and into the loving arms of caretakers that will educate, love and raise them to become future leaders in their generation. The home in Medchal will house a dozen children. To learn more, visit AngelHouse.me.

Summit Christian Academy Students Help Fight Hunger

Summit Christian Academy (SCA) secondary students recently teamed up with “Something to Eat,” a meal packaging program organized through Youthfront that provides low-cost, nutritious meals to the world’s poor and disenfranchised.

“The students raised $3000 in 3 weeks that enabled them to package 12,000 meals for a drought impacted community in Nicaragua,” says SCA Secondary Teacher Dane Cockrell. “They were inspired by the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 when he says that when you feed those in need, you in fact are feeding me.”

The catalyst for students to get involved began during this year’s annual Solemn Assembly when students, teachers, staff, and administrators took time from the daily routine to pray for each other, the community at-large, and the world. Representatives from “Something to Eat” presented to secondary students and challenged them to think about sacrificing a little to meet a real need in the lives of others.

Homecare Company Expands to Kansas City

Hallmark Homecare, Inc. is proud to announce its recent expansion to Lee’s Summit. The newest office of this rapidly-expanding caregiver search, recruitment and placement company will be directed by Michelle Kavanaugh, who recently joined Hallmark Homecare as a franchise partner. Hallmark Homecare provides professional caregivers for the elderly, and is an affiliate of The Senior’s Choice, the largest and most recognizable membership network of senior care providers in the world.

“Our client-directed model of care is becoming increasingly necessary for many due to the escalating cost of in-home care,” states Michelle Kavanaugh. “I am proud to join Hallmark Homecare in providing our community with a powerful senior care option, one in which families can legally hire quality professional caregivers directly to provide their loved ones with the in-home care that they deserve, all without breaking the bank.”

To contact your local Hallmark Homecare office, call 816.607.1706.

The Spring Parade of Homes

The Annual Spring Parade of Home Kickoff, April 25 – May 10, will feature a new luxurious story and a half home plan built by Ben Cerra, one of the most recognizable names in the local home building industry. Cerra has been building for more than 30 years and has earned recognition for constructing 51 award-winning homes. He is a 28-year member of the Home Builders Association (HBA), the past president of the HBA, and a past director of the national HBA. His new spec home will feature a variety of the latest upgrades such as an outside sheltered cocktail patio, beautiful custom stone work and an irrigation system. The home can be toured during the Parade of Homes or private showing. For more information visit ToniTygart.com or contact Toni Tygart at 816.795.2500.