September 2015 Around Town


Petco Foundation Invests in Warriors’ Best Friend Foundation’s Service Dogs

Warriors’ Best Friend Foundation of Kansas City, Missouri, has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support Operation: Homestead, Warriors’ Best Friend’s program that provides service canines for wounded soldiers with Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) at no cost to the soldier.

The grant was made possible through the Petco Foundation’s annual Helping Heroes fundraising campaign, in partnership with Natural Balance Pet Foods. During the campaign each October, customers are invited to donate in Petco stores across the country to support service and therapy animals and organizations. The Petco Foundation’s grant will help Warriors’ Best Friend provide more critically needed service dogs for wounded soldiers.

Specifically, the Petco Foundation’s investment will help to support Operation: Homestead. The program unites homeless dogs and wounded soldiers with the idea in mind that what one needs, the other possesses—a forever home and in return the most loyal and loving of companions.

For more information, visit or


Miles of Exotics Moves to New Location

The Northland’s expert on all things reptilian and aquatic is growing. The store has moved around the corner to 8350 N. Broadway St. in the building formerly occupied by Hometown Buffet. See their new space at

Local Author Receives National Service Award

The National Storytelling Network recently announced that Joyce Slater of Kansas City, Missouri. is a recipient of the NSN ORACLE Distinguished National Service Award. This award is presented to those individuals, members or groups who contribute their time and energy in an exemplary manner on the national level to forward the work of the National Storytelling Network.

Slater has been involved with storytelling with and through River and Prairie Storyweavers for over 25 years. She became a professional storyteller in 1996 and helped start the KC Storytelling Celebration with Maple Woods Community College in 2000. She continues to find new ways to introduce this wonderful art to others young and old, in a variety of venues.

Slater has also served on the Board of the National Storytelling Network. Several years ago, NSN started a national search for a new site for its headquarters. Slater saw immediately that Kansas City, with its forward-looking government, its fertile arts community, and its already-well-developed storytelling presence, would be the ideal future home for NSN. In part due to Slater’s unceasing efforts, the headquarters for NSN will be moving to Kansas City, Missouri, next year.

For more information about Slater, see website

Engaged Companies Celebrates Grand Opening

Engaged Companies Founder Chad Earwood was joined by Cerner Corp. executive Cliff Illig and other special guests on July 23rd to mark the grand opening celebration of the new Engaged Companies headquarters in Parkville. The 30,000-square-foot building is the first within the Village at The National development, located at the entrance to the National Golf Club of Kansas City. It is home to several of the transportation, technology, and financial businesses under the Engaged Companies umbrella: eShipping, eShipping Exchange, Engaged Expedited, Engaged Technologies, Engaged Financial, Engaged Insurance, and Engaged Real Estate.

Visit or for more information.

NKC Student Qualifies in National Rocket Competition

Congratulations to Emily Schmidtlein for being one of the three national winners in the Reach for the Stars ~ National Rocket Competition by having her rocket get closest to the target.

Emily won the opportunity to celebrate her win at US Space & Rocket Center where she will be awarded a Space Shuttle Challenger commemorative coin with certificate signed by Astronaut Jon McBride, who piloted the Challenger on earlier missions.

In October, Emily will attend Space Camp, where she will get to view amazing space artifacts, experience astronaut simulations and launch from Space Camp’s Homer Hickam Field under an “October Sky” (10/24/15) in “Rocket City” Huntsville, Alabama. Emily was coached by teacher Dennis O’Connell.

Park Hill School District Renner Elementary Receives Bronze Award

Renner Elementary received a 2015 Bronze National Healthy Schools Award from The Alliance for a Healthier Generation. This award goes to schools that have implemented changes to create healthier school environments. To earn an award, schools must meet best practice criteria established by the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program expert panel.

Oakhill Day School Hosts Golf Tournament

Oakhill Day School welcomes golfers to their golf tournament at the Shoal Creek Golf Course on September 13. Sponsorships are available. Lunch will be held prior to the event starting at 11:30 a.m. You also have an opportunity to participate in the raffle and take home some fabulous prizes! The awards banquet will be immediately following the round.

They want to make this event even larger than last year and welcome new and past golfers to participate! A foursome can be four men, four women, or any combination of men and women. They welcome and encourage single golfers to register as well.

KemperSports to Manage Shiloh Springs Golf Club

KemperSports announced recently that it has been selected by Platte County, Missouri, to manage Shiloh Springs Golf Club in Platte City. The 18-hole, par-71 golf course features significant elevation changes with optimal turf conditions.

The uniquely designed golf course routes through the subtle rolling hills of Northwest Missouri – located only five miles from Kansas City International Airport.

KemperSports has been retained by Platte County to leverage expertise in marketing and golf operations. KemperSports also manages Hodge Park Golf Course and Shoal Creek Golf Course in nearby Kansas City, Missouri.

“We are honored to work with Platte County to manage Shiloh Springs,” says KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “Working closely with the County, our goal will be to bring creative operational efficiencies while enhancing the customer experience at the course”.

For more information on Shiloh Springs Golf Club, visit

Liberty Hospital Renovation Now Underway

Liberty Hospital began construction July 21 to renovate several areas of the main hospital. The Doctors Building entrance to the main parking lot will be closed to start Phase 1, which includes: gift shop, moving the main entrance to the Doctors Building, surgery waiting room, patient registration, lab waiting, patient rooms and nursing station on 3 East and the first floor corridor.

It has been four years since Liberty Hospital has undergone any major renovations, according to vice president for finance/support Dan Williams, and some areas have not been renovated for 20 years or more.

“We want to create an environment throughout our campus that is welcoming and comforting, not only for patients, but also for visitors and our staff,” Williams says.

Phase 1 of this $4 million construction project is scheduled to be completed in November. Phase 2 will encompass the remainder of the existing main lobby, the prior patient registration area and some waiting rooms. This phase is scheduled to begin in early December and be completed in spring 2016.

Signage will be in place to direct patients and guests around the construction. Patients entering the Doctors Building are encouraged to use the ground floor entrance.

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures Reopens

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (T/m), formerly the Toy and Miniature Museum of Kansas City, reopened on August 1 after an $8 million renovation. In addition to improved climate controls, the renovation features the world’s largest fine-scale miniature collection and one of the nation’s largest collections of antique toys in new exhibits and hands-on experiences.

The museum has lowered admission prices and expanded operating hours. Located at 5235 Oak Street, Kansas City, Missouri, The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures will be open every day of the week except Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $5 for ages 5 and up, free for ages 4 and under and museum members. The new museum membership program is based on the number of people you would like to bring with you each time you visit—two, six, or 12 people—and starts at just $25.

Matthew J. Wenzel Named President and CEO, Saint Luke’s North Hospital

Matthew J. Wenzel has been appointed president and CEO for Saint Luke’s North Hospital effective August 10.

Most recently Wenzel served as CEO of Hedrick Medical Center, a position he has held since 2011. Wenzel joined Saint Luke’s Health System in 2006 at Hedrick Medical Center, where he has held leadership roles in administration, ancillary services and information systems.

Wenzel holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degrees in health administration and health care informatics from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Saint Luke’s North Hospital is the first and only hospital serving Platte County, Mo, with more than 20 specialized health care services, a Level II neonatal intensive care unit, Level III Missouri time critical diagnosis designation for stroke, complete inpatient and outpatient diagnostic testing, and comprehensive rehabilitation services.