Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance to be Nov. 22

The Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance returns at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 22, to the Kansas National Guard Armory on 18th and Ridge, Kansas City, Kansas.

This year Ms. Jody will be the headliner, singing her hits “Shake Your Tail Feather,” “The Bop,” “Just Let Me Ride,” and “The Weekend.”

The event also stars Kansas City native and national recording artist LeVelle.

This year special guest Lady Vivian will do a tribute to Aretha Franklin and local blues legend Millage Gilbert, opening the show.

The Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance is a historical event that was started by blues promoter Willie Cyrus in 1959.

Over the years the dance has featured such stars as Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Blue Bland, Tyrone Davis, Sir Charles, Denise LaSalle, Floyd Taylor, ZZ Hill, and Willie Clayton.

This event occurs annually at the Kansas City, Kansas, National Guard Armory on 18th and Ridge.

The Thanksgiving Day Breakfast Dance is a gala affair and has up to one thousand guests in attendance. The live blues and jazz provides over four hours of entertainment and enjoyment on Thanksgiving morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The doors open at 9 a.m.

Advance tickets are $40 and reserved tickets are $50. Reserved table of 8 is $400. Tickets at the door are $45.

The Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance is a live blues event to celebrate family and friends gathering for food, music, and dance.

For more information and tickets call 816-982-9238 or visit www.ticketkc.com.

KCKCC women win seventh straight, play six of next seven on road

KCKCC freshman Lenaejha Evans elevates between Saint Mary’s Jazmin Benally (20), Jailesha Shellmore (3) and Lexi Schamberger (4) for two of her 13 points in the Blue Devils’ 95-62 win Thursday. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)
Lillie Moore leans in for two of her 16 points in KCKCC’s 95-61 win over Saint Mary junior varsity Thursday. Moore was 8-for-12 and added six rebounds. (KCKCC photo by Alan Hoskins)

by Alan Hoskins, KCKCC

With a seventh straight win safely tucked away, Kansas City Kansas Community College’s surging Lady Blue Devils take to a road that suddenly gets a whole lot tougher.

Only two junior varsity opponents remain among the nine games before the holiday break and six of the next seven games are away from the friendly confines of the KCKCC Field House.

It all starts Saturday when the Blue Devils play Metropolitan Community College (3-2) on the Penn Valley campus at 5 p.m.

A women’s-men’s doubleheader at Allen County follows Tuesday night and single game at North Central Missouri Nov. 27 before KCKCC gets back home against William Penn junior varsity Nov. 29.

The unbeaten and No. 9 ranked Blue Devils made quick work of Saint Mary junior varsity Thursday, bolting to a 29-5 first quarter lead on the way to a 95-61 win.

Just 2-of-12 from the field, the Lady Spires stayed nearly stride for stride in the middle two quarters thanks to their perimeter shooting. Outscored just 45-40 in the middle two periods, the Spires were 11-of-25 from 3-point.

Five Blue Devils scored in double figures. Named NJCAA National Player of the Week on Wednesday, Nija Collier led the way with 25 points and 18 rebounds. Lillie Moore added 16 points and six rebounds, Camryn Swanson 14 points including four 3-pointers, Lenaejha Evans 13 points and Brodi Byrd 10.

KCKCC had 28 assists on 38 goals with Caitlin Stewart and Evans handing out six each and Lexy Watts five.

The Blue Devils also controlled the rebounding 53-29 with Kisi Young, Watts and Moore adding six each to Collier’s 18.

Guilty of 16 turnovers while forcing 18, the Lady Blue Devils shot 52.1 percent from the field despite 6-of-23 (.261) shooting from 3-point.

Renovations completed at Amayo Recreation Center in Argentine

Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia cut the ribbon Thursday for the renovated Amayo Recreation Center in the Argentine area of Kansas City, Kansas. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

by Mary Rupert

About $200,000 of renovations have been completed for the Joe E. Amayo Sr. Argentine Community Recreation Center at 2810 Metropolitan Ave., Kansas City, Kansas.

A new community room, new lighting and new flooring are part of the renovations, as well as four new air-conditioning units in the recreation center. The renovations were funded through private donations.

A ribbon-cutting was held on Thursday afternoon, where Unified Government Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia described the fund-raising process that made the renovations possible.

The Argentine Neighborhood Development Association led the effort to renovate the center, and received some donations that made it possible, including a large donation from Kent Sunderland with the Sunderland Foundation, she said. Others involved with the project included Frontier Restoration, IAA Architects and Cates Heating and Cooling.

“I think it’s going to be a great space for everybody to use,” Commissioner Brandau Murguia said.

Mayor David Alvey, who attended the ribbon-cutting, said he remembered going there when the building was called the Argentine Parish House.

According to UG officials, the Argentine recreation center will become the second out of six Kansas City, Kansas, recreation center gyms to have air-conditioning.

Commissioner Brandau Murguia said at the time of renovation, she discovered the basketballs at the center were not in good condition. She asked for donations, and received 25 new basketballs from Atlanta, Georgia, as well as five new basketballs from a church in western Wyandotte County. In addition, Metro 24 purchased new volleyballs and basketballs.

The Amayo Argentine recreation center is part of a public-private partnership. On the west side of the building is Metro 24 Fitness Center.

Usage of the recreation center’s gym area was at 88 persons when Metro 24 Fitness Center came in, and that number now is 970 members, with 250 daily usage, according to officials.

Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Lisa Amayo, granddaughter of the center’s namesake, said she was concerned that kids might be pushed out of the recreation center in favor of people who are members of Metro 24 Fitness.

According to Amayo, some children have been told they had to pay $1 to use the gym. One of the original ideas of the center, according to Amayo, was to help have a safe place for the local children to go, and she was concerned that some of them may not be able to afford it. She attended the event with Joe Amayo Jr., the son of the center’s namesake. She also was concerned about senior citizens groups’ access to the building.

Commissioner Brandau Murguia talked with Amayo after the ribbon-cutting, and planned a meeting with her to address her concerns.

Commissioner Brandau Murguia said she was in charge of the fund-raising process for the recreation center, but not in charge of how it is run or the day-to-day operations.

She said the residents of the Argentine area were surveyed and indicated they wanted a fitness center there. When she sought to have the center’s equipment and facilities upgraded, she said she was told by the UG administration that no funds were available.

Still trying to get the center improved, ANDA and she raised funds for the center. They contacted area fitness centers, and only one was interested in locating there, she said. Metro 24 Fitness runs the fitness program at the center, with weight equipment there.

According to the UG’s Parks and Recreation current fall and winter program guide, online at www.wycokck.org, the membership fee for Metro Fitness is $19.99 monthly or $200 annually for Kansas City, Kansas, residents, and higher for nonresidents.

Nonmembers are able to use the recreation center gym for a small fee, according to those attending the ribbon-cutting.

The parks and recreation guide also lists some programs throughout the other recreation centers Kansas City, Kansas, including some free programs as well as some that charge fees. Some of the other recreation centers have some limited programs, such as youth cheerleading or martial arts, that are run by outside organizations. Charging fees for parks and recreation services and programs was the topic of a UG meeting in the past year.

Lisa Amayo, left, voiced concerns about youth access to the Amayo Recreation Center during a ribbon-cutting on Thursday. At the right is Joe Amayo, the son of the namesake of the center. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Posing for a photo after the ribbon-cutting were, left to right, Mayor David Alvey, Commissioner Ann Brandau Murguia and Joe Amayo, the son of the namesake of the recreation center. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)