Authors Posts by Mary Rupert

Mary Rupert

952 POSTS 3 COMMENTS

The Dupree family had a good day of fishing at the Urban Kids Fishing Derby  held Saturday morning at the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave. Holding the fish was Garrison Dupree, left front,  and with him were Graydon Dupree, right front, LaRae Watson, middle row  left, Ruth Dwight, middle row center, Regetta Dupree,  middle row right, and Gary Dupree, back row, left. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
The Dupree family had a good day of fishing at the Urban Kids Fishing Derby held Saturday morning at the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave. Holding the fish was Garrison Dupree, left front, and with him were Graydon Dupree, right front, LaRae Watson, middle row left, Ruth Dwight, middle row center, Regetta Dupree, middle row right, and Gary Dupree, back row, left. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

by Mary Rupert

The Urban Kids Fishing Derby held Saturday, May 16, gave city kids a chance to get back to nature.

The 10th annual event, sponsored by Urban American Outdoors TV, was held at the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave.

Wayne Hubbard, host of the Urban American Outdoors television show, said that some urban kids do not have the opportunity to connect to nature, and this event provided them with that opportunity. Also, he said it was an opportunity for kids to learn about fishing and wildlife. The derby was being filmed for a future episode of the Urban American Outdoors show.

Candice Price, executive producer of Urban American Outdoors TV, said there was an excellent turnout, with about 300 youth participating. Although the weather forecast predicted rain on Saturday, rain did not fall. “I had a feeling we were going to be all right,” she said.

A special guest at today’s event was Jim Kurth, deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“It’s a great event today, and it’s wonderful to see the young folks out here,” he said.

The nation is becoming increasingly urban, he noted, and kids do not have as many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors as in the past. This is one event that is trying to bring an enjoyment of the outdoors life to the city.

It also is presenting the conservation message that fish depend on clean water, he said. He hopes kids take away from the event an appreciation for nature, and that they want to help take care of nature as they grow up, he said.

The free event had several sponsors. KPRS Hot 103 Jamz, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Hiland Dairy Foods, Gates Bar-B-Q, Osage Catfisheries and others.

Rickey Beauford held his catch Saturday at the  Urban Kids Fishing Derby at the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave. His mother, Renee Beauford, was on the right. The event was sponsored by Urban American Outdoors TV. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Rickey Beauford held his catch Saturday at the Urban Kids Fishing Derby at the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College, 7250 State Ave. His mother, Renee Beauford, was on the right. The event was sponsored by Urban American Outdoors TV. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

People were fishing along the banks of the pond at the Kansas City Kansas Community College on Saturday, May 16, during the Urban Kids Fishing Derby. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
People were fishing along the banks of the pond at the Kansas City Kansas Community College on Saturday, May 16, during the Urban Kids Fishing Derby. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

People fished along the banks of the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College on Saturday, May 16, during the Urban Kids Fishing Derby. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
People fished along the banks of the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College on Saturday, May 16, during the Urban Kids Fishing Derby. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

People fished along the banks of the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College on Saturday, May 16, during the Urban Kids Fishing Derby. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
People fished along the banks of the pond at Kansas City Kansas Community College on Saturday, May 16, during the Urban Kids Fishing Derby. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Ayanna Abson fished from the bridge on Saturday, May 16, at the Urban Kids Fishing Derby at Kansas City Kansas Community College. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Ayanna Abson fished from the bridge on Saturday, May 16, at the Urban Kids Fishing Derby at Kansas City Kansas Community College. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Jim Kurth, left, deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, chatted with a youngster who participated in the Urban Kids Fishing Derby Saturday, May 16, at Kansas City Kansas Community College. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Jim Kurth, left, deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, chatted with a youngster who participated in the Urban Kids Fishing Derby Saturday, May 16, at Kansas City Kansas Community College. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Kids got their bikes tuned up today at a free Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn, 94th and State Avenue. Timothy Hund, 6, left, watched as Greg Vaught, center, and Dave Chapman, right, of Big D Cycling, tuned up his bike. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Kids got their bikes tuned up today at a free Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn, 94th and State Avenue. Timothy Hund, 6, left, watched as Greg Vaught, center, and Dave Chapman, right, of Big D Cycling, tuned up his bike. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

by Mary Rupert
Volunteers from Big D Cycling were busy tuning up kids’ bicycles today at a Bike Rodeo, checking the chains and brakes and making sure they ran right.

“We just make sure the kids are safe,” said Dave Chapman, a volunteer with Big D Cycling, a group of bike enthusiasts.

The group was providing free bike tune-ups at the free Kansas City, Kan., Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo Saturday morning at the Schlitterbahn waterpark parking lot, 94th and State Avenue, Kansas City, Kan. Rain held off while the event was taking place.

The nonprofit bike racing club has about 60 members. Volunteers like to get out to community events to show people how to ride safely and help kids, promoting safe cycling, Chapman said.

He added he tells each kid, “We always wear our helmets.”

The first 300 kids at today’s event, which ended at noon, received free bike helmets and free T-shirts. There were also bike riding skills courses and some refreshments. Those attending also had the opportunity to tour the Schlitterbahn waterpark. Car seat safety checks also were available.

The purpose of the Bike Rodeo, an annual event sponsored by the KCK Kiwanis West Club and other community sponsors, is to promote safety and prevent injuries from bicycle riding.

Bicycle safety certificates were presented to kids who completed the skills rides.

A free Bike Rodeo, sponsored by Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club and other community groups, was held Saturday morning at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
A free Bike Rodeo, sponsored by Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club and other community groups, was held Saturday morning at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

A volunteer gave Brian Wilson, 7, some candy at Saturday's free Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue. Brian was accompanied by his grandmother, Mavis Perkins, left. The event was sponsored by Kansas City, Kan., Kiwanis West Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
A volunteer gave Brian Wilson, 7, some candy at Saturday’s free Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue. Brian was accompanied by his grandmother, Mavis Perkins, left. The event was sponsored by Kansas City, Kan., Kiwanis West Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

A volunteer explained where Cody Gray, 4, should go on a bike skills course Saturday at the Schlitterbahn waterpark's parking lot. Cody's father, Chris Gray, right, accompanied his son. The Bike Rodeo was sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., Kiwanis West Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
A volunteer explained where Cody Gray, 4, should go on a bike skills course Saturday at the Schlitterbahn waterpark’s parking lot. Cody’s father, Chris Gray, right, accompanied his son. The Bike Rodeo was sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., Kiwanis West Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Cody Gray, 4, sets off on the bike skills course on Saturday at the Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark parking lot, 94th and State Avenue. The event was sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Cody Gray, 4, sets off on the bike skills course on Saturday at the Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark parking lot, 94th and State Avenue. The event was sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Cody Gray, 4, finishes this part of the bike skills course at the Bike Rodeo Saturday at the Schlitterbahn waterpark parking lot, 94th and State. His father, Chris Gray, is at the left. The event was sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Cody Gray, 4, finishes this part of the bike skills course at the Bike Rodeo Saturday at the Schlitterbahn waterpark parking lot, 94th and State. His father, Chris Gray, is at the left. The event was sponsored by the Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club and other groups. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Some kids attending today's Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark toured a Kansas City, Kan., fire truck. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Some kids attending today’s Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark toured a Kansas City, Kan., fire truck. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Rain held off on Saturday morning, allowing the Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue, to take place. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Rain held off on Saturday morning, allowing the Bike Rodeo at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue, to take place. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

The Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club sponsored the Bike Rodeo Saturday at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
The Kansas City, Kan., West Kiwanis Club sponsored the Bike Rodeo Saturday at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 94th and State Avenue. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Bill Rogers
Bill Rogers (Submitted photo)

by Mary Rupert

Volunteering is part of Bill Rogers’ life.

He and his wife have been volunteers for many years in the Golden Gloves youth boxing program at Turner Recreation Center, where Rogers is a coach, and they also volunteer at other community events.

Rogers, a Kansas City, Kan., resident, was recently appointed to the Kansas Volunteer Commission by Gov. Sam Brownback. He said he was very excited for the opportunity to continue working to make not just Wyandotte County a better place, but the entire state of Kansas.

Rogers is the community coordinator for the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association. Quite often, Rogers can also be found in the audience at the Unified Government Commission meetings.

The Kansas Volunteer Commission works with volunteer programs throughout the state, including AmeriCorps volunteers, and makes grants to programs. AmeriCorps volunteers have been involved recently with programs in Kansas City, Kan.

More than 600 AmeriCorps volunteers are working throughout the state, according to the commission. The commission estimates that more than $7 million in federal funds are used for these programs statewide, which result in more than $90 million of services provided.

Rogers said often, young adults just out of college work as AmeriCorps volunteers on community programs, such as efforts to help adults get their General Education Development certificate, and it is a great use of resources.

The volunteer commission currently has been handling grant applications to fund AmeriCorps workers at such places as the YMCA, Harvesters and the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools.

Rogers, a graduate of Washington High School, has some advice for would-be volunteers: “Don’t volunteer at something that is not passionate to you,” he said. “If you volunteer at something you like, it’s not like you are a volunteer, it’s like you’re a participant. It’s like boxing to me. It’s not like work. My wife and I enjoy (volunteering) immensely.”

Volunteers are important in communities, Rogers said.

“I believe volunteers can literally change the face of the community,” he said.

STAY CONNECTED