Open house planned on I-70 viaduct design

A public open house on plans for the I-70 Lewis and Clark Viaduct will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, at the Hilton Garden Inn-Eisenhower Room, 520 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

At the open house, the aesthetic design concept for the viaduct will be presented.

Those attending may see the viaduct design, and see a review of the project and a schedule. Kansas Department of Transportation staff members will be available to answer questions and discuss the design concept process. There is no formal presentation scheduled.

It is a drop-in event.  Burns and McDonnell of Kansas City, Mo., is handling the design. Those who require special assistance at the open house may call 816-349-6766.

Free bike rodeo May 17 to provide bike helmets for kids

The free KCK Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo returns Saturday, May 17, to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

Elementary-aged kids will have the opportunity to learn tips on cycling safety, participate in interactive activities that promote health and safety and to sneak a peek at attractions at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark at the eighth annual bike event. Hours are from 9 a.m. to noon May 17.

The event sponsors plan to distribute up to 300 free bike safety helmets and T-shirts to participants.

Activities will take place in the parking lot and entrance area of Schlitterbahn, and a large turnout is anticipated. Children should be accompanied by an adult.

The KCK Kiwanis West club, in partnership with Atmos Energy, Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, Judi’s Bakery, Big D Cycling and several community businesses and organizations, are helping area youth ride their bicycles safely.

“During the past seven years, we’ve reached approximately 1,550 kids throughout Kansas City – helping them become safer cyclists,” said Jan Wiley, KCK Kiwanis West member and chair of the Bike Rodeo. “That’s 1,550 young cyclists who understand the rules of the road and the importance of wearing safety helmets to prevent head injuries. We’re really excited about the popularity of this event because it has the potential to save young lives. Our community sponsors are making it possible for us to reach more kids than ever before.”

Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles. Helmets will be fitted, bikes will be inspected for safety, and kids may visit bike riding stations to earn a safety certificate.

“Even though helmets can’t keep a cyclist from falling, they can save lives,” said Kevin Jones, a Kiwanis West member and employee with Atmos Energy, the company that provides free safety helmets. “When they are properly fitted, helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent if a fall occurs.”

Just as helmets reduce the risk of injury in bicycle accidents, car seats are vital for kids’ safety in automobiles. That’s why the event will also feature a free, drive-through car seat safety check. Experts will inspect car seats and ensure they are installed securely in families’ vehicles, making sure restraints are age appropriate and facing the right direction.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children from ages 1 to 14,” said Kimberley Holm, a member of the Kiwanis West club and a certified National Child Passenger Safety Technician with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department.

“Even though most parents understand the importance of putting their children in car and booster seats, seven out of 10 kids in child safety restraints are not buckled in properly. We want to reduce that number,” she said.

Holm will be joined by Donald Paul Jones, the Safe Community coordinator with the Unified Government Health Department. Together with their volunteers, they will be available to check that child safety seats are properly installed.

“Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark is thrilled to host this popular community event for the fourth year,” said Chuck Stites, Kiwanis member and Schlitterbahn director of development. “In addition to helping kids gear up for a safe bike-riding season, the event promises to offer a morning packed with free family fun.”

New to Schlittlerbahn this year is the Verruckt waterslide, the world’s tallest waterslide. Schlitterbahn season passes will be on sale for $5 off the full gate price on that day. Season pass holders will be able to process their Schlitterbahn identification cards in person during this event.

Bike rodeo participants will be treated to free doughnuts, courtesy of Judi’s Bakery; get to enjoy performances by kids affiliated with Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts; tour attractions at Schlitterbahn; get a close-up look at emergency vehicles; get into the groove with fun Zumbatronics workouts; and engage in other activities, games and crafts provided by local businesses.

Cabela’s will be on hand, providing a free fishing derby experience for the kids.

Additional sponsors for this event include: Legends Honda, Legends Toyota, Country Club Bank, Board of Public Utilities, Sunflower Dental, August Resources, PACES, Country Place Senior Living, Chick-Fil-A, Dr. Jane Philbrook, Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, Kansas City, Kan., Public Library Foundation, Adventurezip KC, Eric McTye – Edward Jones, Providence Medical Center, Liveable Neighborhoods and First Legend Bank and Trust.

Those with questions on the day of the event may call 816-751-4227.
– Information from Kiwanis West Club and Schlitterbahn

AYS plans annual fundraiser May 2

Associated Youth Services will hold a Stack the Decks Casino Night 2014 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, May 2, at the Overland Park Marriott.

The annual casino-night fundraiser supports the nonprofit’s five programs aimed at filling in the missing pieces for struggling youth.

Stack the Decks Casino Night will provide an evening of activities reminiscent of a night on the Las Vegas Strip: “blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette casino games are sure to keep guests trying their hand at lady luck,” event organizers said.

For those who want to bid on great prizes, silent and live auctions will give guests the chance to take home everything from a KU basketball signed by the team to a week’s getaway to Destin, Fla. Stack the Decks includes a DJ, specialty drinks, and hors d’oeuvres.

Tickets are $80 and can be obtained at AYS’ secure website –, or by contacting AYS resource development specialist, Maggie McKinley at 913-831-2820, Ext 224.

“All proceeds from Stack the Decks Casino Night 2014 go to support the five AYS programs that continuously strive to stack the decks in favor of nearly 4,500 Kansas youth every year,” said Dennis Vanderpool, AYS chief executive officer.

Established in 1972, Associated Youth Services has worked diligently provide hope and a brighter future for at-risk youth in Kansas City, Kan., and throughout the state of Kansas. With its resume stemming back to 1912, as it was once part of the Mennonite Children’s Home in Kansas City, Kan., AYS has not only broadened its client base but has also increased its services:
• Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment Program
• AYS Academy GED Preparation
• Statewide Foster Care
• Home Ties Youth Residential Center
• Community Health Program