Sporting Kansas City plays to a tie

Fans cheer Tuesday night at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC tied the Red Bulls, 1-1. (Photo by William Crum)

by William Crum

Last night Sporting Kansas City went up against the New York Red Bulls in one of the most challenging matches ever.

Sporting Kansas City is plagued with a lot of injuries, making it very hard for Sporting Kansas City to win. However, the team did tie, 1-1. A lot of the fans had hoped that Sporting KC would win, however, due to the injuries that the team is facing, this did not happen.
According to coach Peter Vermes, the injuries are the reason the team did not do as well as expected.
“The game was really grueling, making it really hard for Sporting or either team to win. It was one of the most challenging games ever,” he said.
The first goal was scored by Sporting Kansas City, Antonio Dovale No. 9. The second goal was scored by New York Red Bulls, No. 99 Bradley Phillips.
According to Mike Petke, head coach for the New York Red Bulls, “Sporting Kansas City is a real tough team, they are real hard to beat. I’m glad we did as well as we did.”
Soon Sporting Kansas City will have a break. This will give the team a chance to rebuild, and to bring back those players who were on the injured list.

Fans interacted with the Sporting KC Blue mascot on Tuesday night at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC tied the Red Bulls, 1-1. (Photo by William Crum)

Fireworks at the Tuesday night game at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC tied the Red Bulls, 1-1. (Photo by William Crum)

Fireworks at the Tuesday night match at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. Sporting KC tied the Red Bulls, 1-1. (Photo by William Crum)

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes said one of the reasons for the tie Tuesday night was Sporting KC injuries. (Photo by William Crum)

KCK schools awarded Head Start grant

The Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools have been awarded a $6.7 million per year Head Start grant.

The district was notified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of the five-year award to serve children and families in Wyandotte County.

The grant will provide 560 part-day and 318 full-day slots for 3- and 4-year-old children, and also support work with their families. KCKPS is the lead agency in a community partnership that includes churches, social service agencies, day care providers and public agencies.

“We are thrilled to receive news of this grant award,” said Superintendent Cynthia Lane. “Research clearly supports investments in supporting brain development in children’s earliest years, and we are strongly committed to developing the highest quality Head Start program in the country.”

Head Start is a federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages 3 to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Head Start programs provide a learning environment that supports children’s growth in:
• Language and literacy
• Cognition and general knowledge
• Physical development and health
• Social and emotional development
• Approaches to learning

Head Start also supports work with families on health and safety, child development and parenting, providing them resources and knowledge to support the growth and development of their children.

KCKPS submitted the grant in October 2013, and since then has been working hard to prepare for the possibility of receiving the grant, a spokesman said. More than 100 staff will be hired for this grant, including early childhood teachers, teaching assistants, family service workers and site managers.

The district also has been working with the current grantee, the Community Development Institute Head Start, on a plan for transition, which will take place during the month of June. Currently, the district is in the process of hosting centralized enrollment for all of its preschool slots at its Central Office and Training Center, 2010 N. 59th St., Kansas City, Kan.

The grant begins June 1, 2014, and KCKPS will begin serving Head Start families on Aug. 12, 2014.

– Information from Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools

KCK Huggers celebrate 25 years of services and programs

The KCK Huggers, Inc.-Special Olympics are celebrating their 25th anniversary of services and programming for the developmental disabled of Wyandotte County on May 31.

The KCK Huggers Inc.-Special Olympics are celebrating their 25th anniversary of services and programming for the developmental disabled of Wyandotte County.

The celebration is being held at the Agricultural Hall of Fame located at 630 N. 126th, Bonner Springs, Kan., with the event opening at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 31.

Tickets are $8 for adults and children ages 12 and under $5. It is all you can eat, great music, balloons and party favors at the dance following the awards presentations. This event is open to the community, family and friends of special Olympic athletes.

The Huggers were incorporated in 1988 and take their name from the individuals who wait at the finish line to congratulate the athletes as they complete their race for Olympic medal, then they ultimately achieve their own “self” empowerment.

The KCK “Kings” Special Olympic Team competed in Special Olympic competition long before the Huggers came into existence.

The KCK “Kings” Special Olympic Team was the very first Special Olympic program in Wyandotte County. The team was founded by Ruth Ann Denison and Nancy L. Clements in 1971.

Just four years after Special Olympics was started under the administration of President John F. Kennedy and his family. Their first sport was bowling with track, basketball, and softball quickly following. Then in 1987, these Wyandotte County pioneers ask for the help of KCK Parks and Recreation Department.

Under the department’s assistance the KCK Huggers, Inc.-Special Olympics was born and more of our communities “special needs” individuals have had greater opportunities for personal growth. The team’s numbers have increased from 52 athletes in 1987 to approximately 400-plus in 2014.

KCK Hugger’s vision for the developmentally disabled of Wyandotte County is “Helping to empower people with special needs to enjoy a healthy, active and enriching life.”

The Huggers are a small organization driven by volunteers and community partners in order to provide a well-rounded program for the “special needs” population of Wyandotte County. There are 58 volunteers who donate over 3,500 hours of service each year through coaching of sports, teaching classes, assisting with fundraising and helping the athletes to experience community events and activities. In addition, the Huggers co-sponsor two special needs groups one for the young ladies called the Orchids and a BSA’s Special Needs Boy Scout Troop No. 133 for the young men.

Financial support for the programs, sports, and special activities for this segment of the community’s population each year are provided by the Huggers. This support ranges from $75,000 to $85,000 each year. It is important to note that 95 cents of every dollar raised in 2012 went to programming. The KCK Huggers Inc.-Special Olympics Board is led by Board Chairman Don Crabtree, of Merit Construction, Chair-elect Randy Olson, and Executive Director Anne Phillips.

United Way of Wyandotte County, Greater Community Foundation, Local 64 Firefighters Union, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Board Public Utilities, Local Labor Unions 1290 and 1290PE, and UG Parks and Recreation Department all have been major supporters of the Huggers. Several businesses have contributed to these special athletes and the organization.

Check out the website at for more information. Call 913-573-8356 to be placed on the mailing list for special needs activities and sports or for additional information.