KCKCC summer cruise to visit Alaska and Denali Aug. 4

Whale watching, magnificent glaciers, picturesque fjords and waterways and wildlife are some of the attractions on Kansas City Kansas Community College’s summer trip to Alaska and Denali National Park Aug. 4, 2015.
Whale watching, magnificent glaciers, picturesque fjords and waterways and wildlife are some of the attractions on Kansas City Kansas Community College’s summer trip to Alaska and Denali National Park Aug. 4, 2015.

Looking for a Christmas gift that will provide a lifetime of memories? Kansas City Kansas Community College is offering a summer trip to Alaska that will be memorable.

A 12-day trip starting Aug. 4, 2015, the adventure starts in famed Denali National Park outside Anchorage and concludes with a seven-day cruise on the Celebrity Millennium ending in Western Canada’s largest city, Vancouver.

“The greatest gift you can give yourself (or others) is the opportunity to see the world,” said trip organizer Alan Hoskins. “Alaska is widely known as America’s most popular place to visit and a ‘must-see’ if you’ve never been there.”

A five-star trip receiving 100 percent recommendation on Go Ahead Tours website, its travel pace is rated “comfortable” as opposed to active or challenging.

Highlights of the land portion of the trip include transfer by Alaska Railroad to Talkeetna, the small community that inspired the TV series “Northern Exposure,” a full day in Denali National Park dwarfed by Mount McKinley, North America’s tallest mountain; an exploration of the Kenai Peninsula for views of the Explorer and Portage glaciers; seeing wildlife in the Big Game Alaska Wildlife Center; and a stop at the Turnagain Arm of the Cook Inlet, known for its dramatic tidal “turns” that create 10-foot walls of water.

Once upon the Celebrity Millennium stops will be made in the Alaskan capital of Juneau, often referred to as “little San Francisco,” Skagway, the starting point for prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush; Ketchikan, the ancestral home of the Tlingit people and site of the world’s largest collection of totem poles; and Vancouver and its charm of the Gastown district, Chinatown and Little Italy.

The cruise will also pass the spectacular North Hubbard Glacier, North America’s largest tidewater glacier; the Icy Straits, waterways which provide an ideal environment for several species of whales; and the Inside Passage, a collection of waterways, inlets, fjords and bays that make up the Southeast Alaska Panhandle.

The cost is $4,179 for an inside cabin (double occupancy) and includes round trip air from Kansas City, seven nights aboard the Celebrity Millennium in cabins with twin beds and private bath and shower; all shipboard meals; daily breakfast, one lunch and three dinners on land; tour director and a professional guide in Denali and baggage handling. Outside cabins and a two-day extension in Vancouver are available along with several optional excursions while aboard the Celebrity Millennium. Temperatures in Alaska are at the warmest with highs of 64 and lows of 48.

“While this trip is still eight months away, space is limited and it will fill up and quickly so early signup is highly recommended,” Hoskins said. A deposit of $450 will assure cabin space and guarantee no price increase. Brochures are available and can be requested by contacting Alan Hoskins at ahoskins@kckcc.edu or by phone at 913-687-6426.

KCKCC-TEC to be site of two food giveaways this month

by Kelly Rogge
Kansas City Kansas Community College is once again a partner with Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Harvesters for two separate food giveaways this month.

The first food giveaway will start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13, at KCKCC-TEC, 6565 State Ave. The second is at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, also at KCKCC-TEC. Food will be given to families on a first come, first serve basis.

The food giveaway moved to the KCKCC-TEC for the first time in November.

Andrica Wilcoxen, outreach and prevention coordination at KCKCC, said due to logistic issues, Harvesters and Catholic Charities were compelled to find an alternative location to host the giveaway due to the large amount of people in need within the local community.

In the past, as much as 45,000 pounds of food has been distributed at one event. That is when Don Ash, Wyandotte County Sheriff and KCKCC Board of Trustee, got involved. Wilcoxen said Ash saw a need and thought KCKCC-TEC would be the perfect location for the beneficial event.

“They give out a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy items for the community. That is what I think makes it unique and different from other food drives or food giveaways in our area,” she said. “These are items families cannot necessarily purchase with food stamps or items middle class families often cannot afford.”

There are no income restrictions to the food giveaway. Food will be given to families based on the number of people in the family, and will be given out while supplies last. Cars can line up prior to 1 p.m. in the KCKCC-TEC parking lot. However, if participants arrive early, there is no restroom availability at the TEC during the event. In addition, those attending are asked to be prepared to wait in long lines.

“So many of our families in Wyandotte County as well as our students are in need of this kind of service,” Wilcoxen said. “It is a widely used resource that we are happy to make sure continues.”

Volunteers are needed to help the food giveaway event run smoothly. This includes volunteers for setup, parking, food sorters, food distribution and clean up. For more information or to register online, visit www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0e48a8a828aa8-volunteers.

Information is also available by contacting Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas at 913-433-2080.
Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Lady Blue Devils take 12-1 record into holiday break

by Alan Hoskins

Kansas City Kansas Community College’s women will take a 12-1 record and No. 11 national ranking into the 2014 holiday break.

Win No. 12 came Thursday as the Lady Blue Devils rolled to a 77-49 win over Avila University junior varsity.

It was the fifth win in a row for KCKCC, whose only loss was at Hutchinson, the No. 2 ranked team in Division I.

“We did some good things but you can tell its finals week,” said KCKCC coach Valerie Stambersky. “We’ll give the players off until Dec. 27 and then everything gets real.”

The Blue Devils return to action Saturday, Jan. 3, when they are host to Jayhawk Conference rival Brown Mackie and a week later are home to perennial conference power Cowley College.

Cierra Gaines led the Blue Devils past Avila, scoring 18 points while Cassidy Harbert added 11 points, Erin Anderson 10, Cheyenne North 8, Rashaun Casey 7 and Janai Mitchell and Julia Garrard 6 each.

Mitchell led KCKCC to a 38-34 rebound advantage with six while North added five.

Defensively, the Blue Devils limited Avila to 31.9 percent shooting and forced 23 turnovers.
Alan Hoskins is the sports information director for KCKCC.