United Way presents annual meeting

by Rynn Day

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, United Way of Wyandotte County presented its annual meeting with over 200 guests attending a luncheon at the Jack Reardon Convention Center.

Events were kicked off with the presentation of new board members and a report on United Way of Wyandotte County’s activities over the last year.

United Way of Wyandotte County focuses on meeting basic needs, nurturing children and families, and promoting health and quality of life. Through their partner agencies and programs, over 39,000 needs were met in Wyandotte County in the 2013-2014 program year.

Irene Caudillo, president-CEO of El Centro, Inc., addressed the crowd emphasizing the importance of the partnership El Centro, Inc. has with United Way of Wyandotte County as one of the 29 United Way partner agencies.

“Together with United Way, we are assisting children and families in our community by providing preschool education, creating healthier individuals and building financially stable families,” Caudillo said. She continued her remarks by saying, “with United Way we are making Wyandotte County a better place for all.”

Following Caudillo’s remarks United Way board member and former Bonner Springs Mayor Clausie Smith, presented the Spirit of Caring award posthumously to Charles Berkel, founder of Berkel and Company, Inc., community supporter, and longtime United Way leadership donor.

The Spirit of Caring award is presented annually to a member of the community who has shown long standing support and passion for the betterment of the Wyandotte County community.

Alan Roach, president-CEO of Berkel and Company, accepted the Spirit of Caring award on behalf of the Berkel family.

The event concluded with a keynote address from William Kulhanek, the plant manager at the General Motors Fairfax Plant. Kulhanek spoke of the thriving partnership between United Way of Wyandotte County and General Motors.

“In addition to producing award winning vehicles, GM and its employees are dedicated to improving local communities,” Kulhanek said. “Thanks to the GM Foundation and our partnership United Way of Wyandotte County, we are able to make a difference here in the community in which our employees work and live.”

To find out more about United Way of Wyandotte County or to view the 2013-2014 annual report, visit www.unitedway-wyco.org.

Recipe: Healthy benefits of pumpkin

by Ashlee Lamar

Pumpkins commonly symbolize jack o’ lanterns at Halloween or table decorations at Thanksgiving, however they also offer a lot more health and nutrition benefits.

Pumpkins are a nutrient rich food that are low calorie and fat free, and are high in Vitamin A and beta carotene.

The beta carotene in pumpkin is converted into Vitamin A by the body, and it promotes healthy skin and eyes. It may also protect against infections.

Not a fan of pumpkin? Beta carotene is also found in foods that are deep orange or yellow in color (such as squash, cantaloupe, carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes) and in some leafy green vegetables.

Both raw pumpkin and pumpkin in a can offer nutritional benefits.

When using canned pumpkin, be sure to get the regular pumpkin and not the pumpkin pie filling or mix.

Pumpkin is a great addition to a variety of dishes. It can be used in muffins, cookies cakes, soups, pasta or as part of a healthy dessert. Check out the recipe below for Pumpkin-Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease baking sheets.
2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a different bowl until light and fluffy. Add in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract; mix well.
4. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients; mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and set in centers. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Servings: 48 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Calories: 120, Total fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat 2.5 g, Cholesterol: 15 mg, Carbohydrates: 17g, Sodium 80 mg, Sugars: 11g; Protein: 1g
Recipe adapted from Nestle Kitchens

Ashlee Lamar is a registered dietitian at Providence Medical Center.

Sporting KC makes roster moves

Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday that the following four players will be out of contract with the club as of Dec. 31, 2014: Aurelien Collin, Kevin Ellis, Jacob Peterson and Soony Saad.

Sporting Kansas City will extend offers to each of those four individuals and contract negotiations are ongoing, a spokesman said.

Additionally, Sporting Kansas City and midfielder Lawrence Olum have mutually agreed to terminate his contract pending league approval. Sporting Kansas City will retain rights to Olum within Major League Soccer, per MLS roster rules and regulations.

The club has also declined contract options for Antonio Dovale, Andy Gruenebaum, Michael Kafari, Eric Kronberg, Victor Munoz and Sal Zizzo. Kafari and Munoz will be eligible for selection in the MLS Waiver Draft on Dec. 10.

Gruenebaum, Kronberg and Zizzo will all be eligible to participate in Major League Soccer’s Re-Entry Process. Phase One of the Re-Entry Draft will take place on Dec. 12; Phase Two will occur on Dec. 18.
– Story from Sporting KC