Effort continues to prevent juvenile gambling in Wyandotte County

by Mary Rupert

An educational effort to help prevent juvenile gambling is underway in Wyandotte County.

According to Andrica Wilcoxen of the Northeast Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force, the educational effort is now in its second phase.

Information has been passed out to retailers that sell lottery tickets in Wyandotte County, pointing out that it is a felony for anyone to sell a lottery ticket to a minor, Wilcoxen said.  Ninety-seven educational packets were delivered to retailers, the packets were paid for with donated funding, and the project is continuing out of the task force’s existing budget, she said.

She said the effort’s other planned phases are for task force representatives to visit retailers with a minor and to give them a warning if a ticket is sold to a minor; then, for law enforcement to visit the retailers; and further educational training. She added the retailers were told in advance that this effort was underway.

Wilcoxen noted that this program to prevent juvenile gambling did not specifically receive state funding recently, as it was decided to transfer $2.5 million in the problem gambling fund to other state uses, such as school finance. The problem gambling fund is mandated by law from 2 percent of the casino revenues.

While its efforts will continue, the task force could get more done with increased funding, she believes.

The Northeast Kansas Problem Gambling Task Force also had requested some administrative help, but that was not funded, she added.  As volunteers, task force members all have full-time jobs and donate their time to the task force, she said.

The task force also hopes to educate the community about signs of problem gambling, she said.

Another educational program the task force is sponsoring is a youth rap contest. Students were invited to write a 25-second rap or spoken word about a solution for problem gambling, she said. The winners of the contest, selected by outside judges, will receive a cash prize and their winning entries will be played on a local radio station.

Kansas residents who have a gambling problem and want to seek help may call the problem gambling help line at 800-522-4700, or visit the website ksgamblinghelp.com.

Rotary to award scholarships to outstanding students

Attending the Kansas City, Kan., Rotary Club meeting April 8 were, left to right, Priscilla McInnes, KCK Rotary Club member; Carly Zwart , Piper High School; Natalie Walton, Wyandotte High School; TeAra Crockett , Schlagle High School; Betty Gillespie, Turner High School; Melanie Arellano, Bishop Ward High School; Kemberly Sanchez, Bonner Springs High School; and George Moody, KCK Rotary Club president. (Photo from KCK Rotary Club)
Attending the Kansas City, Kan., Rotary Club meeting April 15 were, left to right, Jordan House, Turner High School; Weston Vitt, Bonner Springs High School; Noah Jaksetic, Bishop Ward High School; Rogelio Gamboa, Wyandotte High School; Kalen Allen, Sumner Academy; Ahmedin Issak, Harmon High School; Aaron Wedlow, Schlagle High School; Jared Davis, Piper High School; George Moody, KCK Rotary Club president. (Photo from KCK Rotary Club)

The Kansas City, Kan., Rotary Club, as part of its annual Student Scholarship Contest, recently recognized outstanding high school students from Wyandotte County schools.

One female and one male student from each school were nominated by their schools to compete for $1,000 college scholarships.  The students exemplify the highest academic, service and character standards in the community, a Rotary official said.

The female students, accompanied by family and school representatives, made short presentations before the club on April 8 at its weekly luncheon.  The male students attended the April 15 meeting.

The club will choose one female and one male from the outstanding high school students to receive a $1,000 scholarship at the college or university of their choice.  The scholarships will be awarded at the club’s luncheon on April 29.

To learn more about Rotary International, go to www.Rotary.org. Visit the Kansas City, Kan., Rotary Club’s website at www.rotarydowntownkck.org.

– Information and photo from KCK Rotary Club