August 2015 Around Town 4


Home Grown Goodness from Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens’ newest growing venture has produced an abundant crop of organic tomatoes distributed through select Cosentino’s Price Chopper markets and on the menu at some of the area’s most popular restaurants.

The Kansas City region’s botanical garden started growing organic tomatoes in a high tunnel operation last year. High tunnels are Quonset-style greenhouses heated and cooled naturally without heaters or fans. The seven tunnels at Powell Gardens are each 200 feet long, 16 feet tall and 31 feet wide with 5-foot-tall side walls. Together, they cover an acre of ground.

Three additional varieties of “slicers” are in the mix: Red Deuce, BHN 1021 and BHN 589. The BHN varieties were both developed specifically for high tunnels and produce high yields with delicious flavor. The 2015 crop also includes one tunnel each of the heirloom varieties Persimmon, Red Brandywine and Cherokee Purple.

A not-for-profit public charity, Powell Gardens since 2009 has grown more than 2,000 types of edible plants in its Heartland Harvest Garden, which is the nation’s largest edible landscape and a place to help tell the story of food.

Powell Gardens is selling the tomatoes primarily through Cosentino’s Price Chopper stores (currently including locations in Brookside and Lee’s Summit). Several restaurants, including Jasper’s Restaurant, Port Fonda and Lidia’s, also have featured the tomatoes on menus this summer with more to follow, including Rye, Room 39, Chaz on the Plaza, Café Sebastienne and Eden Alley.

Local Student Wins Writing Award

Amelia (Mia) Kennedy Thomas was chosen as a first place winner in the nationally-recognized Young Native Writers Essay Contest. She won a $2,500 scholarship to her chosen college (Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado) as well as an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., where she will be awarded her honor at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. The award is sponsored by Holland & Knight; for more details or to view a copy of Mia’s winning essay, visit

Mia is a 2015 graduate of Blue Valley High School and the daughter of Col. William A. Ramsey and Andrea Thomas Ramsey.​

Kansas City Selected for 2015 Navy Week

What is it like to be deployed at sea for six months? What new technologies is the Navy currently developing? These questions and many more will be answered in Kansas City, one of 12 cities selected to host 2015 Navy Week, a Navy signature outreach program.

KC Navy Week is scheduled for August 17-23, coincident with the KC Aviation Expo and Air Show, and is designed to provide area residents an opportunity to learn about the Navy, its people, and its importance to national security and prosperity.

“Outreach programs like Navy Weeks are extremely important to ensure Americans outside Fleet concentration areas have the opportunity to connect with their Navy,” says Cmdr. James Stockman, director, Navy Office of Community Outreach. “Navy Weeks allow Americans to meet face to face with Navy personnel to increase their understanding that their Navy is a war fighting force, deployed around the world and always ready.”

Scouting Adventures Are Waiting – Build Yours

With fun and discovery at every turn, Scouting makes the most of right now, providing boys a foundation they can stand on to embrace opportunity, overcome obstacles and make new discoveries.

The Heart of America Council and the Trailhead District are offering an exclusive signup night this August for all boys in the Blue Valley School District. Simply show up at any Blue Valley elementary school at 7 p.m. on August 25 to start the adventure of a lifetime.

Don’t miss your chance to make Scouting the foundation of your future. Learn more at or call 816.942.9333.

Advanced Aesthetics Grand Opening Celebration

Advanced Aesthetics Medical Spa recently held a Grand Opening Celebration. The Leawood Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting event was attended by more 200 guests who enjoyed refreshments from Gaslight Grill and Casa de Loco Winery, music, treatment demonstrations, free product raffles and exclusive event specials. The invitation-only event honored client and staff relationships with the introduction of several new industry leading technologies for skin health. Come in for a complimentary Visia Skin Analysis ($75 value). or

Invest Time in Your Investment Education

In less than 20 years, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) have become one of the most popular investment vehicles for both individual and institutional investors. Often referred to as a better, more efficient version of mutual funds, ETFs offer investors significant advantages. From their beginning in 1993, to more than $1 trillion in assets under management today, ETFs have truly transformed the way we invest.

ETF Portfolio Partners, a nationally recognized leader in ETF-based investment strategies, is sponsoring two educational meetings on August 25 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at The Venue in Leawood. At the meetings, you will learn how to use the advantages offered by ETFs to build a better, more diversified, lower-cost portfolio. Topics that will be discussed include:

• Advantages ETFs offer over traditional mutual funds

• The impact of investment fees on your portfolio

• How diversification improves portfolio performance

• Why indexing is so difficult to beat

All attendees will receive a free copy of the book, Unlocking the Power of Exchange-Traded Funds, written by Richard Romey. There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required. 913.851.1100 or

The Grille at Park Place Now Open

The locally-owned and operated Grille at Park Place is now open. Owner Mitch Kerns and Executive Chef and Partner Kevin Clayton are excited to bring this new concept to the area. Both Kansas City natives, their collaboration is sure to be popular.

Bringing a new, fresh approach to traditional American food, The Grille at Park Place has a customized menu to highlight classic dishes using quality ingredients and exceptional preparation and presentation. Appetizers include grilled artichokes with fresh garlic butter and deviled eggs with applewood smoked bacon. An assortment of salads, sandwiches and soups will be available for lunch and dinner daily. The entrée selection includes many types of dishes, and a diverse offering of beef and seafood dishes including prime rib, lime-roasted chicken and Norwegian salmon filleted inhouse. A variety of house-made desserts will also be offered, including their signature chocolate wow dessert. Reservations recommended.  5270 W. 116th Place

Save the Date for Art Unleashed

When we hear the words “home grown,” some of us think of bountiful gardens and neighbors with green thumbs who share sacks full of zucchini or tomatoes every summer. Others might think about the farm-to-table movement that has swept the nation over the past few years as chefs work to locally source as much of the food on their menus as possible. And still others might think of the shop local movement that involves everything from locally made whiskey, furniture and toffee to the clever KC pride t-shirts that seem to be everywhere.Art Unleashed is a silent and live auction of original and limited edition pet and non-pet themed artwork. The event was started in 1997 by a group of artists at Hallmark Cards and continues to be supported by Hallmark Card artists as well as artists from around the nation. The Ritz Charles in Overland Park is a new location for this August 22nd event and close to 1,000 patrons are estimated to attend. All proceeds will benefit The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City-the first no kill shelter in the Kansas City area as well as the oldest Humane Society in the community. Register online at

Shawnee Mission Education Foundation Announces $28,800 in Scholarships

Eleven scholarship funds at the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation awarded 21 scholarships totaling $28,800 during the 2015 scholarship season.

“The Foundation partners with donors to fulfill their hopes and dreams in giving back to Shawnee Mission schools and students, now and for generations to come. Scholarships are one way donors choose to make a difference,” says Linda Roser, executive director.

2015 Scholarship Recipients:

Cliff Bath Scholarship for Excellence in Restaurant Hospitality: Mary Rhomberg, SMS; Mitchell Stuart, SMW; Charles and Virginia Clark Scholarship for Professional Development in Advanced Mathematics: Andrea Bridges, SMN math teacher; Dan Dakotas Art Scholarship: Natalie Derks, SMW; A.C. Eley Debate and Forensics Scholarship: Mitchell Wagenheim, SMW; Henry Walter, SME; First National Bank Business Plan Competition Scholarship: Kimberly Tran, SMN ’16; Corben Tannahill, SMN ’15; Dawson Borcherding, SMW ’16′ Nick Licata Memorial Scholarship: Salvadore Aguirre, SMW; Josephine Likins-Osbey, SMW; Amanda Oshman, SMW; NORTH STAR Award: Hannah Patterson, SMN: Joseph Roubinek, SMN; SM South Foundation Merit Scholarship: Matthew Logan, SMS; Lani Sader, SMS; Megan Stollsteimer, SMS; Chuck Sulzen Track and Field Scholarship: George Miller, SME; Will Moore, SME; Joe Thimes Physics Scholarship: Brooke Bennett, SMNW; Stepping Stone Scholarship: Kathleen Gartner, SMW ’16; Juliana Gogol, SME ’16; Elena Nanneman, SMW ’16; Jason Wang, SMNW ’16.

New Location for Taste of Leawood

Taste of Leawood is an annual celebration showcasing top Leawood Chamber restaurants in a fun, food festival setting. Guests can taste 30 of the area’s best restaurants while enjoying an autumn evening under the stars at the event’s new Town Center Plaza venue. Feast on top menu items, and an array of wine varietals, complimented by music and exciting activities. This year’s 17th annual Taste of Leawood promises to be bigger and better than ever.  Some of the participating restaurants include 801 Chophouse, Blanc Burgers, Burnt Ends BBQ, Drunken Fish, Foo’s, Gaslight Grill, Hereford House, Johnny’s, La Bodega, NoRTH Italia and Sushi House. We look forward to seeing you at this Leawood community event. Purchase your $55 ticket and see the full list of participating restaurants at