Food Equality Initiative Leads the Way

Food Equality Initiative, Inc. (FEI) is the nation’s leading non-profit focused solely on increasing access to gluten free and allergy friendly food for those who are food insecure, but have a medical need for these foods.

The organization is best known for opening the ReNewed Health food pantry. It is the only pantry in the nation that offers allergy friendly and gluten free food to those who struggle with food insecurity and celiac disease or food allergies. Without consistent access to these foods, many people and families struggle with malnutrition on top of their diagnoses.

Advocating for inclusion of allergy friendly and gluten free foods in the WIC (Women, Infant and Children) program, the non-profit is working with the National WIC Association to realize how that can be accomplished. The WIC program was designed to help those who are most nutritionally vulnerable, low income children who are under age 5.  However, a child with multiple food allergies, misses out on many of the foods offered in the program, creating a huge nutritional gap for that child.

A medical advisory board consisting of doctors and other medical practitioners from Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas University Medical Center and more, guide the organization in their efforts.

Area Doctors Support 
Operation Walk USA

Several of Kansas City Bone and Joint Clinic physicians and staff recently donated their time and resources to provide total joint replacements at no charge to patients in need. The project is a part of Operation Walk USA and was performed for the third year at Menorah Medical Center. This is a great cause and a wonderful way these doctors and their staff give back to our Kansas City community. By restoring mobility, they are giving many patients the opportunity to live life with less pain 
and discomfort.

Your Child’s Party Needs Rose

Parties by Rose is now available for birthday parties and other special events in the Kansas City area. Rose brings lovable characters from familiar stories straight to your event, with elaborate shows, music, and magical interactions with children. From Elsa and Anna from Frozen, to your favorite superheroes, you will not be disappointed. Her most famous character is Laguna, the mermaid who will entertain and swim with guests, tell stories, play games and act as magical ambiance. Kids love it!

Rose has a lifelong background in theater, from acting and singing to dancing, stage design, costume design, makeup and hair and more. She manages all elements of the business and can be contacted at PartiesByRose.com or 913.963.4241.

Now Open in Leawood: 
Three Dog Bakery

Three Dog Bakery is the newest member of the Camelot Court retail community, (119th & Roe) located on the south side of the shopping center next to the Animal Clinic.

Shopping at Three Dog Bakery is an unforgettable experience for everyone. Their popular bakery case features their exclusive hand-made treats including Pupcakes®, Personalized Celebration Cakes, Peanut Mutter Cookies, Lickety Split, Drooly Dream Bars and more. Each bakery also carries a selection of premium, natural dog food as well as toys, collars and accessories that are made in the USA.

They’re not just another pet store. They’re the world’s first bakery for dogs. The new Leawood location joins Three Dog Bakery’s flagship store on the Country Club Plaza and is part of their growing franchise network of bakeries which has grown steadily since they were founded more than 25 years ago.

Sunflower Bank Opens in Leawood and Overland Park

Sunflower Bank has opened two banking branches in Johnson County, located one block east of Nall on 151st in Leawood and one block west of Metcalf on 135th in Overland Park.

“’Bringing out the best in the lives we touch… Creating Possibility’ is our mission and our passion,” says Mollie Hale Carter, CEO of Sunflower Bank. “With our personal banking foundation and strong capital base, our people are able to get to know our customers and make a difference for them with a full range of personal and commercial services. We are proud of our local roots and the team serving Johnson County.”

Building on its Johnson County foundation in Corporate Woods, the expansion continues Sunflower Bank’s local growth and commitment. Sunflower Bank was founded in 1892 in Salina, Kans. and is owned by the Hale family, which is active in the Johnson County community.

For more information, visit SunflowerBank.com.

Transportation Business Relocates to Leawood

Overland Chauffeured Services has relocated to 2017 W. 104th Street in Leawood.

“This was a multi-year project finding the right property for the next phase of our growth.  I am extremely pleased to be back in Leawood where my parents started the company from their home in 1979,” says owner and president Diane Forgy.

Overland’s staff of 77 employees will operate from the 14,000-square-foot-facility. Their premium fleet that includes luxury sedans, SUVs, executive vans, limousines and coaches. One of Kansas City’s largest and most prestigious chauffeured transportation companies, Overland serves corporate, leisure and special event clients both locally and worldwide through their exclusive affiliate network. Overland clients enjoy safety, peace of mind and personalized, award-winning service for all their transportation needs in addition to offering web, mobile app and corporate travel booking tools. Contact them at 913.381.3504 or online at KCLimo.com.

Heart of America Council’s 
Patron Luncheon

Friends and supporters of the Heart of America Scout Council are invited to the annual Patron Luncheon on Thursday, March 3, at the Kansas City Marriott Muehlebach Hotel.  The Patron Luncheon is a fundraising initiative and integral part of the Heart of America Council’s “Investment in Character” campaign that raises the much needed funds to support quality youth developmental programs that teach leadership skills and values. This investment in Scouting ensures that more than 33,000 youth in the 19 counties served by the Heart of America Council will receive a life-changing program.

The featured speaker for the event is U.S. Army master pilot and best-selling author Michael Durant, whose story as a captured POW was the inspiration for the book and the film Black Hawk Down.  Stephen Hooley, CEO, DST Systems, serves as the Patron Luncheon Chairman. To learn more about the luncheon, contact Kristan Townley at Kristan.Townley@Scouting.org.

Blue Valley Teachers Recognized for Excellence

In their first year of teaching, Stefanie Hagemann and Andrew Hulse impressed students, parents and colleagues, and awed a few Kansas state officials as well. These two teachers were honored for their first-year teaching talents and their commitment to academic success for every student. The Kansas Department of Education named Hagemann, fifth grade teacher at Prairie Star Elementary, and Hulse, science teacher at Blue Valley High, as recipients of the 2016 Kansas Horizon Award.

Power The Tower

An effort is underway to put lighting back on the KCTV tower located at 31st Street and Grand and to reestablish it as a notable Kansas City landmark. Since it debuted as the tallest free standing tower in the world in 1955, it has served as the centerpiece of our skyline, yet many feel it is under-appreciated as an icon.

The new lighting would include 5400 LED bulbs. A group is seeking to raise $100,000 to complete the project and fund raising efforts are underway. Read more at TheTowerkKC.com.​

Local Talent to Shine on New Comedy Series

Leawood native, Katy Colloton, is co-starring in a new comedy  series called Teachers that airs  on TV Land  on Wednesday nights at 9:30 p.m.  The show is also available online on Hulu, Amazon, the TV Land website, etc. It’s a show about six elementary school teachers who clearly do not have their own lives in order. It’s a humorous look at 20-somethings in their first jobs who happen to be teachers. Colloton plays Ms. Snap,  the vain and self-absorbed one whose ambition is to appear on The Bachelor. The show was created by The Katydids, a former Chicago improv comedy team whose first names are all a variation of Katherine. Colloton and the others are also the executive producers and writers of the show.

Colloton attended Leawood Elementary and Middle Schools and graduated from Blue Valley North in 2001.  She graduated from Vanderbilt University and moved to Chicago to work in improv and sketch comedy before heading to LA in 2013. She is the daughter of former Kansas State Rep. Pat Colloton and her husband, also named Pat.