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Posts Tagged ‘Overland Park Kansas’

Last year we partnered with Rolling Ridge Elementary in Olathe, to do Reading Club at Rolling Ridge! Every Tuesday afternoon we would hop on the bus and head out to the school for an hour of reading and interacting with the children.

Once we got there, we split into three separate groups, because there was a Kindergarten, 2’nd Grade and a 5’th Grade classroom that participated in Reading Club with our residents. Warren’s daughter Christa met us at the school every week and volunteered to help our residents with the student readers.

It was really wonderful.

The teachers would pick books for the kids and they would come out one student per volunteer, book in hand and practice their reading skills by reading out loud to us.

As each child finished reading their book, they would return to the classroom and send out another student.

The interaction between these students and our residents was very meaningful for everyone involved and at the end of the school year all of the students and classrooms who participated in Reading Club made thank you cards for our folks.

We became involved with this school because there are a large number of students in attendance who are homeless or under privileged. Lesa Suwareh and I attended a volunteer meeting where we met with other volunteers and school leaders from the Olathe School District to brain storm about how to best benefit the school.

This year we are excited that we will resume Reading Club but also have plans to host after school clubs for the kids and may participate in some music and art classes as well. Lesa and I will again meet with the school district this Wednesday and further solidify our plans for this school year.

A week ago, Lesa threw a bake sale to raise money for Rolling Ridge school. Lesa cooked all day long on Friday before the bake sale. Several of us, including Christa and Oren pitched in but Lesa worked tirelessly to accomplish her goal.

On Saturday, Lesa, her sister and kids, Ken McMullin, Christa & Oren Pickett also volunteered their entire day to stand outside the new Walmart off 135’th and K-7 selling Lesa’s delicious baked goods to raise money to benefit the students of Rolling Ridge. In all Lesa said they made $500!

Below are a few pictures from the Bake Sale and also, a few pictures from Reading Club from last school year. Many residents participated in this group, the bus was usually filled. We generally tried to keep the same residents in the same classrooms each week so that they could build relationships with the students. I was in charge of the Kindergarten classrooms and the Reading Club pictures that I took were taken with my iPhone.

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Romeo Club stands for: Retired Old Men Eating Out

And I didn’t make it up!

Click Here to learn more about Romeo Club!

It’s an actual club, I read about it and decided we definitely needed to have our own Chapter! So, on what was very likely the only rainy morning we had during the month of July, our Romeo gents set out on their first adventure with breakfast at The Egg & I!

As luck would have it, even though we were trying to unload the bus in the middle of a total downpour, I had several umbrellas which I had purchased to decorate for the Silly Superstitions party we had that afternoon and so every man was able to enter the restaurant under the cover of very feminine looking giraffe colored umbrellas.

Once everyone was settled in the restaurant I left so that the group would be authentically MEN ONLY but I was told there was lots of talk about sports, travels and NYC! The men also decided that their next trip would be to Hooters for appetizers. Go figure.

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Wow! Easter came early this year! It’s hard to believe it has already been and gone.

I hope it was a wonderful time for your family, both near and far.

There were a lot of resident families that came to take their loved ones home for the morning or the day, to church or various other planned events outside of our community.

It was a perfect day! Not a rain cloud in sight! We had a great turn out of visitors-  family and friends alike who came to share Easter Lunch and our Easter Egg hunt after.

Thank you so much to everyone who came to join in the fun and importance of the day with us!

I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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In honor of Valentine’s Day we hosted a Sweetheart Dance from 7:00 PM-8:30 PM Friday February 10’th.  We held the dance in Building 1, but throughout the weeks prior to the dance, our team members and residents in all the houses worked together to make the heart shaped streamers and tissue paper flowers that we used to decorate. It feels good to make crafts with a purpose! Especially for something as fun as our Sweetheart Dance was.

Bernie & Sabina blew up somewhere around 60 balloons which we used to create a balloon arch in the entry way. I found plastic strips at Party City. I don’t know if you have ever used these before? (I hadn’t) The strips have a continuous line of holes which you are supposed to put the end of a tied balloon through to create an arch or whatever else you want to do with it. With help from Sonja & Nedra and just about anyone who walked past, we fed each balloon into the holes and mounted them to the wall with putty and scotch tape and then filled in any holes in our arch with tissue paper flowers.

Taken from my phone...

It looked perfect! I worried a little bit though if the putty and scotch tape was going to keep our arch on the wall…. because as you know, scotch tape and putty can only go sooo far.  Just as we finished moving all the furniture out, to clear way for our dance floor, about an hour before the dance would begin, one whole wall of balloons came loose and wafted gently to the floor! Ack!

Kip & Ken helped me by tacking the string of balloons back to the wall.  It was a great idea! I should have done it in the first place! And it worked….. worked for a while… but all of a sudden… when plenty of guests had arrived, we were all surprised to attention by loud bangs as the very same balloon strip came slinking down the wall, but this time with tacks too! As the top end of the balloon wall tipped to the floor the tack at the top swung back and forth repeatedly popping balloons! Pop! Pop! BANG! Pop! I’m laughing as I type. It was funny, (as funny as it is when your balloon arch falls) and for a moment I wondered if was ever going to get a hold of the end that kept swinging and popping balloons! (But I did)

KC Swing Band

We were lucky to be able to book the KC Swing Band to come and play for us! They were marvelous and exactly what we had hoped for. We were able to get them through Mike Rogers who books a lot of fantastic local talent and has sent several to our community. One of our family members mentioned to me that he realized he thought he went to High School with the band leader and when the party was all over they got to catch up! Turns out he was in a band back in High School too! It was a happy coincidence.

Lesa Suwareh, our Dietary Director, made a wonderful spread of cookies, chocolate crepes, cupcakes and chocolate chocolate, everywhere! Along with several batches of raspberry champagne punch! Yum.  You can get the recipe for these awesome oreo cupcakes she made by CLICKING HERE to go to the recipe’s page. I had never heard of them before and they were, in a word –  AMAZING! Lesa was also responsible for finding these perfect little twinkly candles that we put all over the room and these wonderful little under water glow lights to display our flowers, which helped to create the warm mood of the evening! She always does a really wonderful job creating anything that we can think up!


 In all, we had a wonderful turn out of family, friends and team members, all came with their dancing shoes ready and we really did dance the night away. Thank you to everyone who attended, danced, laughed and created wonderful memories for our community and especially for the folks who live here!  We could not have asked for a better Sweetheart Dance and hope to see all of you again on the 21’st for our Mardi Gras Sampler which is sure to be a great time! 

CLICK HERE to view all the pictures from the Sweetheart Dance!

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