The Rotary Club of Independence

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Sunday, May 17 at noon we will gather at the new Stoney Creek Hotel for a motorcycle ride/cruise to draw attention to our Rotary Day of May 23 and the continuing fight to eradicate Polio.  We hope to have 50 - 100 bikes, hot rods, customs, minivans, etc. participate.  We will circle the north side of the Kansas  City area via Interstate 435 and 70.  Those that can will carry an 'End Polio Now' flag on their vehicle and hopefully we will gather some news coverage.  This should be a fun event and hopefully the weather will be great.  Plan now to attend.  Registration is available on lice at


Welcome to our club!

Welcome to our club!


Service Above Self

Every Tuesday at Noon
Independence Ennovation Center
201 N Forest Ave
(Truman and Forest)
Independence, MO  64050
United States
District Site
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    Our theme for this year is "Rotary Serving Humanity" compliments of RI president, John Germ.  To get to that subject, I offer to you one of the most powerful mechanisms that I think exists in this world. I've never heard it listed as such, but the concept is intuitive and you'll know what I mean when I described it.   It is the power of incremental improvements by iterations. Let me put it this way — once someone has a new idea that has the force of improving our lives, subsequent modifications bring forward a chain of steady improvement refinements.   As an example I offer to you the history of a common light bulb purchased off-the-shelf. It's a compact LED lamp that gives more light than Thomas Edison's first production model. It uses a fraction of the electricity and lasts more than ten years of continuous use instead of maybe a week. The same power of incremental improvements applied to our whole Industrial Revolution that included and includes steel mills, medicine, chemistry, biological science, computers and computer programming.  "Artificial Intelligence" is coming our way.   Many will say none too soon — as the old biological type is often found lacking and in short supply.
    Selectively, this same power applies to the institutions of Mankind.  In 1905 a small group of Chicago business leaders had an idea.  Last year I attended an International Rotary conference where 43,000 people came together in Seoul South Korea. They represented 33,000 clubs and 1.2 million activists around our blue planet. At the convention our Rotary International President, Ravi Ravindran quoted Mother Teresa who said; "I can do things you cannot and you can do things I cannot. But together we can do great things." Also at the convention was Dr. Rebecca Martin of the US Center for Disease Control — the same who attended our 30 year commemorative Rotary Polio Day here in Independence two years ago — the same event that Dr. Fred Hahn was instrumental in organizing.  Dr. Martin gave us a careful analytical analysis of our world's end to poliomyelitis, where only three dozen cases were identified last year. We had evidence at the convention of uncountable humanitarian projects occurring across the globe.
    My job this year, that is our job, is to make our Independence Rotary Club worthy of a great international organization, and worthy of our club's legacy here in Independence.   Last year Ravi Ravindran attended the Pets and Sets training session in Jefferson City and stated informally in a breakout session that, "... If you're spending all of your time on Rotary— it's too much.  But if you attend irregularly and don't participate — then you're not spending enough." 
    If you are in the latter category of service, come on board and be a part of one of the greatest organizations in the world.
   Bill Althaus is a 1972 graduate of Truman High School. His senior year the school’s newspaper won the Robert F. Kennedy Award as the top high school paper in the country. He graduated from Northwest Missouri State University and has been an award-winning columnist and sports writer at The Examiner the past 33 years.
He has won eight Missouri Press Association first-place awards for columns, features and sports stories and been honored by United Press International, the Associated Press, Morris Communications and Gatehouse Media for his work. In 2009, he was named the Central Hockey League’s Media Member of the Year for his coverage of the new Missouri Mavericks hockey team and he is a lifetime member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. He was the Kansas City Royals beat writer for 21 years.
Bill also hosts The Sonic Locker Room, a weekly radio program that features 18 area high schools. He has been honored by the Missouri Broadcasters Association for his work on that program and his play-by-play broadcast of last year’s Blue Springs South High School state championship basketball game.
Bill has written nine books, including his most recent – “From the Guys Who Were There” – which takes fans into the locker room and behind the scenes of the Kansas City Royals past two World Series appearances, including last year’s World Series crown. Some of the highlights: Alex Gordon lists his five favorite defensive plays, Salvador Perez talks about the origin of his post-game dunking celebration and Wade Davis details his dramatic ninth-inning performance against the Toronto Blue Jays that helped the Royals reach the World Series. He has also written books with Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame second baseman Frank White, former Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowlers Dante Hall and Priest Holmes and books tracing the history of the Chiefs and University of Missouri sports.
He and his wife Stacy have two sons – Zach and Sean – who are both members of the Grain Valley High School Hall of Fame, Zach for golf and Sean for basketball. Dad joined his sons in the Hall of Fame two years ago when he was voted in for his work covering Grain Valley sports for The Examiner. His constant companion is Marley, the family’s mini-wiener dog who has overcome paralysis and a laundry list of medical issues to inspire him in his daily walk through life.
When he’s not covering area high school or professional sports, Bill enjoys concerts and movies. If you ever want to talk sports, movies or rock ‘n roll, he’s your guy
Karen Allen was born in raised in KC, MO.  As a single mom, at the age of 30, decided to return to school to change the quality of life for her and her children. Now, as a Licensed Professional Counselor, Karen has served countless individuals.
Her credentials include:
· National/Board Certified, Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
· Level-1 Certified Trauma Specialist
· Sexual Offender Specialist
· Missouri Recovery Support Specialist
· Licensing Supervisor for the Missouri Board of Licensed Professional Counselors
Her service includes, but is not limited to providing:
· Mental health services to maximum security offenders
· Outpatient therapy for the United States Federal system
· Children/families with mental health issues, abuse, and neglect
· Children/teens dealing w/ bullying, suicidal ideation. behavioral and mental health issues.
· Substance abuse intervention and prevention services.
In 2001, with no capital, equipment, or business acumen, Karen poured her emotional bankruptcy and resourcefulness into forming Jacobs Well of Kansas City Ministries. In 2003, she opened the doors of the Carousel Adult Day Center, to serve the needs of the elderly and adults with special needs. She started with one client and today has served over 100 clients.  June 20 2016, she will be celebrating 15 years of service to the greater KC area. With over 25 years of experience in the social/mental health arena, she has defied statistics, and it is her dream to one day to see a society whereby all people live life purposefully.
Karen is on the Board of the MO Adult Day Care Association and President of Jacobs Well of KC Ministries. She holds a doctorate in Christian Counseling, a Masters in Counseling, a post-BACC in Applied Behavior Analysis, and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Human Development at Capella University.  Her achievements have encouraged her children to follow in her footsteps, pursuing advanced degrees and sustaining successful careers. Her son has an MBA, and her Daughter is a 1st Lieutenant and licensed attorney in the US Army.
Susan Watkins is Graduate of Graceland University Bachelor of Arts & MU Law School Juris Doctorate.  Previously Employed in private practice  & by Jackson County Prosecutors Office.  She is now a City of Independence Municipal  Judge since and Executive Director of Independence and Eastern Jackson County Youth Court, which she will speak about today.
Susan is a mother of 4 kids: Eva, Andrea, Grant & Kyle and grandma of 2: Emerson & Henri.  Involved as Youth Leader & camp director for Summit Grove Community of Christ & member of Fort Osage PTA & Project Grad committee.  Member of Coordinated Community Council for Domestic Violence & MO Assoc of Municipal & Associate Circuit Judges Association & also the Eastern Jackson County Bar Assoc.  On the Board of Directors for the Music Arts Institute. 
Youth Court
Youth Court is a peer court. Juvenile offenders are given the choice of appearing before the Youth Court or going to Jackson County Family Court. They will be Tried, Judged, Defended and convicted or exonerated by a court made up of other juveniles. The Youth Court will have guidelines established by adults. Adults will be available to monitor proceedings. However, the youth selected to serve the court will make the final decisions.
The primary goal of the Independence Youth Court is to reduce incidents of juvenile crime, divert offending youth from the Juvenile Justice System and to provide an alternative to the Jackson County Family court process and further contact with the police.
Most common cases heard in Youth Court are harassment, trespassing, shoplifting, curfew violation, disorderly conduct, vandalism, assault, truancy, minor in possession of alcohol, narcotics possession and runaways.
This unique court serves the community in diverse ways. It educates youth to a better understanding of the laws and allows them to examine the workings of the Justice System. Problem youth with minor offenses are often overlooked but can be appropriately handled in this court, benefiting the community, the police and themselves.
The Independence Youth Court is a cooperative project co-sponsored by the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association, the Juvenile Division of the Jackson County Family Court, the City of Independence, the Independence Police Department and the Independence School District. Youth Court is funded primarily by grants from the City of Independence. Local service organizations and the Truman Heartland Foundation also contribute funding. Independence Youth Court is also in large part funded by COMBAT. Jackson County's Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax.
Bridget McCandless is the President and CEO of the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City which focuses on leadership, advocacy and provision of resources to eliminate barriers and promote quality health for uninsured and underserved residents in the Greater Kansas City area. The Foundation is celebrating 10 years of grantmaking and more than $200 million of investment to 6 counties surrounding Kansas City. These dollars are used to address opportunities for Healthy Lifestyles, Safety Net and Mental Health services. She currently serves on the Missouri Medicaid Oversight Committee, the Healthy KC Commission and the Urban Neighborhood Initiative.
Dr. McCandless received an M.D. from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Medicine, completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia, and received an M.B.A. in Health Care Leadership from Rockhurst University.  She has had a special interest in chronic disease management, poverty medicine, health policy and population health.  Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as founder and Medical Director of the Shared Care Free Clinic for 14 years.  
Local History
The mission of the Police Athletic League of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department is to offer youth the opportunity to interact with police officers in a positive setting while participating in cultural, mentoring and sports programs with the main emphasis being placed on academics. The PAL program serves as a constructive alternative to anti-social behavior and boredom during the developmental years and into adulthood. The mission is facilitated through the daily operation of the PAL centers, through the operation of sports leagues and through cultural activities, such as field trips. In all PAL activities, a life skills curriculum is presented by PAL officers and all PAL youth are required to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in school or attend tutoring and make a good faith effort to raise their GPA.
The Kansas City Missouri Police Department PAL program started as a community-oriented policing project in 1994 through the Westside CAN Center in CPD. In 1998, PAL obtained membership in the National Association of Police Athletic Leagues and incorporated as a not for profit 501(c)3 organization (PAL, Inc.) with a board of directors and certification in the state of Missouri. As a not-for-profit corporation, all PAL activities are funded through private donations and grants. No PAL activities are funded by the department. Through an agreement with PAL Inc., the department has agreed to provide law enforcement personnel as staff, and office space only as available.
The PAL Section was formed and centralized in April 2000 and is assigned under the Investigations Bureau, Investigations Support Division, Youth Services Unit with the D.A.R.E., G.R.E.A.T and Juvenile Sections. Currently, two sergeants and seven officers are assigned to the PAL Section. PAL offers at-risk youth in high crime areas the opportunity to interact with police officers in positive after school activities in an effort to reduce juvenile crime.
The PAL Section currently operates three PAL Centers in the Kansas City metro area: The CPD PAL Center, located in the Clymer Center at 1301 Vine in the Theron B. Watkins Housing complex; the MPD PAL Center, located at 7575 Monroe in East Hills Apartments Community Center; and the EPD PAL Center opened in the Summer 2001, located at 1801 White in the Blue Valley Recreation Center. The KCMO Parks and Recreation Department closed this center in April 2000. Since reopening the Center, substantial renovations have been made funded by private donations, grants and countless volunteer hours performed by the community and police officers. 
PAL offers police officers and other department members not assigned to the PAL Section the opportunity to support PAL programming in several different ways. The sale of PAL merchandise, fundraising events and an annual golf tournament all are open to members to participate with the proceeds benefiting PAL programming. Members can volunteer to assist in program activities or in coaching of teams involved in league play. Members can make monetary donations to PAL at any time, or during the annual United Way campaign, by specifically directing their donation to PAL. To date, a significant amount of volunteer hours are credited to the police department offices and members.
Mark Alford co-anchors FOX 4 News at 5:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. with Loren Halifax.
Mark joined FOX 4 in March 1998 after spending two years as a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter for KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas. Prior to that, Mark anchored at KDFW-TV, Dallas, Texas; and reported at WPTV-TV, West Palm Beach, Florida; KWTX-TV, Waco, Texas; and KXAN-TV, Austin, Texas. During his career, Mark’s work has been recognized by the Associated Press and twice by the Rocky Mountain Press.
After brief stints at Lee College in Baytown, Texas and Southwest Texas State, Mark attended the University of Texas at Austin where he studied government and Latin American Affairs.
In his spare time, Mark and his wife Leslie own and operate the Lonestar Ranch horse stables in South Kansas City. Mark and Leslie have three children, Mark Jr., Alexandria and Spencer. They currently reside in South Kansas City.
Lindsay Browne is a LINC Community Organizer working with the Nowlin Middle School and Van Horn High School neighborhoods.  She focuses on youth, parent, and neighborhood engagement and site council development.  She has been with LINC since 2008 and at Van Horn since 2010.  Lindsay graduated with honors in Sociology from Grinnell College in Iowa and will be completing her Masters in Public Administration with a nonprofit focus this year from the Bloch School at UMKC.  She loves seeing our young people grow up to be leaders in their neighborhoods.  Lindsay enjoys building community and reading.  She lives with her husband, three cats, and a dog. 
The Local Investment Commission (LINC) is a citizen-driven community collaborative involving efforts by the state of Missouri to work with neighborhood leaders, citizens, business, civic and labor leaders to improve the lives of children and families in the Kansas City region.
LINC was created in 1992 and is primarily state-funded. LINC gained additional organizational flexibility by becoming a 501c3 nonprofit in 1994. Today, LINC is a striking example of how a citizen-led community intermediary can successfully coordinate the delivery of child, family and senior support services while forging connections between neighborhoods and government agencies.
A caring community that builds on its strengths to provide meaningful opportunities for children, families and individuals to achieve self-sufficiency, attain their highest potential, and contribute to the public good.
Core Results
LINC’s work is organized around achieving results in these nine core areas:
· Adults working
· Children and youth succeeding in school
· Healthy children and families
· Young children ready to enter school
· Children safe in their families/families safe in their communities
· Youth prepared for productive adulthood
· Elders and people with disabilities valued and living as they choose
· Well-informed citizens making decisions about their communities
· Strong, thriving neighborhoods
Ralph A. Monaco, II is a lifelong resident of Raytown, Missouri. He graduated from Rockhurst College in 1978, summa cum laude, with degrees in history and political science. He earned his doctorate degree U.M.K.C. Law School in 1981.  Practicing attorney for nearly 35yrs, and is a Member of the law firm of Monaco, Sanders, Racine, Powell & Reidy, L.C., with offices in Independence and Leawood.
Mr. Monaco has a long-standing record of public service.  He served 4 terms in the Missouri House of Representatives, where he served as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.  Prior to that he was a member of the Raytown School Board, where he formerly served as the President of the School Board.   He currently serves on the Elected Officials Compensation Committee for the City of Raytown, and he is an active member of the Board of Directors of the Three Trials Museum and the Board of Directors of the Jackson County Historical Society, where he is Past President.
He is a well-known living historian and public speaker earning several awards for his historical portrayals/presentations: the Outstanding Service Award from the Jackson County Heritage Programs & Museums, Making History Come Alive Award from the Jackson County Historical Society, Pioneer of Harrodsburg of Kentucky, Lifetime Membership Award in the Raytown Historical Society, the Outstanding Service Award from Jackson County Parks & Recreation, the 2012 John Edwards Literary Award from the Friends of the James Farm, and recipient of the 2013 Jackson County Historical Society Book of the Year.
Mr. Monaco is the author of five books:  The Strange Story of Col. Swope & Dr. Hyde ; Son of a Bandit, Jesse James & The Leeds Gang; Blood on the Street, The Civil War Comes to Jackson County, Missouri, August 1862; Scattered to the Four Winds, General Order No. 11; and Last Hand at Park Manor. Mr. Monaco has produced several educational living history programs: The Murder of Marshal Bugler at the 1859 Jail; The 1866 election of George Caleb Bingham in Independence; the First Battle of Independence Living History Program; Order Number 11, a living history trilogy; the Battle of Westport historical lecture series at the Truman Historic Courthouse; and he has portrayed the lawyer Abram Comingo at Missouri Town 1855 since 1989 as well as providing first person portrayals of various historical figures: Col. Thomas Hutton Swope, George Caleb Bingham, James Slover, a defense attorney for Frank James, and Edgar Allan Poe. He has directed numerous mock retrials: the 1883 trial of Frank James for the Winston Train Robbery, the arraignment of Frank James, the 1910 trial of Dr. Hyde for the alleged murder of Col. Thomas H. Swope, the 1899 Kansas City train robbery trial of Jesse James, Jr., and the 1932 Kansas City “bridge-murder” trial of Myrtle Bennett for the murder of her husband John.
He and his wife Karen live in Raytown, and they have two married daughters, Lindsay and Lisa.
HappyBottoms is excited to introduce you to our new Executive Director, John Teasdale.
John has a long history of working with nonprofits in the KC area including with DeLaSalle Education Center and Rockhurst University.   He has also worked in the for-profit arena at Haake Companies as a producer for group health insurance benefits.
He's served on many boards for KC community groups including the Bacchus Foundation, the Kansas City Club, and the Boys and Girls Club.
John was born and raised in Kansas City, and says he is very proud of his father, Joe Teasdale, who was Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney for many years and served one term as Missouri Governor '77-'81. John is a Rockhurst High School grad, went to Notre Dame for undergrad where he also played football for the Fighting Irish, and then back to KC for his MBA at Rockhurst University.
While he doesn't have kids of his own, he knows how many diapers families go through since he has 5 nephews and 1 niece. They're all here in KC so he says he takes a lot of pride in being #1 Uncle!
John says HappyBottoms "pulls at my heart strings" because of its mission to provide diapers to babies in need. But he is also drawn to HappyBottoms intellectually because of his business sense, he's been impressed with how HappyBottoms is run so "effectively and efficiently."
"My long-term vision for HappyBottoms is to get diapers to every child who needs them in the KC metro area," says John.
Dr. Jason Snodgrass is the Superintendent of Schools for the Fort Osage R-1 School District.  Dr. Snodgrass came to the district in 2009 and served as the high school principal for six years before his current position as superintendent.
Dr. Snodgrass’ personal motto is “We do things just a little bit better”.  Whether it is in the classroom or on a sports field, he inspires enthusiasm in students, staff and the community to be their best and give their all.   Both student and staff success is a high priority for Dr. Snodgrass.  As the Fort Osage High School Principal, Dr. Snodgrass increased the student attendance rate, increased the graduation rate from 85.9% to 99.2%, and increased the number of students taking the ACT by 10%.   Course rigor was enhanced by increasing advanced placement courses and implementing 21 additional weighted courses resulting in the percentage of students scoring above the national average on the ACT from 29% to 35%.  College and career readiness has been a primary goal for Dr. Snodgrass and the increased number of students receiving post-secondary education is a direct result of his focus on student success.
Dr. Snodgrass served as the Greater Kansas City Principal of the Year in 2013 and was voted as the Missouri High School Principal of the Year in 2014.  A few of Dr. Snodgrass’s goals as superintendent are to continue to have successful academic achievement for all students and to create additional revenue for the district through economic development. He and his wife, Jodie, are the proud parents of five children who attend school in the Fort Osage School District and are active members in the Fort Osage community.
Officer John Syme:
Officer John Syme has been a police officer for ten years and has been a member of the Independence Police Department since 2009. After working two years in the Patrol Division, Officer Syme transferred to the Crime Prevention Unit where he spent four years working closely with community members in various capacities including coordinating the Neighborhood Watch Program, the Volunteers in Police Services (VIPS) program and several other community services initiatives. Officer Syme is currently the police department’s Public Information Officer, where he serves as a central source of information for release by the department and responds to requests for information by the news media and members of the community.
Major Ken Jarnagin:
Major Ken Jarnagin has been with the Independence Police Department for 25 years.  He has worked in various assignments during his time with the police department.  He currently is the division commander of the administrative services division which encompasses the following:  technology, vehicle fleet, recruiting, training, professional standards, public information, crime prevention, community services and accreditation.
Greg Knapp
Author, Speaker, Talk Show Host
Greg has used his degrees in counseling psychology, two decades of research, and real life experiences, to become an expert in helping people find what they truly want and then take the steps necessary to make it happen. That’s what his new book Go! How to Find and Pursue Your Passionate Purpose, is all about.
With his books, speaking, and blog, Greg strives to help people live the extraordinary lives of their dreams in and out of the workplace.
Greg has also been in radio for almost 20 years, including as a nationally syndicated talk show host.
For the last five years he’s been on the Kansas City airwaves. You can hear The Greg Knapp Experience weekdays from 4-6pm on KCMO 103.7FM and 710AM.
Greg’s award winning show talks about all the stories that impact people’s lives from current events to politics to pop culture.
He has given his expert opinion as a guest on Fox News Channel, CNN and CNBC and penned opinion columns for The Washington Examiner, The Dallas Morning News, and Human Events.
Mid-Continent Public Library is dedicated to providing informational, recreational and educational resources to the people of Clay, Jackson and Platte counties. Mid-Continent Public Library extends the same high quality of service, although at different levels, at all locations despite community size. In an attempt to create an equal opportunity for information and to create collection diversity, the Library provides access to the Internet for the public.
Mid-Continent Public Library is the largest library system in the Kansas City metropolitan area, serving over 770,000 people in Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties. MCPL provides access through 36 service outlets, including 4 co-located branches and a virtual library. Mid-Continent Public Library’s mission is to enrich our citizens and communities through expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.