The Ray-Pec Community Alliance held an open house at their new youth center called the REFUGE. Kids 7th-12th grade are welcome to hangout, play games, have snacks and drinks, and just chill with friends in a safe, positive environment. Many community leaders were on hand to tour the facility at 13201 E 216th Street in Peculiar, including Peculiar Mayor Holly Stark, Senator Ed Emery, Raymore City Councilwoman Sonja Abdelgawad, Superintendent Dr. Kari Monsees, as well as members of the Ray-Pec school board and Raymore police department.
The youth center started out as a vision of repeating what had worked in the past. Allison Scott, the main force behind this project, wanted to have somewhere for her kids to hangout with their friends like she had where she grew up.
“I started about two years ago sending out letters and knocking on church doors. Then I heard about the Alliance and joined forces with them.”
The REFUGE is staffed completely by volunteers. “We have applications on our website. It does require a background check just like any other organization that works with kids these days,” explained Scott.
The cost of running such a program is substantial and it relies mostly on donations.
“There is a small grant that we’re writing and hoping to get from the state from the Department of Behavioral Health. The Alliance has gotten the grant the last two years and used it for other projects. This year if we get it we are going to use it for this project,” said Scott excitedly.
The selection of the spot to house the REFUGE was no easy task.
Scott described the process of how the facility became the home of the REFUGE, “Gretchen (Roth, a co-founder of the REFUGE) attends church at Heart of Life and heard about this building not being used as much and approached them and asked the question. They said ‘Absolutely. That’s what we’d love to use the building for.’ They have been very accommodating and even foot the bill for the utilities. That is a huge component to being able to operate on a dime.”
When asked what the ultimate goal for the REFUGE is, Scott replied, “Gretchen and I would love to first and foremost to meet what the kids want it to look like. We would love to have it open possibly every day after school for tutoring or a place to do homework. In the summertime, we’d like to offer lots of different programming aside from just a safe place for them to hangout. We are going to respond to what the kids say they want and what community support we get also.”
The REFUGE will host two events in September. The first will be on the 19th from 7-10pm and the second will be the 26th after the football game. There will be music, games, and snacks (for purchase).
For more information about the Ray-Pec Community Alliance, The REFUGE, volunteer opportunities, upcoming events, or how to donate, go to http://www.rpcarefuge.com.
By: Jennifer Reed
Last night I was privileged to attend the final dress rehearsal for the Ray-Pec Theater Department’s presentation of the Man of La Mancha. I have never seen this play performed before, but honestly I can’t imagine it could be done any better than what I witnessed last night. It is a two-act play, each lasting approximately an hour. The music is engaging, the staging very detailed, and the costumes are top notch. The lighting is spot on and the few sound issues were addressed at the end of the performance and all will be ready to go for opening night tonight.
The cast is simply incredible. They are flawless in both line delivery and facial expressions. The leads are Sawyer Bletscher as Miguel De Cervantes/Don Quixote, Ian Fleming as Sancho Panza, and Ali Gillespi as Aldonza. All three give stellar performances that are completely enthralling and entertaining. The supporting cast is incredible as well, from the two memorable “horses,” to the inquisition guards, to the mule runners – all are comfortable with their roles and that translates to the audience as authentic. The music and songs are moving and performed so well that listeners will be transported to 16th century Spain.
I read an excerpt of Don Quixote in high school, but after seeing this play, I want to read the entire book. That is how well these students perform this classic. This is a “must see” play. It is very professionally done and audiences will love the characters and songs. I was certainly humming “The Impossible Dream” for the rest of the evening.
“The Man of La Mancha” opens tonight at the RPHS Academy Theater at 7:30 pm. They will also perform on Friday and Saturday night also at 7:30 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. I promise this performance is well worth the time and money. You won’t be disappointed.
It’s that time again in the year where district soccer takes place. Number one ranked plays number four, and number two ranked faces number three. The two winner’s of Monday’s district games, then gets to battle each other for the district title and the ticket to MSHSAA state playoffs.
Before the district championship game, you must take care of business in the first round, like number two Belton did against number three Raytown South.
During the whole game the ball was going everywhere. The Pirates and the Cardinals never stopped facing off. In the first half, the Pirates Eduardo Lopez, from the edge of the goalie box, kicked the ball on a dribble, at a perfect 45 degree angle to score Belton’s only first half goal.
In the second half Matt Hodges and Jakob Steengaard took care of business with style, scoring the Pirates two second half goals.
Belton easily left Ray South in the dust, with a first round District victory score of 3-0.
Jesse Howell – Journal Reporter
William Hodges – Photographer
I’ve cooled down somewhat in the past 18 hours since the Raymore City Council meeting last night, but my opinions have not changed. The majority of the City Council should be ashamed of themselves for playing political games at the expense of the elderly and disabled in our community. Councilwoman Abdelgawad and Councilman Kellogg were the only voices of reason throughout the 45-minute argument over a line item in the budget that would provide money for an additional week of the OATS bus in Raymore. For the amount of animosity and angst that this has caused you would think that it was a huge chunk of the city budget that was being decided. Nope. It’s a whopping $2,800. Well that’s a lot of money every month you might say. Nope again. That’s for a year of sponsoring the bus for one day a month. A YEAR!!!!
As many may recall, this has been a topic of debate among the Council for over a month. Jeff Adams has made two personal appearances to request the funds be put in the budget. Last night Adams gave Wescoat and Moorhead a tongue lashing in front of a full house. In particular he told Moorhead that he should be ashamed of his behavior (for more details about the meeting check out this week’s issue of The Raymore Journal). Having been present for nearly all of the Council meetings since May, I have been observing each one of the Councilmembers and listening to what they say. I consider myself a fairly good judge of character. In my opinion, Mr. Adams was spot on as too were Abdelgawad and Kellogg with their comments particularly towards Wescoat.
Here’s the thing. I’ve listened to one excuse after another from Wescoat as to why the OATS bus should not be sponsored by the City. First it was because it might be funded through MARC, then it was because the same names kept coming up for the OATS bus service, then it was ‘is there really even a need’, then it was ‘we don’t have enough data,’ and finally and my personal favorite was ‘this cause didn’t have a champion.’
Moorhead on the other hand didn’t make excuses; he just made waffles. Last night he told everyone that his position has been consistent since August 16 – we don’t know what the need is (so we shouldn’t fund it is the rest of that thought from how he voted). But here is the nice thing about being in the news business – we love to quote people. Two weeks ago Moorhead’s position was that the OATS bus was a private business and should not be funded by city money. He also said that back in August he supported transportation for people with need, not specifically the OATS bus, but he did not receive any support from other Councilmemebers. This was after Abdelgawad proposed to change the title of the line item to say “transportation for the elderly and disabled for necessity shopping,” which he still voted against. So supposedly he was in support of that kind of budget amendment in August but not last night. What kind of sense does that make?
It was clear Abdelgawad was getting extremely frustrated with the laundry list of excuses and she did a great job of giving logical answers for them. She tried to compromise on several instances, but Wescoat, Moorhead, Hubach, Stevens, and Holman would not budge.
So you know what our brilliant council agreed to do instead? They passed a budget amendment to ad $3,000 to the “administration department’s professional services” budget in order to conduct a survey to see if there is indeed a need for transportation for the elderly and disabled in Raymore. At this point I nearly had to leave the Council chambers because I wanted to scream, “Are you kidding me?”
At least Abdelgawad and Kellogg had the sense to see the absurdity of spending $3,000 to see if we need to spend $2,800. Kellogg called it bureaucracy. I saw it as more of a spit in the eye kind of move. “We won’t spend the $2,800 on your project but I’ll get you to spend $3,000 on mine” kind of thing.
The kicker of the night was Moorhead’s answer to Adams’ ‘shame on you’ speech. Moorehead said that he never made any “disparaging remarks” against any private entity. I’m sorry, but direct quotes come back to haunt you again, Mr. Moorhead. From the Oct 13 meeting, “Regardless of this person being a former council member or not, their personal advertising venture should not be paid for by city money.” That was directed at Adams and no one else. He implied that Adams was, to use Wescoat’s favorite term, championing this cause to use the OATS bus to grow his business. If I were a business owner I would be highly offended at someone attacking my ethics and character as businessman.
In the end Wescoat and Moorhead won and the elderly and disabled citizens of Raymore lose. They are delegated to a waiting list as the Council takes its sweet time conducting the survey, assimilating the information, and finally deciding on a course of action. Well that shouldn’t take very long since we all know how quickly government bureaucracy works, right?
Hayley Wells zeros in on an incoming pitch.
Paige Mutter stretching for the ball in hopes of an out for Belton JV.
Belton and Ray-Pec ladies met two days in a row in different venues. On September 9, the golf teams squared off in high winds and lots of sunshine. The season for the Ray-Pec girls golf team is an extreme source of pride for Ray-Pec. As of print time, the both the JV and Varsity team are undefeated in head to head matches and had placed 2nd out of 21 in a tournament and 3rd out of 17 in a second tournament. Constancy and hard work are the keys to the team’s success with all of their varsity team returning from last year.
“Physically, I will just hit harder. Depending on which way the wind is coming from, I will reposition my body and depending on how hard it is blowing I’ll change clubs,”
said Ray-Pec Junior Megan Oshel describing her battle with the strong winds that plagued the match.
“All in all, I feel like we are doing better than we did last year, but I know we can do better than what we are doing,” said Senior Maddie Elliston of her Belton JV team.
The next day the two schools met up under very different circumstances. The sun was gone replaced by clouds and drizzle, but the wind was still a factor. It was cold for fans and players alike. Both the JV and Varsity ladies softball teams met in back to back games.
The JV teams took the field first and from the first inning the Panthers dominated the Pirates. By the bottom of the third second inning, the Panthers were up 12-0. The Pirates finally got on the board with two runs. Putting off the mercy rule ending, but it caught up to them in the fourth inning when Ray-Pec scored two more runs and then pitched a scoreless bottom half.
With the JV game wrapping up early, many players and fans made their way to the upper field where the varsity game was beginning.
This contest was much closer with great pitching, ball handling, and hitting on both sides. In the end one player was a major factor in the final score. With the score tied at five, Madison Hunsaker came to the plate and homered, plating Amelie Hall. She racked up three RBIs on three hits for the Pirates.
Ray-Pec’s lineup had no answer for Hunsaker, managing just one hit off of her. She allowed no earned runs, walked none and struck out two during her two innings of work. Leading the Pirates to a 7-5 victory over Ray-Pec.
Some information for this article was provided by: “Powered by Narrative Science and GameChanger Media. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.”
- Ray-Pec Senior Stephanie Krass contemplates her shot in the match between Ray-Pec and Belton
She went on to shoot a 50. Belton Junior Allie Floyd (above) giving it her all in match up with