December 2023
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Joe Reardon Chief Executive Officer KC Chamber
Jan 18, 2024 7:30 AM
World Cup 2026
Chuck Udell
Mar 21, 2024
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Welcome to Village West Rotary!
Welcome to Village West Rotary!
Village West

Service Above Self

We meet In Person & Online
Thursdays at 7:30 AM
Country Club Bank
11006 Parallel Pkwy
Kansas City, KS 66109
United States of America
(785) 218-4667
Club Service Project 1st Thurs - Board Meets 2nd Thursday - Club Open Meeting 3rd Thursday - Social events on the 4th and 5th Thursdays. ** Doors open at 7:15am. Meetings are held in the basement of the bank **
Our next speaker will join us on Thursday, November 16th.
Walt Schley, Purple Heart recipient, retired as a US Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer (CWO-5) after serving 32 years. CWO-5 Schley is a combat veteran with 22 months in Vietnam (1967-1969) with the 1st Marine Division and 3 months (1991) in the Gulf War with the 24th Marine Regiment. Walt served in the capacity of Personnel Officer, Infantry Officer, and Public Affairs Officer over the course of his career.

His personal decorations include the Purple Heart, two Meritorious Service Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, four Navy Achievement Medals with a Combat “V” device, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Navy Presidential Unit Citations, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm.

After he retired from the Marine Corps, he became a High School Senior Marine Corps JROTC Instructor and retired from teaching in 2011. 

Walt Schley is the Commander of the Missouri Military Order of the Purple Heart and is an active member of numerous veterans organizations.

He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Georgia State University, a Master’s Degree from the University of St. Mary, and is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. 

He is married to Kathleen Caruso and lives in Parkville, MO.

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2023-2024 Scholarship Contest
The Village West Rotary will award $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors (2023-2024 school year) attending a Wyandotte County high school and current college students who are graduates of a Kansas City, Kansas or Wyandotte County High School and are attending a college/university, technical school, or community college as a full-time student.
Click on the link below to download an application.

Email any questions on the scholarship application process to
On Thursday, October 5th, 2023, the Village West service project will take place at the Hillcrest Thrift Store in Lenexa, KS.  Feel free to join us as we do our part to support and help this wonderful community program! 
Hillcrest solves homelessness by helping people reclaim their life situations and regain their self-sufficiency.

We Have a Place for You to Serve!

change lives
There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities available at Hillcrest Transitional Housing. When you volunteer at Hillcrest, you join an army of hundreds of volunteers who donate thousands of hours of time to our organization each year.


Hillcrest offers opportunities for individuals, families, groups, businesses, and faith communities. 

Mark your calendar and join us on 10/5 at 10am for a brief tour and to help this regional leader in their pursuit to solve homelessness. 
Speaking at Village West on Thursday, August 3rd
Stephanie will share her experiences this past year as District Governor!
Year-Ending Member Gratitude!
In our final activity of the 2022-2023 season, club members and spouses were delighted by the evening’s Master of Ceremonies, President Neil Wakefield, as he spoke eloquently about what we have accomplished this past year.
We met at the home of Matt and Trisha Watkins last night to celebrate a great year of achievement while recognizing some members and sponsors for their contributions of time, talent and treasures towards the good of the local community.
Among the many activities Village West Rotary engaged in this past year were planting and harvesting at the Rotary Community Garden and the distribution of dictionaries to 3rd grade students in Edwardsville, Bonner Springs and Kansas City, KS.
Fundraisers included Christmas-time bell ringing for the Salvation Army. Our Pints for Polio event raised awareness and money for the international fight against polio.
Brews Bags & BBQ (BBB), which included a silent auction, cornhole tournament and 50-50 raffle raised money for Hillcrest Transitional Housing. 
We also awarded scholarships to nine (9) deserving local area high school students.
A check for $3,263 from proceeds of the BBB event (see above) was presented to Tom Lally, President of Hillcrest Transitional Housing.
Dr. Russell King, long time Rotarian, has spearheaded annual planting, cultivating and harvesting of produce in the Rotary Community Garden efforts over the years. This past year’s harvest was estimated at between 2,000 and 2,500 pounds worth of produce. The fresh vegetables and greens were donated to Cross-Lines for their community kitchen and food pantry.
We heard from seventeen (17) speakers over the past year, with topics ranging from Rotary foundation programs to coaching football, commercial construction planning in the area, the new Homefield Resort/Athletic Project, Kansas state government, book authors, Salvation Army, community food kitchen, transitional housing and an inspirational talk on the meaning of Memorial Day that included the Kansas State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution color guard flag ceremony.
Member and sponsor award presentations were made to the following.
Paul Harris Fellow (gifted by Neil Wakefield for outstanding services rendered):
  Clayton Hunter
  Tom Lally
  Robert Lofthouse
Rotary Garden Certificate of Appreciation:
  Dr. William Russell King
Fundraising Talent and Leadership Certificate of Appreciation:
  Cathi Hahner
Sponsorship Certificates of Appreciation
  Larry Becker
  Craig Gaffney, Country Club Bank
  Michelle Hereford
  Clayton Hunter
  Tom Lally
  Jack Manahan
  Benjamin McAnany, McAnany Construction
  Karen Orr, Providence Medical Center
  Matthew Watkins, Reece Commercial
  Mary, Nathan & Aaron Weiser, Outfield Beer Company
Engraved, Personalized Pens:
  David Anderson
  Glenn Harte
  Clayton Hunter
  Robert Lofthouse
  Jack Manahan
  Matthew Watkins
After bestowing the foregoing recognition on club members and fundraising sponsors, President Wakefield handed over the gavel to his successor, Clayton Hunter.
President-Elect Hunter takes over on July 1st and as a final act in his current role, presented a plaque of appreciation from the Village West Club to outgoing President Wakefield for all his efforts to organize the above-mentioned club activities.
Good time enjoyed by all and we're looking forward to building off our 2022-2023 success! More to come on that in our first meeting of the new year, July 13th.
We hope you’ll join us and learn more about Village West Rotary!
Dustin Lewis, President of Homefield (our speaker)
Clayton Hunter, Village West Rotary President-Elect,
Neil Wakefield, Village West Rotary President
Colonel John Misenheimer - Memorial Day Presentation
In anticipation of Memorial Day, we invited Colonel John Misenheimer, Garrison Commander at Fort Leavenworth, to visit this date and share with us the meaning and purpose of Memorial Day. The Kansas State Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (KSSSAR) Color Guard also presented flag ceremonies to open and close the meeting. We’re grateful for men and women who wear the uniform, serve this great country and proudly show their patriotism.
Colonel Misenheimer was very informative, not only about Memorial Day but other veteran appreciation dates as well. An active Q&A session followed, at which the Colonel was very gracious to also tell us about his family, his future plans, Fort Leavenworth history and the Buffalo Soldier Museum on the base.
The meeting was well-attended by Rotarians and visitors. Village West is thankful to Colonel Misenheimer and the KSSSAR Color Guard for taking time out of their busy schedules to be with us and share their patriotism.
Learn More About the Rotary Foundation
The Rotary Foundation transforms your gifts into service projects that change lives both close to home and around the world.

Jay Hinrichs, Monarchs President and General Manager, spoke to us this morning and gave an entertaining view of what the Monarchs are up to this year. With the Savannah Bananas in town for an opening 3-game treat, there's plenty in store for the audience. The regular season begins next week on the road at Sioux City and Gary. First home game the following Friday against the Sioux Falls Canaries. Come on out and enjoy some home-town baseball!

KANSAS CITY, Kan.—The Kansas City Monarchs have had one incredible year on the field and off, adding another accomplishment to “Reign Reborn” as the American Association has named Monarchs President and General Manager Jay Hinrichs the league’s Executive of the Year.

“This is certainly the definition of a team award – it belongs to our associates and interns, media team, the ballclub, our manager and coaches along with our 3rd party support organizations and event staff.  I could not be more proud of this organization or grateful for the opportunity to be part of the team.  I also appreciate all the help and guidance from the American Association leadership and the general managers across the league, especially during this inaugural year of the Monarchs,” said Hinrichs.

Jay Hinrichs took over the Monarchs’ day-to-day operations on September 23, 2020 after the team did not play because of the global pandemic during the 2020 season. The franchise then re-branded as the Monarchs in January of 2021, and Hinrichs has successfully guided the franchise through the first season under the new name.

Ed and Jacob Gunther, winners of the Beer, Bags & BBQ Cornhole Tournament.
President Neil Wakefield presenting Matt Watkins with his PolioPlus Certificate at our April 13, 2023 meeting.
Matt Watkins, of Reece Commercial, walked us through a presentation on what's going on commercially in the Kansas City Metro and Wyandotte County region.
The audience really got into Matt's presentation, evidenced by the active discussions and questions raised.
Included was public information gained from UG Planning, KC Business Journal, and news organizations.
To learn more about the depth and breadth of ongoing commercial construction, and plans for the immediate future, join us at a future Village West Rotary meeting for more information. 
Great stuff Matt!
Susila Jones will be letting us in on what's going on with Cross-Lines.
Susila Jones / Tom Lally
Cross-Lines was established in 1963 as “a place of hope” for those struggling with the hardships of poverty. 
We are a safety net for our community. 
We provide direct assistance to at-risk families, the elderly, and single individuals struggling to make ends meet.
Our Mission
The mission of Cross-Lines is to provide people in the Kansas City area affected by poverty with services and opportunities that encourage self-confidence, meet the needs of today, and provide tools for future self-sufficiency.

Greg Kindle, President of the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, was our speaker this morning, and he talked about some amazing things happening in Wyandotte County.

The Council is very active, pursuing opportunities with business retention and expansion, and workforce solutions. Capital investment is in 30 projects, 3.1 million square feet and over 400 jobs. From the Missouri River to Bonner Springs, along the 435 corridor, east to west, there's a lot going on in WYCO. In Bonner Springs alone, the city is in a partnership with ARCO Construction and Evergy to develop a 32-acre site offering a great location, strong logistics and highway access for a new attraction. Sandstone Townhomes is a $33 million investment in Bonner. The single-family Cottages at Village West will be going up on 118th Street. The Homefield - Margaritaville resort and family entertainment center along 98th Street is targeted for an opening in the Spring of 2024. This will be the first full-service hotel in Wyandotte County. Last but not least, Orange EV, offering the first commercially sold class 8 electric vehicles in the country, will be moving from Riverside to the Turner Logistics Park.

There's more, a whole lot more going on in Wyandotte County. For more information, go to the Wyandotte Economic Development Council website Wyandotte Economic Development Council (

Thanks Greg for the great job you're doing to promote Wyandotte County and sharing these awesome stories with the Village West Rotary Club.


Newly elected Kansas State Representative, Lynn Melton, visited the Village West Rotary Club this morning to share with us a little bit about her next steps moving into an elected role at the state level.
The 2023 State Legislature will be officially sworn in next Monday, January 9, in Topeka.
Welcome Lynn, to your new role and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us this morning.
Come back soon!