The Buzz

Winning london

The New Year’s Day Parade in London will have a little local flair this year with the addition of the Red and Silver Brigade, Blue Valley West’s marching band. Selected as only one of seven American bands by the Lord Mayor himself, this is a huge honor. Traveling from Dec. 26, 2009 to Jan. 2, 2010, students will have the opportunity to tour London, take part in a sold-out concert performance and perform in the Parade. In an effort to raise funds to help send the band to London, the Blue Valley West marching band has decided it will host two charity events. The first of the two events, March-a-thon 2009, was held on Sunday, Sept. 20. The band took part in its first street march, performing this year’s musical piece, “Lost and Found.” Beginning at 2 p.m. outside Grace Church in south Overland Park, the band paraded through the neighboring sub-division, and concluded its performance at the Applebee’s on the corner of Lowell and 151st Street. Community members showed support for the band by donating money along the way and joining in on a short celebration to wrap up the event. The Red and Silver Brigade also plans to play in the 2009 Big Band Benefit on Saturday, Nov. 21, which will serve as another fundraising opportunity.

Johnson County’s only outdoor ice rink will be open beginning this month.  Surrounded by restaurants and shops, The Ice at Park Place, located in Barkley Square, is the perfect spot for parents to grab a latte or hot chocolate and watch their kids skate from the surrounding patios.  Open from Nov. 6 through February 2010, the cost to skate is $6, and ice skates are available to rent for $3.  The rink will also be available for parties and will offer group discounts.  Bring the whole family and join in the fun from noon to 2 p.m. on Nov. 21 for an ice rink grand opening.  Disney Radio will help celebrate with a Disney giveaway, face painters, a magician and juggler, a balloon artist and a Disney crew skating exhibition.  The Ice at Park Place is sure to be a spot everyone will enjoy this winter.     

The City of Overland Park hopes to bring a new tradition to the area, and it is bound to be perfect for anyone at any age.  The Ritz Charles is the place to be on Sunday, Dec. 6, if you want to be a part of the first ever Nutcracker Tea Party.  Finger sandwiches, crudités, fruit and dessert will be served with tea while you take pleasure in an abridged version of The Nutcracker Ballet.  Featuring local talent from both the Legacy School of the Arts and the Overland Park Orchestra, the performance will take place from noon to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.  All proceeds from this event will go toward acquiring public art for the city and other Friends of the Overland Park Arts programs and projects as well.  Tickets are available online and are $40 for adults and $25 for children.  

After being closed for nearly a year for expansion and construction, the newly renovated Leawood Pioneer Library is open for business.  The storefront location at Town Center shopping center closed on Sept. 30, and the library re-opened its doors on Oct. 1.  A grand reopening celebration, open to the public, was held on Oct. 17 to showcase the space.  Those who attended the event took part in a ribbon-cutting and brief ceremony, toured the library and enjoyed music, activities and refreshments as well.  The renovation project, which included a complete interior redesign, roof replacement and a new addition constructed with “green” building materials, nearly doubled the library’s size.  The library staff encourages community residents to visit and take note of the many improvements.


The legendary diamond cutter, Sir Gabrielle Tolkowsky (Gabi), has made a name for himself worldwide based on his achievements in the diamond industry.  Over the course of his 52-year career, Gabi has created one-of-a-kind diamonds, including the hand-cut, 105-facet Gabrielle Diamond®.  Noble House Jewelry, home of the exclusive Gabrielle® Diamond Jewelry Collection, will be hosting a special event with Sir Gabriel Tolkowsky on Dec. 4 and 5 during regular hours.  Zoe Herrington, owner of Noble House Jewelry, says, “We are thrilled that Noble House was selected for this event, and I invite our customers to meet Sir Tolkowsky during this rare visit to Kansas City and feel the magic and wonder that surrounds this legendary man.”  A variety of select discounted merchandise will also be available to customers where 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated directly to local soldiers at Ft. Riley in support of the Wounded Warrior Project.  

In search of some different scenery this holiday shopping season?  Martin City is the perfect place.  Get all of your holiday shopping done on Nov. 7 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. during the Martin City Open House and Shop Crawl.  Getting its start with a successful distilling and railroad enterprise, historic Martin City might just be one of the best-kept secrets in Kansas City.  The 300-acre business district, located on both sides of 135th Street, between Holmes and State Line, is home to shops, restaurants and unique experiences both family and friends alike will enjoy.  With dreams to become a better premier spot in the metro, the Community Improvement District Board of Directors in Martin City is planning for the future.  Plans include street paving, curbs, sidewalks, trees and seating areas as well as decorative lamp posts, new businesses and upper story lofts.  Development incentives are in place to promote new business in the community as well.    

Reserve your spot and mark your calendar because this is one event you do not want to miss.  Accessorizing Your Heart Health will take place on Dec. 3 at the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza.  Hosted by Saint Luke’s Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center, the event is designed to motivate women to embrace and celebrate their health through education and self-empowerment. The evening will include a silent auction, jewelry raffle, hors d’ oeuvres and a presentation by Joy Behar, co-host of ABC’s The View, who will discuss many topics including cardiovascular risk factors. With heart disease as the No. 1 cause of death in American women, education and increased awareness are the two best weapons of defense.  Saint Luke’s Muriel I. Kauffman Women’s Heart Center has educated more than 100,000 women in the Kansas City area by instilling its mission to empower women to be proactive and to take ownership of their heart health.  


Speaking mainly to the topics of health care reform and national defense, former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole addressed the Kansas City Health Care Summit on Oct. 7.  More than 150 Republican Party leaders and members from across Kansas were in attendance, so this was an opportune time for Dole to encourage Kansas Republicans to promote the key principles of the Party. Kevin Yoder, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, says, “In my decade of being in the legislature, I have not seen before such a positive and high level of communication, cooperation and commitment among all of my Republican colleagues to develop serious, long-term solutions to the fiscal issues confronting our state, schools and citizens.”  Dole was the guest of honor at a fundraising event, later that day, at the home of plastic surgeon Dr. Douglas and Barbara Cusick in Leawood, which raised more than $70,000 for the Republican House Campaign Committee.

words Devin Maxey