The New Bachelor

New Pet Adoption Center Opens

Great Plains SPCA recently celebrated the grand opening of its new pet adoption center in Merriam, Kan., by offering half-price pet adoptions, discounts at the MetroPAWlitan Pet Supply retail store and homemade treats from GoodDog2Go. During the opening weekend, the facility adopted out 87 pets.

For the past 47 years, the no-kill animal welfare organization has saved the lives of more than 200,000 pets through its modest 3,300-square-foot shelter.

With its expansion, Great Plains SPCA has more than tripled its adoption space with the new 10,000-square-foot facility at 5424 Antioch Drive, which provides homeless pets with cage-free living quarters, indoor and outdoor play areas, natural sunlight and more. The state-of-the-art facility increases shelter capacity, reduces pet stress and improves the adoption experience for human visitors.

The shelter also includes a volunteer center, increased workspace for staff, and the newly expanded MetroPAWlitan Pet Supply, a retail store benefiting the needy pets.

The store offers the latest in pet supplies including toys, treats, leashes, kennels, apparel and more. Every purchase supports the organization’s lifesaving mission.

Great Plains SPCA is the Kansas City metro area’s most comprehensive resource for pets and their human companions, serving more than 22,000 pets annually — more than any other animal welfare agency in the area. The nonprofit reports a 96 percent or higher live-release rate.

Great Plains also will begin operating a new shelter in Independence, Mo., this year. The addition of the 28,000-square-foot facility will help the agency to save thousands more animals and create countless happy families.

For additional information, visit


Harvesters’ “Canstruction” Fundraiser at Ward Parkway Mall

Canstruction 2013, an annual fundraising event for Harvesters Community Food Network, takes place Feb. 21 to March 21 at Ward Parkway Center, 8600 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, Mo.

Teams of Kansas City architects, engineers and contractors will show off their “can-do” spirit and creativity during the design-build competition by making structures using only canned food and other non-perishable items.

Teams will have 12 hours to build their creations on Feb. 20. A VIP preview party is slated for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 21. The event includes a cocktail reception and awards ceremony.

The super-sized masterpieces will be judged in a variety of categories, and the public will have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Awards. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door; free for children age 12 and younger.

The exhibit will be on display for free viewing through March 21, and when it closes, all of the food will be donated to Harvesters, which serves more than 620 nonprofit agencies including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes, homes for the mentally disabled and domestic violence shelters.

For more information, visit


St. Luke’s Listed Among American Heart Association’s Top 10 Research Advances

Three clinical studies featuring cardiac research conducted at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute made the American Heart Association’s recently published annual list of top 10 scientific advances in heart disease and stroke for 2012.

“We are delighted that our research program has been recognized by the AHA for leading these groundbreaking studies that will have a profound impact on the practice of medicine,” says cardiologist David Cohen, M.D., director of research at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute. “Research is at the core of our mission because it enables us to provide leading- edge care to patients from both the Kansas City region and around the world.”

Topping the list of advances was a study examining the relationship between duration of CPR and the likelihood of survival from cardiac arrest.

Studies showed that hospitals using the “Get With The Guidelines” resuscitation quality improvement program experienced higher survival rates for cardiac arrest patients who received CPR for a longer amount of time, without decreased neurological function. This study’s findings raise questions about resuscitation duration and have the potential to change medical practice.

Another advance was a large-scale clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health that compared bypass surgery with drug-coated stents for patients with diabetes. The study found patients with diabetes who had multiple clogged heart arteries fared significantly better when treated with bypass surgery versus drug-coated stents. The study suggests that bypass surgery should be considered an important treatment option for such patients.

The third major advance was based on a series of studies examining the connection between the sympathetic nervous system and high blood pressure, or hypertension. These studies found that renal denervation — a minimally invasive procedure that reduces the functional connection between the sympathetic nervous system and the kidneys — is safe and effective at lowering high blood pressure resistant to other treatments.

To learn more about research at St. Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, visit


Lenexa Top Place To Raise Kids

Bloomberg Businessweek magazine has released its annual list of “The Best Places to Raise Kids.” For Kansas, Lenexa is No. 1.

A suburb of the greater Kansas City metro, Lenexa has a population of 47,743. The city was chosen based on schools, income, housing costs and the job market.

In Lenexa, the median family income is $95,496, housing costs as a percentage of income is 19 percent, and the Johnson County, Kan., unemployment rate is 4.8 percent.

According to the magazine: “As one might expect of a Kansas City suburb, Lenexa loves its barbecue. Each year, the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle draws contestants, judges, and spectators gawking at complicated smoking devices. A few months later, Lenexa holds an annual Spinach Festival. On regular days, kids can stay active after school at the Lenexa Community Center.”


Lifting Amandus

Amandus Nikora, a seventh-grader at Lakewood Middle School in Overland Park, and his younger elementary school-aged brother, Lucas,

photos courtesy Amanda Schweiger

have Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a disease which results in muscle degeneration. The brothers are both in wheelchairs, which presents challenges in mobility at home and transportation for the family.

Lakewood students noticed that Amandus’ mother struggled to transport him from their car to the school every day, so the students decided they wanted to raise enough money to buy the family a lift, which costs about $10,000.

Over the last several months, the students held numerous fundraisers — from cell phone Fridays to competitions at pep assemblies. They have even convinced fellow students at Pleasant Ridge Middle School, who will attend Blue Valley West High School with Amandus in a couple of years, to help raise money, too. They wrapped gifts for holiday shoppers at a local mall and donated all proceeds to also help meet the $10,000 goal.

On Jan. 11 the school held a “Lifting Amandus Assembly” to recognize the student effort in support of Amandus. The assembly included a student-teacher dodgeball game, a pie-in-the-face fundraising activity, student donations announcement and the total donation to the family.


Fudgie Favorite / Winning Recipe!

We recently polled our readers and social media friends and asked them to submit their favorite recipe. After extensive sampling, we hereby dub Helen Cohen’s Fudgie Cookies the most swoon-worthy in all the land. We love the simplicity of the recipe and the heavenly chocolate/nuttiness.

Cohen’s mother died when she was very young which meant she had to teach herself how to cook and bake. After many years’ experience, Cohen says she has perfected several recipes including those crave-worthy fudgie numbers we’ve gone goofy for.

Cohen is now the proud owner of a beautiful a Le Creuset Round French Oven, which she loves.

A certified Life Coach and owner of E3 Coaching, Cohen resides in Leawood.


• ½ stick butter
• 1 ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1 can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 cup flour
• 1 cup chopped pecans

Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler or carefully in heavy pot on medium-low heat. Once melted, remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients into the pot in the exact order listed above. Use a 1-inch size ice cream scooper and place dough on large cookie sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for seven to eight minutes. Cookies will harden as they cool.
Makes approximately five dozen cookies (60).


K-State Alum Looks for love on “The Bachelor”

The 17th season of ABC’s popular reality show “The Bachelor” premiered in January with Sean Lowe being fought over by 26 girls.

After narrowing the field via weekly rose ceremonies, by this spring Lowe may find true love on the show, which airs on Monday nights.

Lowe, 29, was introduced to America when he fell in love with Emily Maynard — and was unfortunately eliminated — during last year’s “The Bachelorette.”

A Texas native, Lowe attended Kansas State University on a full football scholarship and, as a linebacker, was part of the 2003 Big 12 Conference championship team.

He also received a bachelor’s degree in social science.

Although he started off his career in finance, he followed in his father’s footsteps in the insurance industry before committing to his new enterprise — owning and running an upscale, custom furniture business. The 6-foot-3 bachelor also occasionally models for fitness magazines.


Golf Tourney to Benefit Kansas City Hospice

Come rain, sleet or snow, the 10th Annual Idiots’ Open Golf Tournament takes place Feb. 23 at Smiley’s Golf Complex in Lenexa, Kan.

The “Hit the Idiot” contest starts at 9 a.m., followed by tee time at 10 a.m. The registration fee includes nine holes of golf with the option to finish the other nine holes after the tournament, brightly colored golf balls, a hot lunch, coffee, a live auction hosted by KSHB meteorologist Brett Anthony, and a chance to win great prizes.

Proceeds benefit Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care, a nonprofit organization offering a range of services for people of all ages and at any stage of serious illness and their families in the greater Kansas City area.

For more information, visit


1 Million Cups Goes Viral

In April 2012, the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based not-for-profit organization, established a weekly networking event with the goal of fostering entrepreneurship in the greater Kansas City community. The event has gone viral and recent reports estimate attendance in the hundreds.

Most of the event’s growth has been fueled by word-of-mouth enthusiasm. Members meet for one hour every week at the Kauffman Foundation Headquarters. The event features two local startups pitching ideas to would-be investors, mentors and associates followed by mingling amongst like-minded entrepreneurs.

The unusual name “1 Million Cups” or 1MC derives from the idea that it takes 1 million cups of coffee to build an active community of startups.

The Kauffman Foundation plans to launch 1 Million Cups in at least 18 cities in the coming year including: St. Louis; Omaha, Neb.; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The foundation recently hosted an event in Des Moines, Iowa, which welcomed 12 members at the first meeting.

The program takes place from 9 to 10 a.m. every Wednesday in Kauffman Labs. To learn more about getting involved with 1 Million Cups, visit or follow on Twitter @1MillionCups.


Rainy Day Books presents  author Susan Cain

Author Susan Cain will discuss her New York Times bestselling book “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo.

“Quiet” shows how society undervalues introverts and how much we lose in doing so. Cain charts the rise of the “extrovert ideal” in the 20th century and explores its far-reaching effects.

She draws on research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the differences between extroverts and introverts, and she introduces readers to successful introverts.

She also offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child and when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.”

“Quiet” aims to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

Cain’s writing has appeared in The Atlantic; O, The Oprah Magazine;; and on

She has spoken at Microsoft, Google, the U.S. Treasury, and at TED 2012. Since her TED talk was posted online, it has been viewed more than 3 million times.

Admission is $16 and includes a paperback copy of “Quiet.” Cain will sign copies of her book after the event.

For more information, visit