December 8 Was Christmas At the Stronghold Food Pantry, Leavenworth, Kansas
Kansas City-Plaza Rotary Club's first district grant for 2023-2024 implemented by our satellite club Vets4KC is nearing completion.   The commercial refrigerator ordered for the Stronghold Food Pantry of Leavenworth was delivered on Friday, December 8!   Director Monica Bassett shared photos of the delivery and reported that the refrigerator was filled with milk by Saturday afternoon!  The refrigerator will enable Stronghold Food Pantry to provide fresh food to the families they serve that experience food instability.

Weave Gotcha Covered!  Receives Business Award from Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club
Weave Gotcha Covered!, an inner-city Kansas City business that fabricates soft goods for the home, has received the Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club’s RISE Business Award, presented to minority and women-owned businesses that practice high ethical standards as espoused by the Four-Way Test followed by Rotarians worldwide.  Twelve Kansas City businesses were nominated for the first annual award.
“We actively work to empower women to break the chains of generational poverty, addiction, homelessness and related stigmas through employment, training, and mentoring,” Kelly Wilson, president of Weave Gotcha Covered!, said in describing her company’s focus.  In 2015 the company moved from Gladstone to the urban core to be a part of the community where its employees lived.  The move also eliminated the number one barrier to women’s employment - transportation.  
Wilson will receive a free promotional video produced by Curious Eye Productions, a professional video company in Kansas City, and a free one-year membership in the Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club.  
Arvelisha Woods and India Pernell, sisters and co-owners of Mattie's Foods, received the second-place award.  Woods will receive a six-month Kansas City Plaza Rotary membership.  Mattie's is a vegan restaurant/catering business.
Other nominees for the awards were:
  • Suzanne Gunn, Tivona Naturals, creates ethically sourced and up-cycled jewelry, bags, accessories, etc.
  • Chrystal Truss, IEC Partnership, personalized business coaching for minority-owned firms
  • Jackie Nyugen, Cafe Ca Phe, Vietnamese cafe
  • Laura Treas, Fashion Tech, coaches clients who create sewn products for the market
  • Charline Gray, The Cleaning Crew of Kansas City, commercial cleaning/janitorial company
  • Annie McGinnis, co-owner Vine Street Brewing
  • Armando Vasquez and Mike Hastings, partners & co-owners of Anchor Island Coffee, a shop serving food and specialty coffees
  • Sherry Lumpkins and Ken Lumpkins, spouse co-owners of Blue Symphony, web design and digital media marketing firm
  • Chris King, King Promo / T-Shirt King, custom printed T-shirts and promotional items
  • Vania Soto, Monarca Art Space, gallery and boutique, with studio space for artists
Five persons served as judges in the initial round of judging for the nominees.  They were:  Past Kansas City Mayor Sly James; Joe Dandurand, former CEO of Legal Aid of Western Missouri; Andrea Alilson-Putman Chief Development and Equity officer, YMCA of Greater KC, and a member of the board of directors of the First Federal Bank of Kansas City, Paige Fowler an investment advisor and Denise Holt, a retired business owner and Rotarian.  Rotary Club members voted final selections.
The RISE Award was originated by the Kansas City Plaza Rotary Club's Justice Committee, which sponsors several initiatives under the RISE acronym, Rotary Investing in and Supporting Equity.  In addition to this award focusing on values and ethics, the Club has instituted a microloan project for small, inner-city entrepreneurs in partnership with Alt Cap and CHES, Inc.
Pictured above are Kansas City-Plaza Rotary Club President Frank Bales and Kelly Wilson, Owner of Weave Gotcha Covered!
For more information, contact Nancy Shawver at

Club Members Were at Harvester’s Food Bank for Giving Tuesday
Community Service Chair Ralph Foiles, organized a Giving Tuesday for our club members and families for November 28.  Fourteen Rotarians and family members worked the two-hour shift packaging Back Snack food items for children.  Several hundred Back Snack pages were filled, sealed and boxed.  Back Snacks are distributed through the school systems in 26 counties to children who don’t have sufficient food over the weekend or who may prepare their own meals. 
Packers, lifters, sealers and boxers included:  Melynn and Dan Sight, Frances Reddis, Dan Margolies, Ralph Foiles, Bob Latz, Jerry Venters, Cassy Venters, Bill Schmidt, Ted Towman, Bo Steed, Austin Fisher, Rhonda Dolan and Vets4KC Satellite Club member Bryant King.