Through her work with Variety KC, Deb Wiebrecht helps children with special needs

By Leanna Walters
If you’ve seen a movie at the B & B Theatre in the last several months, you’ve probably seen an ad during the previews about a drink and popcorn special benefitting Variety KC, and featuring LQ member, Deb Wiebrecht, Executive Director of Variety KC for the past eight years.

LQ member Deb Wiebrecht (center), Executive Director of Variety KC, is featured in a  B & B Theatre drink and popcorn promotion to benefit Variety KC.
LQ member Deb Wiebrecht (center), Executive Director of Variety KC, is featured in a
B & B Theatre drink and popcorn promotion to benefit Variety KC.

It is the mission of Variety KC to supply specialized equipment to a variety of kids with a variety of special needs in the Kansas City area. Currently, this includes children with 73 different disabilities, and the equipment is not inexpensive.
Adaptive bikes start at $2,500; adaptive wheelchairs, $10,000; iPads with special apps run around $1,000. Needless to say, fund raising is a huge part of Deb Webrecht’s job.
So, how does she manage with a staff of one (herself)?
She hates to say no
When insurance won’t cover an item, Variety is often the last resort for families. “When a family puts a hand out for help, it’s humbling and terrifying,” Deb says. “To say no would be to say no to hope.” Her inability to say no keeps her motivated.
She seeks out and nurtures her volunteers and partners
She constantly spreads the word about Variety KC, seeking out suppliers of adaptive bikes, van modifications and other specialized equipment; partnering with other non-profit funding organizations; helping arrange fundraising events and inspiring volunteers to use their talents and creativity to raise funds.
Since Variety got its start in the 1920s as an organization centered around entertainers, she continues to tap into the Kansas City performing arts and celebrity scene, continuing a long tradition of yearly variety shows.
Deb tells the story of receiving a phone call in the middle of the night from Danny O’Neill, founder of Roasterie Coffee. He was on a motorcycle trip and atop a mountain in Lebanon (hence the time difference). Danny told her he found his experience so inspiring, he wanted to personally arrange a fund-raising motorcycle ride from Kansas City to the Arctic Circle in Alaska with a goal of raising $25,000 to purchase 25 adaptive bikes for kids.

Deb shares Max’s excitement over his new, adaptive wheelchair.
Deb shares Max’s excitement over his new, adaptive wheelchair.

She loves the kids like they’re her own
On a recent Saturday in January, Deb was asked to speak at the funeral of Vicki, one of “her kids” (as she often refers to the kids she works with) who had herself become a volunteer as she became a young woman. Deb considered it the biggest honor of her professional career.
She thrives on local and national “firsts”
Thanks to a specially equipped iPad, a young, non-vocal girl can engage in conversations through typing. The person with whom she’s conversing actually hears the questions and responses as the voice of an age appropriate girl through a text-to-voice app–a first in the KC area.

A harness system allows this child to experience the world from the perspective of able-bodied children.
A harness system allows this child to experience the world from the perspective of able-bodied children.

A program using harnesses and an overhead grid allowed children to play upright at Legoland tables at Crown Center as part of a first-ever pilot program. When the new BE Smith Children’s Center is complete at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, the entire building will feature a built-in harness system, thanks to Variety KC.
A little boy in Shawnee with a limb deficiency now has a 3-D arm.
Students at the Barstow School partner with engineering students to custom-adapt battery powered cars to some of the youngest Variety kids. The program fits in with Barstow’s STEAM curriculum (science, technology, engineering, the arts and math) while reinforcing diversity, tolerance and acceptance.

The Variety KC story doesn’t stop with supplying equipment. Deb realizes special needs kids want to be able to play with able-bodied kids. “They don’t want to be defined by their differences,” she stresses. So beyond supplying equipment to help level the playing field, Deb also works to create playing fields where all kids can play together.
• Variety has funded two adaptive and inclusive baseball diamonds, three playgrounds (Independence, Leawood Park, Tiffany Hills) and another in the works in Olathe.
• Variety is working with Children’s Mercy Hospital to make their downtown playground inclusive.
• Working with the Mavericks hockey team, Variety KC has provided sleds and adaptive walkers at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence that kids can check out and use for free.

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Kids experience the thrill of ice hockey at the Silverstein Eye Center Arena in Independence thanks to adaptive sleds and walkers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet several of ‘Deb’s kids’ (from her blog at Varietykc.org)

0218 Dominique bw sizedDominique
Just look at this photo of Dominique on his first day of school! He is a young guy full of promise and yet struggles with some of the challenges of being on the autism spectrum. His teachers noticed a behavioral change and sense of excitement when Dominique was exposed to technology. He is successfully using an iPad at school and really opening up and moving forward in his learning. Having an iPad at home would help Dominique to engage and communicate more at home with his family, it would also provide a way for him to engage with friends. There are so many ways we can facilitate inclusion, and communication is such an important one.

0218 LandonLandon
Landon has Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. He also has a tremendous amount of spirit and energy! He primarily uses a wheelchair and sometimes a walker for mobility, but an adaptive bike would give him so much more than that – it would give him independence and opportunities for inclusion. This year Variety KC held a bike drive radiothon with 102.1 and funded bikes for so many excited Variety Kids. Then Danny O’Neill from The Roasterie took a fundraising ride to Alaska and funded even more! Let’s make sure every child gets a chance to Be Active, Be Social, and Belong – on a bike!

0218 Natalya bw sizedNatalya
Natalya survived a stroke at the age of two weeks and now she has weakness on the right side of her body. She’s a bright and social little girl who just wants to keep up with her peers! Natalya received her bike because of generous Variety KC donors who understand how important a bike is for inclusion and in Natalya’s case, for physical strengthening too.

 

 

0218 Gabriel bw sizedGabe
Gabe has so many physical limitations, but is smart as a whip and very socially and mentally aware. His physical limitations restrict activities and he spends too much of his time as an observer. An adaptive bike would allow him to ride along during family walks and would greatly broaden his horizons. That’s what Variety KC Donors wanted for Gabe too!  So, at the recent radiothon for bikes, enough money was raised to buy so many deserving kids an adaptive bike. . . including Gabe.

If you wish to meet more of Deb’s kids, or to find out how to become involved with Variety KC, please visit VarietyKC.org

 

There’s a Champion on the LQ Golf Course. . .

This Kansas Champion American Elm tree lies to the right side of Fairway #9
This Kansas Champion American Elm tree lies to the right side of Fairway #9

One of the Elm trees on the golf course has recently been recognized as a State Champion Tree in Kansas by the Kansas Forest Service. We submitted the tree for consideration in the fall and recently received the good news! I have attached the most recently updated list with our Elm tree prominently listed under Elm, American. Thought it might warrant a mention in The Quiviran.
Thanks,
~ Jeff Eldridge, Golf Course Superintendent

 

 

 

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A Summary of the January 23 Board Meeting

President Sestak opened the meeting and invited attending members to share comments and questions; no members came forward.
New Business
President Sestak announced Mon., March 26, 2018. at 7 p.m. in the Clubhouse as the date, time and location for the Annual Foundation Member Meeting.
Tray Vedock gave an update from the Nominating Committee. Serving on the committee this year are Mr. Vedock (Chair), Lisa Coffman, Randy Treas, Christi Metivier and Justin Wood. Meet the Candidates night has been set for Wed., March 8 at 6 p.m. in the Clubhouse. An announcement will be published in the [February] Quiviran stating nominations are now being accepted. Biographies of each candidate will be published in the March Quiviran. Election to be held at the Annual Meeting.
General Manager Report
Mr. Goss stated the Hole #15 Water Feature agreement was signed last week, and work is scheduled to begin on January 30. Mr. Markley explained the modifications, saying the creek will be a little wider than Hole #2, but no running water. There will be boulders in the creek and grass around the sides, the north side wall will be removed and the stone bridge will be modified.
Mr. Goss said staking has been done on the new Golf Practice Facility. Once the abatement certificate is received back from the state around February 1 and financing is secured, construction work on this project will commence.
Marketing Committee
Ms. Bowker updated the Board on current membership numbers. She spoke about the upcoming membership campaign with Creative Golf Marketing which will run from February 15 through July 31. Campaign kick-off with the membership will be held at the Clubhouse on February 15. Mr. Nelson voiced his concern on the timing of this campaign due to so much going on and he thinks it should delayed. He also expressed his concern about the proposed commissions associated with this program.
Ms. Bowker explained this timing was essential for annual recruiting season, and the economics of the program will be reviewed with the Finance Committee. Ms. Bowker made a motion to expand the Junior Country Club category to include two levels; a Level 1 for ages 21 to 32, and a Level 2 for ages 33 to 39. Motion approved unanimously. Another motion was made by Ms. Bowker to approve the membership campaign with Creative Golf Marketing. Motion passed with one abstention.
Finance Committee
Mr. Wilson stated their meeting was this morning, and they reviewed draft financials through December. Since the meeting was just this morning, they had not had a chance to approve them as they need to review them first. He continued by saying they are back on a cycle where financials will be available prior to each Board meeting. Mr. Wilson said four formal proposals from financial institutions have been received for the Golf Practice Facility. The proposals were reviewed this morning, and they will be receiving final term sheets from two of the banks tomorrow. Mr. Wilson updated the Board on the Advanced Pay Program with the Golf Practice Facility; 29 commitments and $72,500 collected. These funds are being placed in a segregated account to be used exclusively for this project.
Golf Committee
Mr. Markley said there was no committee meeting in January, but he updated the Board on the different approaches being researched to provide electrical service to the Golf Practice Facility.
Lake and Residential Committee
Mr. Nelson said there was no committee meeting in January, but updated the Board on several items. Last Thursday, a grant request was filed with Johnson County Storm Water for the Navajo storm water project. It is an $800,000 project in which the grant would cover 75 percent. We should know if we receive the grant by October. Olsson and Associates recommended the box culvert be more than double its size to meet the 10-year flood plan.
Next, Mr. Nelson spoke on the new Beach Pavilion. The Mothers Club has received two proposals; one has been reviewed by the Restrictions Committee. Target date to have the Beach Pavilion completed is prior to start of the Summer Rec Program.
Mr. Nelson then updated the Board on the new Nature Center. Work is underway on final building design. The 36’ x 36’ building has been modified to include a meeting room and a restroom. Mr. Nelson said he made a presentation to the Quivira Foundation requesting funds to cover the cost of the restroom. The Foundation will review the request and get back to him. Mr. Nelson said he hopes fundraising will begin in March.
Eric Vossman expressed concern about the recent challenges with the Beach Pavilion due to the lack of design standards for commercial development, such as a standard roofing style, material and color. Discussion ensued on this topic, and a recommendation was made to get input from the Community Center architect. The development of design standards and guidelines for commercial development, similar to what is in place for residential development, will be taken up by the Restrictions Committee.
Mr. Nelson reminded the Board that on January 1, 2017, the City of Lake Quivira passed an Elicit Discharge Ordinance. The current issue is the placement of Christmas trees in the lake. According to the ordinance, it is strictly prohibited to put yard waste of any kind in the lake and is subject to a fine. Furthermore, plankton enhancer and the fish feeder should no longer be put into the lake per this ordinance. Mr. Goss stated notifications will be sent to residents currently in violation of this ordinance. He will also inform the City that the violators were notified as is required by the ordinance.
Restrictions Committee
Mr. Braun said there was no committee meeting in January, but reminded the Board that the new Construction Impact Fee took effect on January 1, 2018. A new Foundation Member who intends to build a new home, but had not obtained a permit prior to the effective date, has asked to negotiate the fee. The Board decided the member is responsible for paying the full fee.
Tennis Committee
Ms. Bowker stated the committee is looking for a new tennis pro for the Club.

2018 Board Nominations

Now accepting nominations for the Board of Directors. Please contact a member of the Nominating Committee.

Meet the Candidates Night 
When:  March 8, 6 – 8 p.m.
Where:  Clubhouse Ballroom

Candidate profiles will be published in the March edition of The Quiviran.

Nominating Committee
Tray Vedock, Chairman
Randy Treas
Lisa Coffman
Justin Wood
Christi Metivier

President’s Report – February 2018

By Steve Sestak, President, Quivira, Inc.

Recently, a market analysis was conducted by Creative Golf Marketing to determine how many households in close proximity (< 15-minute drive) to Lake Quivira meet the income requirement (> $125,000) for country club membership. Care to take a guess at the answer?
Before I share it, let me recap the current membership levels at Lake Quivira. The Bylaws have limits of 150 Country Club and 100 Social members. We have not been close to these numbers since the turn of the century. Since that time, a typical year has reflected a range of new member additions and current member losses, but rarely surpassed 120 Country Club and 50 Social members for a sustainable period.
As we begin 2018, those numbers are 109 and 46, leaving room within our established limits of 41 Country Club and 54 Social Members.
The answer to the original question is an astounding 16,477 close-proximity households with the financial capacity to afford country club membership. While it is fair to assume some already belong to a club and others may never join a club, there remains an extremely large number of prospective households near Lake Quivira that would close our remaining membership gap. Closing this gap is not just the Board or the Marketing & Membership Committee’s charge, it is the responsibility of every member.
In February, we will launch our Membership Marketing Campaign with the assistance of Creative Golf Marketing. Their proven approach will provide the tools we need to prospect, solicit and recruit new members, but the source of these leads must come from us. People join clubs because they are asked by someone they know, and we each know someone who would be a great new member. With a new Community Center, a new Golf Practice Facility and other improvements on the near-term horizon, it is time we each begin to share this exciting progress with our families, friends and colleagues and invite them to participate in the unique experience only Lake Quivira can provide.
Please make it a priority to participate in this exciting new program. Beyond sharing the Lake Quivira experience with others you know, there will be an attractive financial incentive for those credited with each referral. Together, we will all share in the benefits of a full membership.

This article should be RE(a)D!

Attendees walked the red carpet into the Clubhouse. Photo by Lisa Phlegar
Attendees walked the red carpet into the Clubhouse. Photo by Lisa Phlegar

By Mary Linda Boling
Lake Quivira celebrated New Year’s Eve this year by “Painting the Town RED.” Months of planning and a tremendous collaborative effort by the staff and House Committee culminated in a great party to welcome in 2018. Thank you to all who helped:
The delivery of the invitation (Bruce Rimbo and Bill Eckinger)
Photographic help on the invitation (Eric Johnson and Ron Bower)
The Quiviran article (Anne Simms)
Music selections for the band (Dianne Fowler and Jeanne McGrath)

Raspberry martinis were served in red lighted martini glasses. Photo by Lisa Phlegar
Raspberry martinis were served in red lighted martini glasses. Photo by Lisa Phlegar

Special martinis with lighted red glasses (Bryan Albers)
Photography Club “RED” slide show (Linda Segebrecht)
Artful flower arrangements with big red feathers (Sherry Metcalf)
Communications and all kinds of help (Lisa Phelgar)
Red carpet, red up-lights, red rose napkins, beautifully printed menus and every detail imaginable (Shannon Brown)
Excellent service — all night! (Ashley Walz and her staff)
Beautiful room set-up (Richard Borchers)
One hundred red lanterns hung from the ceiling (Gary Anderson and his crew)
Amazing Food – those quail egg and candied bacon appetizers were unbelievably delicious! (Chef Michael and his staff )
Lovely piano bar music in the Great Room (Suzanne Hern)
Great dancing music for one and all (The Suburbans).
And our biggest cheerleader (Geary Goss)
It takes a village of volunteers and a talented and dedicated staff to make a special evening that was so thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended…Here’s what a few people said:
“Everything was perfectly executed from the red carpet candlelit walkway to the chicken/waffles/black eyed pea midnight buffet. The food was delicious, the service was excellent, and the decor was terrific, right down to the red martini glasses. The band made sure everyone had a blast and indeed, the dance floor was full most of the night. To top the night off, we met 6 new friends at our table. We will make this an annual tradition! Thank you to Geary, Chef, and the entire staff who created such a memorable evening.” ~Robin Scholfield and Taylor Pruitt
“The LQ NYE party was a great way to ring in 2018 with our close friends & neighbors. The appetizers and dinner prepared by chef Michael were phenomenal. With the Suburbans cranking out the tunes, we danced into the wee hours of the New Year!!” ~Robin and Mark Kistler
“The New Year’s Eve party was a classy event starting with the red carpet entry, piano bar, festive setting, lighting, and touches of red in the ballroom, along with fantastic food and drink. Kent and I danced and danced along with everyone who attended to some of our favorite tunes played by the Suburbans. Thank you to the staff and committee who put this event on!!” ~Gayle Best
“And the food!…once again, Chef Michael did not disappoint. Always a fun New Year’s Eve with great friends, dancing the night away.” ~Lisa Coffman
Mark your calendars now for New Year’s Eve 2018. Plans are already underway for another great event!

Valentine’s Day Trivia By Lisa Phlegar

0218 clubhouse valentine artworkThe exchange of cards, candy, gifts and flowers is how many people express their affection to someone special each year on February 14. This day of romance is known as Valentine’s Day. The holiday is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but has origins in the Roman holiday, Lupercalia (history.com). The day first became associated with romantic love within the circle of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other (Wikipedia).
Interesting Valentine’s Day facts:
* Richard Cadbury produced the first box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in the late 1800s.
* More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate will be sold for Valentine’s Day.
* 189 million stems of roses are sold in the U.S. on Valentine’s Day.
* Red roses are considered the flower of love because the color red stands for strong romantic feelings.
* Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines.
* Americans spend around $277 million on Valentine cards every year, second only to Christmas.
* About 3 percent of pet owners will give Valentine’s Day gifts to their pets.
* 220,000 is the average number of wedding proposals on Valentine’s Day each year.
* Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets.
* In the U.S., 64 percent of men do not make plans in advance for a romantic Valentine’s Day with their sweethearts.
Have you made plans for Valentine’s Day? Lake Quivira Country Club has a romantic evening planned for you. You will start the evening off with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Then in the magical ambiance of glowing candles, you will savor a delicious, three-course dinner while listening to classical music performed by a live guitarist. Reservations are required, so book now by calling Shannon, 913-631-4821.
Information on the event and the menu can be found on the website http://lakequivira.org/Member-Central/Member_Events.aspx or in the Clubhouse Newsletter.

 

Letters to the Editor

Beach Pavilion Funds Raised;
Lake Quivira Generousity Demonstrated!

In late December, the Lake Quivira Foundation approved a Matching Grant of up to $25,000 for the Beach Pavilion.  This grant would provide a dollar-for-dollar match against contributions made to this very important community project.  In less than one full month, 39 members have contributed more than $25,000, which achieves the full matching grant.
The LQ Foundation is delighted to transfer the entire Matching Grant and the full contributions raised to the Mothers’ Club. The Mothers’ Club will be providing additional funds and will be working closely with Quivira, Inc. to complete this project.
We should all celebrate the pride and generosity of our members and the leadership of the Mothers’ Club.  Please be sure to thank them as we sit in the shade of our new Beach Pavilion this Summer.
~Jim Wright

For The Last Time

Mary was her name. Mary had worked with this family for the past several years and prepared our home “ ’specially good” when there were “events” forthcoming.
I never knew a Mary (Maureen or Rita) that wasn’t Catholic, but Mary was a good, practicing Baptist, and her faith, like her responsibilities to this home, was outstanding. We’ll miss her as she scurried about—working and telling stories about her life. Her intensity simply wore her out. So when I sent her a Christmas Thanks check, it occurred to me it was, perhaps, for the last time.
I suppose as we age, that phrase will become part of us with more frequency. But it’s not reserved for just the older folks. For the younger set, there’s kindergarten for the last time; or the drive to the car dealer with “old Bessie” for the last time; perhaps the last walk away from the first home so excellently cared for, as first abodes are.
For the middle-aged, “for the last time” might mean the last mortgage payment, the last tree planted, the last college tuition payment–or saying goodbye for the last time to someone prematurely leaving this earth.
The remainder of this writing will focus on the “older” set. Because we face many more of these than the aforementioned.
Many last times evoke serious emotion. For example, I hunted for years around Siren, WI, with a great friend. Quite a few years ago his dad wanted to hunt again, for the last time. He did, and it was emotional. He passed away sometime later, and I placed a plaque on the tree stand he used. It said, “Elmer’s Last Stand.”
There’s the roof you’ll pay for, that last set of golf clubs, the tennis racket that should last, the last fishing reel you’ll buy. Maybe the last trip out West or to Europe, one last horseback ride, the last dog you’ll own—and on and on.
For the last time can be good, bad or neither. It can be heavy or light as a piece of Styrofoam. For sure, though, they do come.
I suppose some might say, “I wonder when he’s going to write for the last time?” (That can be good or bad, depending on your opinion.) Please don’t plan on that anytime soon!
In the meantime, I will make waves. I’ll go to the fields of life. I’ll love, hunt, fish and swim clear lakes.
God will let me know when it’s “for the last time.”
~Dick Rippey

Hot Havana Nights at the Club equals Cool Quivira Days on the Beach

Escape the cold to the Caribbean for an exciting night of gambling, tropical food, cocktails, fundraising, lively rhythm and colorful celebration.
Hopefully many of you are already well aware that the Mothers’ Club Fundraiser is fast approaching. The event is on Sat., Feb. 10, and is right around the corner. The committee has planned an amazing evening of gambling, great food, debaucherous drinks, “nearly” Cuban cigars and, of course, amazing silent and live auction items.
If you haven’t already bought your tickets, please consider doing so, to support this important event and fundraiser. This event is sealing the deal on financing of the beach pavilion that will be a great asset to the community. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will benefit The Blue Door Project, an organization which houses and supports teens in the foster system here in KC.
We all know new or off-lake members who may not yet be actively involved in the social scene at LQ. Please use this opportunity to grow our circle and introduce more folks to the fun we have out here.
Still looking for more reasons to attend? Here’s a taste of what you’ll enjoy:
– Blackjack, craps and roulette
– Signature mojito cocktails
– Live Cuban music and an amazing DJ
– Near Cuban cigars
– Cuban sandwiches, empanadas, banana rum cake and much more
– The best in silent and live auction items: amazing sports and concert tickets, one-of-a-kind LQ items, spa treatments, live art, bourbon tasting, a wakeboard, wildlife hunt, court-side KU basketball tickets and a fabulous Mexico vacation, just to name a few.
Looking forward to seeing each of you there, in the most Cuban of attire!
Check out our Pinterest Board for inspiration for the evening:
https://www.pinterest.com/jenlwood07/hot-havana-nights-lake-quivira-mothers-club/

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