Randi Prichard, 5th grade student at Stony Point Elementary was presented with the Safe Rider of the Year Award for the 2019-20 school year. Prichard is pictured with her bus driver, Mrs. Connie Azcona. Photo credit: Grain Valley Schools
Randi Prichard, 5th grade student at Stony Point Elementary, was recently awarded the Grain Valley Schools Safe Rider of the Year award for the 2019-20 school year. The award came with a $100 prize. The award is usually presented at a year-end school assembly, but this year Prichard’s bus driver, Connie Azcona, delivered the award to Prichard’s home by school bus.
Shawn Brady, Director of Transportation for Grain Valley Schools, explains Prichard represents the “best of the best”.
“Each month during the school year, the elementary bus drivers select a student on their bus to be recognized for excellence in Safety and Citizenship on the bus. At the end of the year, each driver reviews their winners and nominate who they felt was their 'best of the best',” Brady said.
With record unemployment in Missouri due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are facing financial stress and food insecurity. The Grain Valley Assistance Council (GVAC) continues to meet their needs of their current clients and is providing drive-thru delivery of food assistance to anyone in need.
“We have seen a small increase in the numbers we serve in Grain Valley. The new families we are seeing have been laid off and have no income. They have tried filing for unemployment and are applying for food stamps,” Donna Compton, Site Director for GVAC said.
The organization remains open on Wednesdays from 9:00am – 12:00pm and 1:00pm – 4:00pm, with a few changes to maintain volunteer and client safety.
“At this time, we are using a drive-thru delivery method and not allowing anyone inside our building, except for volunteers. I have limited the number of volunteers also. We have no more than six in our building on Wednesdays,” Compton said.
GVAC has suspended residency requirements to request food assistance at this time.
“Since it is a drive-thru delivery method, we ask that everyone in the car, stays in their car. We will ask you to have your trunk open, so we can walk out and place the food in your trunk. If your trunk is not available, we will place your food away from our building, so you can drive up further and load your food into your car.”
Donations are always needed to maintain the food pantry and provide utility assistance for clients in need. Compton anticipates that the numbers of families requesting utility assistance and food assistance will increase in the coming months.
“Right now, any monetary or food donation is appreciated. We have a food barrel available inside the Grain Valley Price Chopper. We would ask that if you have a donation you want to bring to the office, please bring it in the Wednesday we are open. You can leave it outside the door. Please do not bring items any other day as the office is closed.”
“The only donations we are accepting at this time are food, hygiene products, and monetary donations. We are in need of jelly (plastic containers), syrup, pancake mix, canned meats, boxed dinners (hamburger helper) and canned pasta sauce (in cans, not jars, please). Since our clothes closet is not opened, we are not taking any other donations at this time,” Compton said.
The community continues to step up to assist GVAC in their efforts. Recently, GVAC received a grant from Sam’s Club for $1,500, a grant from Shelter Insurance for $1,000, and $500 in in-kind hygiene product donations from the Church of Latter Day Saints. Grain Valley Chiropractic recently completed a fundraiser for the organization, raising over $3,000.
A parade for graduating Grain Valley High School seniors will be held Sunday,
May 17th at 4:00pm. Line-up for participants begins at 2:30pm. Participants should enter and check-in at the west entrance of Sni-A-Bar Elementary, 701 SW Eagles Parkway.
The parade route will begin at Grain Valley High School, head east on SW Eagles Pkwy, north on Main Street, west on Walnut, and south on EE Kirby back to the high school.
The public is encouraged to attend and cheer on the graduates. Please keep social distancing recommendations in mind at all times.
The 2020 graduating class has certainly missed out on its fair share of senior year celebrations due to the stay at home orders related to COVID-19. To help bring some pomp to this unusual graduation season, Grain Valley Schools delivered yard signs to seniors this week, and parents and community members have come up with several ways to honor graduates during this unusual time.
One such effort is a parade for Grain Valley High School seniors, planned for Sunday, May 17th at 4:00pm.
Stacey Perry, a parent of a 2020 graduate, explains that she and other parents were looking for an looking for a fun way to acknowledge their students’ hard work.
“Several people saw the parade idea on Facebook and after discussing it, decided to do it over the weekend (as opposed to the original May 19th graduation date) so that more people could participate,” Perry said.
The parade route will begin at Grain Valley High School, head east on SW Eagles Pkwy, turn south on Buckner Tarsney, west on SW Sni-A-Bar Blvd, and then turn east onto SW Eagles Pkwy/AA back to the high school. The public is encouraged to attend and cheer on the graduates. Additionally, individuals with convertibles, Jeeps, or parade-worthy cars willing to participate should contact Stacey Perry at 816-847-6856 or Stacey@PurplePeaceFoundation.org or Anita Aubuchon at 816-810-8226 or Auby27@gmail.com.
Each year, the Truman Heartland Community Foundation (THCF) asks local mayors to nominate a citizen from their city who lends their time, talents, and energy to better their community. This year, Mayor Todd has selected to bestow the honor posthumously to Christina “Kiki” Claphan.
Mayor Todd shared the news via video conference with Kiki’s family on April 29th.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the honor. She represented what you look for in a Citizen of the Year. Not only for her work with the City, but the school district as well. Grain Valley was lucky to have her,” Mayor Todd said.
Claphan will be honored September 26th at the THCF’s Toast to Our Towns Gala.
Christina “Kiki” Claphan will be honored in September as Grain Valley’s Citizen of the Year.
Photo courtesy: City of Grain Valley
A local car enthusiast has found a way to mobilize his fellow hobby car peers to bring a bit of joy to neighbors during the stay at home order. While a traditional car show is not possible, David Maxon organized the first in what he plans to be a weekly rolling car show through neighborhoods in Grain Valley and neighboring communities.
“I wish I could take credit for this. My wife and I previously participated in one in another city, and we were both touched by the excitement it seemed to bring to that community. We decided that we would like to see that same excitement in our own community. I have personally been a car enthusiast my entire life, and I have owned my own hobby car (a 1980 Malibu) since I was 16. My wife and son are now also a part of my enthusiasm; they both now have hobby cars of their own. When I brought the idea to my friends and owners at Kustom Cruzers in Grain Valley, they didn't hesitate to volunteer to be a part of the planning process,” Maxon said.
Approximately 70 cars and motorcycles participated in the first show on Sunday, April 19th. Grain Valley’s Santa Bus led the way, sounding its familiar siren to alert neighbors of the show’s arrival. Residents lined the streets in Grain Valley’s Woodbury and Rosewood Hills neighborhoods after 4:00pm on Sunday to admire and wave at the many vehicles on display.
“I was shocked and excited about the number of people who joined in on the fun,” Maxon said.
“We are planning on doing others. I would like to do them every Sunday, weather permitting of course. We are looking to travel through more of Grain Valley, Blue Springs, and other areas in the future.” Residents can search for event information on Facebook under David Maxon/Kustom Cruzers Social Distance Cruise.
“The idea has personally given me joy in seeing the smiles on faces young and old. I also hope it teaches my 17-year-old son that car and motorcycle enthusiasts coming together can create joy in a time of uncertainty,” Maxon said.
The Grain Valley Assistance Council (GVAC) is the recipient of a $1,500 Community Grant from the Independence Sam’s Club to help fund their emergency assistance efforts in Grain Valley.
GVAC Site Director Donna Compton states many individuals and businesses have also stepped forward to assist the organization as they meet the needs of those in our community who need a hand up. Grain Valley Chiropractic has raised more than $1,200 in a recent fundraising drive for the organization, and many individuals have delivered food, clothing, and monetary donations.
For more information on GVAC, visit www.grainvalleyassistancecouncil.org.
Photo credit: Valley News staff
Grain Valley residents have reached out in formal and informal ways in the past week to help those feeling the impact of the stay in place orders imposed as a result of COVID-19. For instance, Grain Valley Chiropractic presented the Grain Valley Assistance Council a check for over $500 on March 25th.
Fundraising from Grain Valley Chiropractic patients and the general public continues online via the business’s Facebook page.
Photo L to R: Cathy Dowd, DC, and Donna Compton, Grain Valley Assistance Council. Photo courtesy of Grain Valley Chiropractic.
The Grain Valley High School Mock Trial team recently earned a spot in the Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition to be held in St. Louis on March 3rd and 5th. This is Grain Valley’s 4th year participating in the Missouri High School Mock Trial Competition and the team has qualified for the state competition all 4 years.
Last year, the team advanced to Quarterfinals (there are 16 teams at State) for the first time.
Front row left to right: Hannah Lytle, Mia Powell, Tori Seever, Jenna Wheat, Gabby Holman, Molly Wright
Back row left to right: Sage Savala, Alex Kroenke, Brayden Stolle, Carmen Myers, Paul Wheaton, Gracie Havard, Keely Crichton
Not Pictured: Aidan Kroenke
“This group has done a tremendous job this year of putting in a high level of work and bringing the younger kids along to a high level with them. I’m very proud of this group, and of the work all of them and our Attorney Coach Matthew Lytle have done this year and we hope that it will result in a great result at State,”
Mock Trial Coach Brian Winckler said.
Image credit: Brian Winckler
The Mid-America Regional Council' recognized four communities, including Grain Valley, as Communities for All Ages during a presentation on February 7th. Grain Valley earned the "Bronze Level" which focuses on awareness. To receive the Bronze Level designation, Grain Valley approved a resolution to demonstrate their cities’ commitment to participate in the program and implemented a variety of education and awareness activities with elected officials, city staff, commissions, civic groups and residents on how their city can increase age-friendliness.
The Communities for All Ages recognition program was developed by the First Suburbs Coalition and KC Communities for All Ages — two groups convened by MARC to develop programs and tools to support first-tier suburbs, help communities respond to a rapid increase in the older adult population, and make communities more welcoming for all age groups. The program is available to all jurisdictions in the nine-county MARC region.
Accepting the award (left to right): Mark Trosen, Community Development Director; Ken Murphy, Interim City Administrator; Sara Nadeau, Public Information Officer and Shannon Davies, Parks & Recreation Director.
Photo credit: City of Grain Valley