AIDS Bicycle Challenge
Organizers of the fifth annual AIDS Bicycle Challenge, scheduled for Sept. 12, received exciting news the day before AIDS Walk. ABC co-chair Elizabeth Bejan received a phone call from the Tour of Missouri bicycle race, which will take place Sept. 7-13 on the streets of Kansas City, informing her that the ABC has been selected as the race’s official charity ride of the Kansas City leg of the Tour of Missouri. Last year’s Tour of Missouri Kansas City charity ride drew 700 bicyclists and the ABC organizers are hoping the trend continues this September.
“We had been trying to recruit the Tour of Missouri as one of our partners, and they agreed to it. It’s all rock and roll from here on out,” she said.
Bejan said that having thousands of people in town at the same time as the AIDS Bicycle Challenge will be a great asset to ridership in the event. “Bike riding is huge and is getting more visibility because of the Tour of Missouri. Our goal is to have at least 500 riders, which will be an increase of 400 riders over last year.”
Unlike previous AIDS Bicycle Challenges held in Shawnee on the Mill Creek Streamway Trail, this year’s ride will begin and end in the Power and Light District. “It was time to take it back to the streets,” Bejan said.
She said that this year’s 11-mile route is easier and that riders who want a longer route can ride the loop twice or more. “You can do it as many times as you want, and then come to the Kansas City Live Stage [14th and Grand> and party.”
“I think that will be cool because then we’ll have riders coming and going against each other, hooting and hollering and a celebration party atmosphere,” she said.
You can register for ABC begins at aidsbicyclechallenge.org.
Only one day after the April 25 walk, director Michael Lintecum reports that the walk and related events have raised well over $400,000. Organizers are tabulating the results and will report them soon. Speaking with Lintecum at the walk, I asked him whether he felt relieved that the event was done, and he replied, “We start working on 2010 tomorrow!”
Mike Sugnet, a loyal AIDS Walk volunteer and walker, has been collecting the AIDS Walk T-shirts for all 21 years of the walk. At this year’s AIDS Walk, the shirts were presented to the Kansas City Museum, where they will be displayed as part of an ongoing exhibit at Corinthian Hall.
Congratulations to the AIDS Walk directors, AIDS Service Foundation steering committee, volunteers, walkers, donors and the community for making this year’s event such a success.
The annual festival, scheduled for June 5-7, is nearly here. The Friday night Street Blast will feature Crystal Waters and Jes, and the Saturday/Sunday festival will have Kristine W., Wendy Ho, Kat Deluna, Amuka and Eric Himan.
Now is the time to reserve your exhibitor space. Kansas City Gay Pride has many events lined up the week before the festival, including Dress to Impress on May 29 at Missie B’s, Interfaith Service on June 3 at Spirit of Hope MCC and more, all listed at gaypridekansascity.com.
As we reported in the April issue, Camp will be publishing the official Gay PrideGuide for both Kansas City Gay Pride and Pride St. Louis (June 27-28). It will be distributed at both venues.
Spirit of Hope MCC
MCC’s fundraiser Bingo/Auction/Dinner will be at 6 p.m. May 9. There will be a great meal, along with auction and bingo with cash prizes. Spirit of Hope MCC is at 3801 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, Mo. (spiritofhopemcckc.org).
The church has also unveiled a beautiful new sculpture, Illumination, mounted on the wall behind the altar. The sculpture, which is made up of many small pieces, cost $17,000, and the church hopes that it will ultimately help raise more than $400,000 in donations.
The Rev. Kurt Krieger of Spirit of Hope said each of the pieces of the sculpture can be engraved as a dedication for anything from a Holy Union or Iowa wedding date, to perhaps the name of a loved one who passed away. Dedications range in cost from $250 to $2,500 each.
Krieger said, “If every piece is dedicated, we expect it to raise about $450,000 in donations or in-kind services. We will be able to pay off our mortgage on the building early — possibly up to eight years early — and the money we currently spend on the mortgage can then be used to do ministry. Additionally, there will be enough money from this process to upgrade our facility in various ways.”
“But it also means something for us as the centerpiece of our worship center and directly underneath the stained glass of the Resurrection Window. It signifies the Holy Spirit in the midst of the world and our role to bring about that work.”
“The original piece was commissioned by Topeka,” Krieger said. “We have the second installed piece. The church in Los Angeles has the sculpture also, but they are renovating their building and haven’t installed it yet. Our sculpture is slightly different than Topeka, since they were the first. But the symbol is the same, which is used by all MCC churches.”
All dedications are subject to review by the Spirit of Hope MCC board of directors for appropriateness, and engraving will be done twice a year. Those interested can call the church for more information at 816-931-0750.
The Lesbian and Gay Community Center is gearing up for its annual spring picnic, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17 at Shelter 7 in Swope Park. The center will provide hot dogs and bottled water, and organizers ask that participants bring a side dish to share.
And just to help a bit with the cuisine, they are hosting Picnic Cooking Lessons at 3 p.m. May 9 at the Spirit of Hope MCC, 3801 Wyandotte, in Kansas City, Mo. A cooking instructor from Johnson County Community College will teach how to cook two dishes. Each attendee will get a taste of the instructor’s creation. The LGCC jokingly remarks in its newsletter that this will hopefully stem off the arrival of countless side dishes of potato salad. More information can be found at
Brian Sullivan of the Kansas City Tennis Alliance reports, “The United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley Section (covering a five-state region of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, as well as parts of Illinois) is planning to write a cover story on the Kansas City Tennis Alliance for the June issue of Cross Court magazine (in recognition of Gay Pride Month). It will be the first time that the USTA Missouri Valley Section has ever written an article about GLBT tennis in the Midwest. Cross Court has a regional circulation of 25,000 tennis players.”
Sullivan added “We will be celebrating our one-year anniversary in late May, and are nearing 100 GLBT tennis players on our roster.” Interested players can contact Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bar, which has opened in the space of the former bar Natasha, 1911 Main St., is having a private party on May 11 for the filming of Bravo’s television show Million Dollar Listing. Josh Flagg, a cast member from the show, will be there. Tickets are $20 in advance at Zinfandel by Milo, 1717 Westport Rd., Kansas City, Mo., or $25 at the door.
Midwest Men’s Festival
Now in its 28th year, the Midwest Men’s Festival will be July 21-30 at Gaea Retreat Center, located about 45 minutes northwest of Kansas City (midwestmensfestival.com). Cabin or tent space and meals are included in the registration fee. Early registration, with a $25 discount, is available until June 15.
The organizers report that “the festival is attended primarily by gay men, many of whom are involved in earth-centered spirituality. It is also a celebration of diversity, freedom of expression and community participation. Men of varied racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientation and spiritual beliefs are encouraged to attend.” They also report that the gathering, once a regional event, has grown to include men coming from many regions of the country.
For more information contact either David at 515-967-2603 or email@example.com or J.B. at 612-735-0193 or firstname.lastname@example.org. “