Forbes magazine touts Kansas City
Kansas City made Forbes magazine’s recent list of the top 10 “Best cities to get ahead” in the United States. The magazine based the list on such factors as unemployment, housing and average income. So if the recession has you a bit down, just know that some business writers think we’re still on the right curve when the economy starts improving. Pick up a copy at a newsstand or check it out at www. Forbes.com
Our friends at the Sho Me State Rodeo are back in the saddle again. After taking a year off in 2008, they’ll be hosting this year’s rodeo in September, over the Labor Day weekend. They have a great new venue, the Lone Wolf Arena, just south of Kansas City in Cleveland, Mo. You can view the facility at www.lonewolfarena.com. The crew at the rodeo tells me it has indoor air-conditioned areas and outside arenas. The host hotel will be the Doubletree in Overland Park, and I hear they may even schedule some shuttle buses. They had a great benefit in June (see photo on page 19) and are heavily into fundraising to put on the rodeo. Many of you may know Mike Jackson, who has volunteered with other organizations and been at many events around town, who has volunteered this year to sell the sponsorships, which begin at very modest levels. Those interested in being a sponsor can contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the rodeo, visit www.mgra.us.
Kansas City Cave Bears
The Kansas City Cave Bears will hold its Red and Wild 15th Anniversary Celebration at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18th, at Daddy’s Clubhouse Bar & Grill, 1610 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. The evening will include appetizers, drink specials, awards presentations and election of club officers.
The Kansas City Cave Bears, a not-for-profit organization, serves the bear community in the metropolitan and surrounding areas. It was founded in 1994 as a means to promote friendship and camaraderie for area gay men identifying as bears, cubs and their admirers. All Kansas City Cave Bear events are open to club members, guests, friends, and admirers. For more information, go to www.kccavebears.com.
‘Same-Sex Marriage in Iowa’
KC Legal’s next event will feature Dennis W. Johnson, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs in Varnum v. Brien (2009), in which the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously found that a state statute limiting civil marriage to same-sex couples was unconstitutional. Johnson, the former solicitor general of Iowa, will share his thoughts on the court battle that culminated in this historic ruling.
The event, from 6 to 8 p.m. July 8, at 1280 W. 59th St., Kansas City, Mo., is open to the public. Drinks and appetizers will be provided, and the cost is $20 at the door. In the event of inclement weather, an alternate location will be posted on the KC Legal website (www.kclegal.net). Parking is limited, so organizers encourage you to share a ride with friends or work colleagues.
Castro Movie Nights
Russ Ptacek tells me that the first Castro Movie Night, which was June 18 at the Screenland Armour in North Kansas City, was a success, raising more than $300 for the KC Free Health Clinic.
The Castro Movie Night benefits will be held the third Thursday of every month to raise funds for a rotating list of AIDS/HIV related charities. Four dollars of every ticket goes to the movie house, and the remaining $4 (or more) of the suggested minimum $8 (or more) ticket price/donation goes to the charity. The movies will be whatever mainstream movies the Screenland Armour is showing the week of Castro Movie Nights each month. The theater has a full bar, providing a chance for many to socialize before and after the screenings.
July’s event — at 7:30 p.m. July 16 — will benefit the Hope Care Center (www.hopecarecenter.org).
KC Wave hosts ‘Swimwear Idol’
The group of swimmers, along with other models, will once again be modeling swimwear, underwear and fashion at this annual fundraiser benefit for the Kansas City Anti Violence Project (KCAVP). If you haven’t been to this event before, you’re in for a real treat. There will be a Swimwear Idol winner in a contest judged by Chadwick Brooks, Milo Murray and Flo. Vote to determine who advances and who leaves the stage. It will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 10 at Flo’s Cabaret, 1911 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. $10 at the door. The show, emceed by Daisy Buckët, starts at 7 p.m.
Heart of America Softball League
The Heart of America Softball League (HASL) has announced the last three events of the 2009 season:
• 8 p.m. July 10, Team Talent Show, The Fox bar, 7520 Shawnee Mission Pkwy.
• 11a.m.-5 p.m. July 12, Bring-A-Buddy Day, Mid-America Sports Complex. 20000 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, Kan. There are 21 teams this year and in Loreal’s words, they “play gay softball on 4 fields with 2 Open teams and 2 Women’s team playing simultaneously.” The facility also has concessions with beer and hot dogs.
• 5 p.m. Aug. 16, Closing Ceremonies. Location to be announced. Player and team awards will be given, and there will be a grand party to celebrate the teams that have qualified to compete in the National Gay Softball World Series at the end of August in Milwaukee and Madison, Wis.
Melinda Ryder roast
Entertainer Loreal put on a great roast on June 19 and reports “the very first ‘Loreal Roasts’ was a huge success!” (see photos on page 14) “The first honoree was the legendary Melinda Ryder, who has been involved with the gay community in Kansas City for over 30 yrs.”
The event raised $533 for the Be the Match division of the National Bone Marrow Foundation, which helped Ryder find a match when she was diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Ryder has been in remission and cancer free for three years this September, Loreal said. She offers special thanks to Missie B’s, Belle Starr and all the people who bought tickets and made donations. The next Loreal Roasts will be in held in the late fall at Missie B’s, and the next honoree will be announced in July.
HMC’s concert sold out
Tom Lancaster and Rick Fisher of the Heartland Men’s Chorus report that their June concert, “Heartthrobs, The Best of the Boy Bands” “was our first non-holiday double sell out!”
The group’s smaller ensemble, The HeartAches, will perform at the fifth annual KC Fringe Festival. The ensemble will present a revue of Kander and Ebb tunes at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 22; at 10 p.m. Saturday, July 25; and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 26. All three performances will take place at XS Lighting, 1632 Broadway Blvd., and tickets are $10. Watch for more information at www.kcfringe.org.
It’s not too early to mark your calendar for the chorus’ 14th annual Dinner of Note, from 6 to10 p.m. Oct. 3, 2009, at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center, 2345 McGee St. It’s a great evening and a chance to play dress-up at this creative black tie encouraged event. Look for more information soon in Camp or go to www.hmckc.org.
Koster’s LGBT liaison position
PROMO, Missouri’s statewide organization advocating for equal rights for LGBT people, praised Missouri State Attorney General Chris Koster for his appointment of a liaison to the LGBT community. Joan Gummels serves as an assistant attorney general and worked during the legislative session as liaison to the legislature. Gummels, a lawyer who has worked in public service since graduating from law school, had previously worked in the attorney general’s office under Jay Nixon, who is now governor. Her appointment represents the fulfillment of a campaign promise by Koster to assure that the rights of LGBT persons would be addressed by the attorney general’s office. Gummels will work with a newly created division dedicated to civil rights and ADA compliance.
A.J. Bockelman, executive director of PROMO, applauded Koster for his commitment to equal rights of all the citizens of Missouri.
“The appointment of Joan Gummels represents a great moment in the state of Missouri,” he said. “This is the first appointment of a liaison to the LGBT community by a statewide official.”
Bockelman concluded, “We appreciate that Chris Koster has appointed Joan Gummels to assure equal treatment for LGBT persons in the state of Missouri. We hope that Governor Nixon will do his part to assure that she has the legal basis to do her job effectively.”