For more than 40 years, the specialists at Liddle's Sport Shop have outfitted local players with proper padding and uniforms for a full spectrum of sports. Along the labyrinthine racks and shelves of the shop, players can find equipment for athletic endeavors including baseball, football, running, and volleyball. Liddle's Sport Shop also carries athletic apparel and shoes from brands such as Under Armour, Asics, Wilson, and Spaulding. Coaches can consult logo artists for in-house screenprinting and embroidery services, which personalize items such as hats, jerseys, and official team pajamas.
Scuba enthusiast Jennifer Feller's unconditional love for underwater sightseeing and pruney fingers constantly prompts her to explore the depths of aqueous avenues far and wide. As an IDC-trained PADI instructor and volunteer search-and-rescue diver, she teaches first responders the indispensable skills needed for effective public-safety diving. At The Playground Dive Shop, Feller's very own scuba emporium, her knowledgeable staff, which includes a retired Navy submariner, unveils a collection of the latest diving gear and repairs broken or faulty equipment. They also empower visitors to take their own watery plunges during a variety of scuba-diving courses, which teach participants the basics of underwater breathing, the techniques needed to earn an open-water certification, and underwater photography tips––such as making sure you snap multiple pictures, just in case a fish blinks.
Clothes and furniture find new life at Red Racks Thrift Stores. Through donations, the staffers at the store's 13 locations fill their racks and shelves with thousands of second-hand items for kids and adults, including name-brand garments from the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, The Loft, and Donna Karan New York. They also stock furniture and other miscellaneous goods, such as books and home décor.
And something odd happens when these items arrive at checkout—the register doesn't ring up any sales tax. That's because Red Racks is a nonprofit organization, and all proceeds go to benefit the Disabled American Veterans, an organization that has advocated on behalf of veterans for more than nine decades. Red Racks' altruistic mission has proved successful so far—the inventory of each store typically turns over every 3–4 weeks.
Ibex Climbing Gym's 8,000-square-foot indoor facility is home to dozens of routes for all climbing skill levels. From clinging to overhangs or slowly trudging up slabs, climbers can hone their gripping skills with lead or top-rope climbing sessions. On a second-floor loft, bouldering challenges await rope-free climbers, with crash pads on the ground to soften falls and hundreds of multicolored holds offering varying routes. Ibex team members lead classes for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and also offer youth summer camps and recreational and competitive climbing teams. A wide variety of gear is available to equip students for climbing inside or outside of the gym. Prior to any rope climbing in the gym, beginners must undergo a belay class that teaches the fundamentals of belay safety, proper terminology, and the preclimb lasso dancing required for good luck.
The factory-trained technicians at McCarthy Blue Springs Nissan's service department ready cars for the hardships of Jack Frost's annual visit. After adding fresh oil to a cleaned and conditioned reservoir, engine doctors perform in-depth inspections to locate problems, such as GPS units set to "backwoods shortcut." They'll also flush the coolant system to rid it of performance-impairing contaminants, then test the battery for signs of life and scrub off any built-up gunk or corrosion. Thanks to an exterior wash, autos can roll away from the 2.5-hour session feeling fresh on the outside, too, and a new set of wiper blades keeps the car from having to resort to its onboard ESP function during blizzards.
One nippy Tuesday morning, Oliver H. Gerry swung open a set of doors inside the Grand Avenue Temple in downtown Kansas City. It was January 23, 1912, and that unfurled entranceway symbolized the first day Gerry Optical was open for business. In the 100 years since, professionally trained technicians have prepared eyewear to complement the styles of countless clients, including President Harry Truman and Senator Nancy Kassebaum. Today, each of the store's nine locations carries between 800 and 1,200 frames from brands such as Calvin Klein, Ray-Ban, Prada, and BCBG, and the flagship store on 75th Street also houses its own grinding lab to quickly custom-craft lenses and fix cracks after cartoon eye-popping mishaps. To honor its deep community roots, Gerry Optical gives back by partnering with Lions Clubs International to provide discount eye exams and eyeglasses to underprivileged families.