A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
The YWCA is the largest women's multicultural organization in existence, encompassing some 125 million members in over 100 countries. The membership represents a diversity of culture and lifestyle that assembles in 300 local associations, including the YWCA of Topeka. The Topeka chapter, first instituted in 1887, lives out the YWCA mission of empowering women with locally focused programs and outreach initiatives ranging from fitness and wellness to youth services such as Girls on the Run of Topeka. A local council of Girls on the Run International, the Topeka organization often partners with the YWCA, using running to encourage girls in grades 3-8 to live lives of confidence, health, and togetherness.
A beaming, tutu-clad youngster poses by a large number 2, commemorating her new age. A couple, nearly newlywed, strolls through a sepia-tinged park holding hands. A brindled puppy with floppy ears capers across a red wooden wagon. These are just a few of the shots that the photographers at Worth A 1000 Words Studio have captured during their tenure at the memory emporium. Both in-studio and on-location shoots cover the gamut of photogenic opportunities, from senior portraits to weddings to adorable pictures of babies disguised as bunnies or even smaller babies.
The gas purveyors of Propane Central empower grills across Kansas. Hopeful barbecuers bring their depleted vessels to one of four offices to receive a 20-pound barbecue-propane-cylinder recharge so that they may continue charring steaks or roasting incriminating laptops full of fan fiction about C-SPAN commentators. The office is open for immediate transfusions from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday–Friday.
Headed by a veterinarian with more than 20 years of experience, vets at the Meriden Animal Hospital treat large and small animals and specialize in chiropractic and acupuncture services. During the annual exam, veterinarians give pups a general physical inspection and test for heartworm, ehrlichiosis, and Lyme disease. Vets administer a distemper vaccination, a rabies three-year booster, and a therapy session, in which a dog can vent about living in his or her alpha brother's shadow. Vets bolster freshly born pets' immune systems with vaccination packages spread over three office visits, in which puppies and kittens receive up to six vaccinations—puppies get three for distemper, two for kennel cough, and one for rabies, and kittens get three for FVRCP, two for leukemia, and one for rabies.
The experienced instructors at Jemstone Arabians lead riders in one-hour lessons that ingrain proper equine-handling technique in novice and seasoned horse pilots alike. Experienced teachers tailor the pace of their lessons to accommodate riders' experience levels and the sarcasm of the talking horses they're paired with. An outdoor arena situated amid Jemstone's 24 scenic acres of open pastures hosts horse-people eager to canter under the open sky, and an enclosed indoor arena guards against inclement weather.