MVPs, Gold Gloves, and a World Series title pepper more than 40 years of Kansas City Royals history, replete with powerful pitches and bat-cracking home runs. The recently renovated Kauffman Stadium treats visitors to a giant high-definition video board, which wears a 40-foot crown and waves a scepter made of massive glow sticks. During breaks in the action, fans can visit concessions stands, play mini golf in the kids’ area, or count each of the stadium’s 37,903 seats. Open until the top of the eighth inning, a 7,000-square-foot Hall of Fame guides guests through a maze of memorabilia, including photos of Royals past and future.
Witness high-flying college teams making it rain from three-point range while defending shots with their armbrellas. Established in 1937, the inaugural NAIA Tournament has called Kansas City home for 74 years. Featuring 32 teams pivoting and sprinting atop a lustrous hardwood battlefield, it has grown to be known as the longest-running collegiate national championship tournament in the country, not counting the infamous Skull and Bones Underground Cavern Games that took George Washington's real teeth. This year’s tourney will feature several trophy-hungry NAIA teams, such as potential participants Martin Methodist College, Texas Wesleyan University, and NAIA top-ranked Mountain State. Behold a flurry of high-flying buzzer beaters and frustrating defensive schemes at the Kansas City tradition that has featured such big names as John Wooden, Dennis Rodman, and Terry Porter.
A glass bridge is suspended above a field of 9,000 red poppies, each flower representing 1,000 soldiers who died in the Great War. This living symbol is one of the many powerful exhibits within the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, the only museum in the US dedicated exclusively to World War I and dedicated by Congress as the nation's official WWI museum in 2004.
Designed by Ralph Appelbaum, who also lent his expertise to such landmarks as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National World War I Museum integrates first-person accounts into a narrative that flows through its permanent and visiting exhibitions. The museum's collection comprises WWI artifacts such as field artillery, a 1917 Harley Davidson motorcycle, and unopened cigarette packs from a 1914 Princess Mary Christmas Box. Beyond the exhibitions, the museum extends to Over There Café and a gift shop.
At Brazil Academy, Ninja Pinto fulfills his lifelong dream of bringing the martial arts capoeira and jujitsu to American audiences from his native Brazil, where he spent his formative years training in these fighting techniques. Now a contra-mestre with more than a decade of teaching experience, Ninja leads instructors who, in addition to martial arts, guide groups of all ages and fitness levels through foot-spicing Latin dances, yoga, and cardio workouts. Students in need of more focused attention can opt for private lessons, during which instructors teach skills and fitness techniques on a one-on-one basis.
The Junior League of Kansas City has donated more than $14 million and 2.2 million hours of time since its founding in 1914. Spearheading these efforts are the nonprofit organization’s now 1,400 female members, all of whom are committed to their volunteer work and to encouraging others to donate their time as well. Their sheer numbers allow the ladies to form 700-on-700 pickup basketball games and to spread out across the community to get a pulse on current issues in need of attention—currently, children’s nutrition and fitness. To help support their efforts, these stalwart altruists host fundraisers throughout the year, most notably their annual Holiday Mart event, which raised more than $660,000 in 2011.