The Lawrence Fruit Tree Project works to address the growing need for access to nutritious food by partnering with the public to grow, maintain, and utilize perennial food plants. Through community orchard projects, the organization helps local residents plant and care for fruit trees, develops proposals for appropriate public spaces to plant trees, and hosts educational workshops about fruit- and nut-tree cultivation.
Heart to Heart International began as the vision of Dr. Gary Morsch, who challenged his local Rotary club to donate medical supplies to hospitals in Moscow at the end of the Cold War. With local collections across the country and the aid of the U.S. government, they distributed aid to 15 area hospitals. Today, Heart to Heart International continues to improve health conditions all over the world by connecting individuals in need with medical resources. It mobilizes volunteers to provide medical education and aid, respond to international crises, and address community health concerns.
The stresses of the city seem light years away for guests who retreat to Screamin' Oaks Farm, a working farm with goats, pigs, peacocks, chickens, cows, geese, quail, donkeys, and hound dogs. Visitors meet the farm's fleet of white and black goats, whose milk is sold onsite and also made into creamy chèvre goat cheese and homemade ice cream. Farmhands foster introductions to creatures large and small, letting guests milk the goats themselves and pet the furry mane of a young donkey. Turtles idle along in their own dedicated habitat as peacocks stalk the grounds, opening and expanding their turquoise plumage when a mate is nearby or when they want to take up two seats on tractor rides.
With a membership of more than 1,200 firms and 1,700 individuals, the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce connects savvy professionals with educational and social events and helps businesses to flourish with exclusive benefits. Businesspeople mingle at power breakfasts and after-hours events to discuss corporate concerns, commercial opportunities, or how to succeed without really trying. Educational forums and seminars hone skills as members can take advantage of low-cost, direct-mail opportunities, access demographic and business information, or purchase the Chamber’s member mailing lists for a small fee. Discounts from vendors such as Staples and Constant Contact keep everyday costs low, and the Chamber’s website nudges browsers toward members’ sites with direct links.
The Midwest Classic golf tournament—which was just added to the PGA's Nationwide Tour in December—unleashes a field of 156 pro golfers to tackle the rolling fairways of the Nicklaus Golf Club. The four passes grant access to any of the competition rounds of of this seven-day charity tournament hosted by the Kansas City Crusaders, which raises funds and donates tournament proceeds to Children’s Mercy Hospital. When pro golfers start their scorecards on Thursday, August 18, families are free to stand on the sidelines or take youngsters to a kids' play area for face painting and inflatable sports games. Check the tournament schedule for event details and exact times.
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.
Kids Voting Kansas aims to distribute election packages to local schools to spur an increase in voting and civic engagement among youth for future elections. Each package contains a variety of voting materials including personalized ballots and supplies for an election-viewing event. The voting materials will help schools mirror current elections to prepare students for their first real voting experience with hands-on activities. The program also encourages students to engage with current events by promoting news consumption and deliberative discussion.