Posted by Patrick Donnelly
Nov. 16, 2023
Rotary 13 members and invited guests gathered in The Kill Devil Club at 14th and Main with select individuals participating remotely via Facebook Live. President Tom Davis brought the assembly to order at 12:15pm with a touch of the bell. The group stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, and Barbara Dolci meditated on gratitude for November and Thanksgiving. A banner exchange with the Addis Ababa Club of Ethiopia took place. Dereje Zegeye introduced his wife and conveyed his appreciation for the hospitality shown him by Kansas City Rotarians.
Mandy spoke of meeting guests, including Susan Pettit from the Shawnee, Kansas Club.  Brad Kleindl introduced his wife, Jane, who was in attendance. Tom Woolwine introduced his guest, former co-worker Peg Van Wagonner of DeMarche, to the club. The group observed several member anniversaries this week: Ted Higgins, 3 years; Steve Burger, 34 years; and Bob Hechler, 34 years. Thankfully, no members were reported in Sick Bay.
President Tom noted that the door greeters today were the Rotary Youth Camp board members and expressed his thanks to them. Four new Paul Harris Fellows were announced to the group: Marc McCarty, Barbara Dolci +1, Dallas Ziegenhorn +1, and President Tom Davis himself, +5.
Lee Brumitt rose to inform the club of Community Service Holiday Projects in support of the West Side CAN Center. The toy drive needs gifts or gift orders by December 1st. Amazon Smile is a possible source. The coat drive needs winter outerwear by December 20th. The information sheet on the lunch tables contains details. Past President Tony reminded the gathering of open signup slots for seasonal Salvation Army bell ringing.
Ballots for Club 13 directors are available for pickup upon exiting the meeting today. They must be returned by mail or email to Mandy by December 7th. The next program committee meeting will also fall on December 7th; chair Steve Burger welcomes suggestions for speakers. President Tom then listed Club 13’s upcoming events:
  • 16 November, Harvesters sorting and packing project
  • 30 November, 5th Thursday Social at Minsky’s Pizza, 5105 Main Street, 5:30pm
  • 14 December, Club 13 Holiday Party at Drexel Hall. RSVPs are required.
At 12:25pm, President Tom introduced the featured speaker of the day, Grace Rogers, Director of Communications for the Kansas City Current, who stepped in for her boss, Dani Welniak. A graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School, Ms. Rogers joined the staff of KC Current two years ago. She worked for the team’s predecessor, FC KC, and now lives in the downtown core. (She noted that Dani is at home with a sick child.)
KC Current operates with the mission of being the best soccer club in the world for women, with a goal of paving the way for others. The Women’s World Cup in 2019 was the genesis of the team: founders and financiers Chris and Angie Long watched the international tournament overseas and concluded that Kansas City fans would (again) support a National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team. Together with Brittany Mahomes, they secured an expansion team agreement and commenced regular play in the 2021 season.
The short history of KC Current has been a history of firsts. The team designed, constructed, and occupied a purpose-built training facility for women’s soccer, a 17,000 square foot, $18MM structure that consolidates practice and administrative space under one roof. No other NWSL team has such a building. In 2024, the new CPKC stadium will open its doors to soccer fans along the Missouri River. It has the status of being the first soccer stadium built explicitly for a women’s team in the world. It seats 11,500 fans and the majority of its $120MM price tag was privately financed.
KC Current dedicates a portion of its annual sponsorship income to local community causes, organized around three pillars: the power of sports for all, inspiring bold ambitions for youth, and diversity/equity/inclusion in the sporting world. As the visibility of the team continues to grow, their resources to make impact in these areas should also grow.
Questions for Ms. Rogers included number of home games in a season (14), the national origins of the players (Brazil, Denmark, Sweden, and USA at present), and how the new stadium will affect office location (most functions will remain at the training facility). Club members also asked about other events planned for CPKC Stadium, the 2026 World Cup, and where to purchase team gear.
President Tom thanked Ms. Rogers for her explanations of all things teal. Closing announcements recapped upcoming Club 13 lunch meetings and special events. At 13:00, he shared the following with the group:
“If you want to be a great leader you must carry the water. Do the little things. Grab the ball bag. Pick up the trash. Be the example in the small moments, not just when you are standing at the podium. Assume someone is watching you all the time.” –Mia Hamm
 The 4-Way Test closed the session, followed by the bell.