Category Archives: Nonprofit

Dakhil family pays for second Lord’s Diner food truck, which debuts Wednesday

WICHITA — The Lord’s Diner is debuting its second food truck on Wednesday and – unexpectedly – it’ll be fully paid for.

Physician Shaker Dakhil read an April Have You Heard? column about the success of the first Lord’s Diner food truck and how the nonprofit planned a second one for Friendship Park in the Hilltop neighborhood.

Dakhil called the Lord’s Diner and said he’d like to buy a third truck to help the organization feed the homeless and hungry.

“He can’t stand the thought of hungry children,” says Lord’s Diner director Jan Haberly.

She told Dakhil that the nonprofit couldn’t start thinking of a third truck until it pays for the second one. So Dakhil and his wife, Kathie, donated $115,000 for the truck and some supplies since, as Dakhil says, “Metal doesn’t feed people.”

The money was going to come from the Lord’s Diner general fund. Haberly says the donation “actually frees up that money to secure the food for all that we’re doing.”

Two diners and a truck serve about 1,200 people a day. Haberly anticipates the daily average will jump by at least 300 if not 400 more people a day.

“I always said I wanted to open my own restaurant for the homeless,” Dakhil says.

Dakhil, an oncologist who is president of the Cancer Center of Kansas, says the center has satellite centers to treat patients closer to where they live, and he says he appreciates that the Lord’s Diner practices the same concept.

“Take the food where the hungry people are,” he says.

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Thumb wrestling event to be a fundraiser

WICHITA — Koch-Glitsch employee Wade Davis is in the running for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man and Woman of the Year, and he’s having a unique event to raise money for the group.

On Saturday, Davis is hosting a thumb wrestling tournament from noon to 3 p.m. at Heroes Sports Bar & Grill in Old Town. There will prizes for different age categories.

So is there a lot of thumb wrestling going on at Koch? Was that the inspiration?

“There’s some hand wringing sometimes,” Davis says, joking, “but no thumb wrestling.”

Lord’s Diner to debut second food truck

UPDATED — It looks like the Lord’s Diner is going to have the distinction of having Wichita’s only fleet of food trucks, although for now that’s just two trucks.

090913lordsdinerThe nonprofit debuted its first food truck in September to serve the hungry near the Evergreen Recreation Center by 26th and Arkansas.

“It’s been amazing,” says Lord’s Diner director Jan Haberly.

“We thought our average number would be 250, maybe 300,” she says of the people served nightly.

Instead, it’s more like 400.

In June, a second truck will debut at Friendship Park in the Hilltop neighborhood on Bluffview between Harry and Lincoln, where there’s also a community center so diners can eat inside if they like.

Dear Neighbor Ministries and StepStone, which are ministries of the Congregation of St. Joseph, requested the new truck. The convent also is in the Hilltop area, and Haberly says there’s a great need for food for the homeless and others there.

“These literally are their neighbors that they’re helping in this low-income area,” Haberly says of the nuns.

Sister Ann Catherine Burger regularly delivers food in the area. She used to do it via a golf cart, but now that she’s almost 93, she has a volunteer driver.

“She’s acquainted herself with a lot of folks in that area, so she kind of knows what their needs are,” Haberly says.

Sister Ann Catherine Burger in what used to be her preferred mode of transportation to deliver meals.

Sister Ann Catherine Burger in what used to be her preferred mode of transportation to deliver meals.

“She thought this year maybe she might like to retire at some point. And so we said, ‘OK, we can do that.’”

Pat O’Donnell, director of mission advancement for Dear Neighbor, says Burger will still continue to visit the truck.

“She considers those people her people.”

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Haysville leaders and residents are weary of being ‘portrayed as illiterate bumpkins’

The Gridiron cast usually makes Haysville jokes as an aside, not a full skit. Still, the city is not amused by them.

The Gridiron cast usually makes Haysville jokes as an aside, not a full skit. Still, the city is not amused by them.

UPDATED — The joke’s on them, and Haysville leaders and residents are not amused.

“We request that you remove all jokes about Haysville and other area communities from Gridiron,” said Haysville Mayor Bruce Armstrong in a Thursday e-mail to several people involved with the show.

Gridiron is an annual satirical production put on by the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists to spoof the news and raise scholarship money for journalism students.

Armstrong said “compromising the well being of the citizens and businesses of Haysville with snide, hurtful and untrue remarks is not an acceptable means to securing the funds for those scholarships.”

Armstrong’s wife, Susan Armstrong of Armstrong Chamberlin Strategic Marketing, also wrote to “respectfully request that you reconsider any skits that portray an entire city–any city–as ignorant or toothless, or cheap. It’s the equivalent of bullying, and it shouldn’t be done.”

She said that “Haysville is growing weary of having our whole community portrayed as illiterate bumpkins. We are working hard to improve the awareness of all the wonderful qualities our city has to offer. Every time you mention Haysville at Gridiron, you hurt our efforts.”

John Burke, superintendent of schools for Haysville USD 261, wrote, “I find this counterproductive to our image campaign and am respectively requesting that you stop making fun of Haysville as part of your production.”

One resident wrote to invite those involved with Gridiron to visit Haysville for a tour – along with coming up with new material and giving Haysville a break.

Sedgwick County Commissioner Tim Norton, who regularly attends Gridiron and spars with the cast, says enough probably is enough.

“Well, I’ve always been a very, very good sport with the sarcasm, the innuendo, the poking and everything,” he says. Norton says, though, the joke is wearing thin.

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You don’t say

“We aren’t much accustomed to third-place finishes at Wichita State.”

WSU director of athletics Eric Sexton, who says he hopes “the Shocker Nation” step ups and votes angry for Coach Gregg Marshall in the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge to benefit the Wichita Children’s Home

You don’t say

“Dawson who?”

Rene Steven’s response to car dealer Dawson Grimsley’s goading challenge to raise money on Saturday for the Salvation Army’s Mission of Hope

You don’t say

“Obviously, I’m a lot better salesman than she is.”

– Car dealer Dawson Grimsley once again goading Spangles spokeswoman Rene Steven, who is one of ten celebrities trying to raise $40,000 in three hours on Saturday for the Salvation Army’s Mission of Hope

Lord’s Diner to start a food truck

WICHITA — Food trucks are so popular, even God is getting one.

Well, his diner is anyway.

The Lord’s Diner is going to begin operating a food truck this month and park it at the Evergreen Recreation Center near 26th and Arkansas.

“It’s for everyone – particularly people in need,” says Lord’s Diner director Jan Haberly.

The Kansas Food Bank suggested that area, which is where Cloud Elementary School is. Haberly says about 90 percent of the school’s lunches are free or reduced in price.

“That’s kind of a key that there’s need in that area.”

Even before the food truck craze hit Wichita a couple of years ago, the Lord’s Diner started considering a truck.

Someone on the Lord’s Diner board saw a similar nonprofit truck in Texas several years ago.

“We were looking at ways to expand our mission, and we just thought that was kind of a cool idea,” Haberly says.

Starting Sept. 23, the truck with be at the rec center from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Monday through Thursday, which is what worked for the center.

Haberly says the Lord’s Diner wanted a dining area for potential truck patrons, which the rec center is providing. She says the Lord’s Diner didn’t want to use someone else’s kitchen, though.

“We keep the food safety controls in our hands.”

Haberly says the Lord’s Diner wants the flexibility of a truck to potentially drive to other sites as well. There are already discussions about a second truck.

Each of the free truck meals will have a meat, starch, vegetable and fruit or salad along with dessert.

“We try and do a balanced meal,” Haberly says.

The truck doesn’t have an official name, though Haberly teasingly named it while working on it recently.

“I named it Francis today after the pope.”

Envision closes Kansas City plant, lays off 30 employees while restructuring

WICHITA — Envision has closed a Kansas City manufacturing plant and laid off 21 people there and nine in Wichita, but new president and CEO Michael Monteferrante says he’s instituting a restructuring that will position the nonprofit to flourish.

“Obviously, it’s a very difficult and painful situation to lay off employees, especially blind (employees),” he says. “Sometimes it takes a very tough decision.”

Monteferrante says the government’s sequestration “has caused a reduction of revenue of about 36 percent at Envision, which is a tough situation because 92 percent of our revenue is generated through the United States military.”

Although Envision has done what Monteferrante calls a “magnificent job” in expanding services for the blind and visually impaired, he says, “What we’ve done is we’ve remained very one dimensional on our revenue stream, which is making bags for the military.”

Envision manufactures a variety of plastic bags.

“We have to focus on diversification,” Monteferrante says. “We’re not going to be so dependent on the government.”

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Wichita Habitat for Humanity moving to Inter-Faith Ministries building

WICHITA — Wichita Habitat for Humanity is getting a new habitat of its own.

The nonprofit is moving into the building that Inter-Faith Ministries owns at 829 N. Market.

“We’ll be in business there on July 1,” says Habitat executive director Ann Fox.

“We’ll have our own entrance,” she says.

Habitat’s address will be 130 E. Murdock since its entrance is on that street.

“That’s important to us that we have our own identity in that building,” Fox says.

She also likes that it’s close to residential areas.

“So it’s more comfortable and accessible for families that we serve.”

Currently, Habitat is at 420 E. English just east of Intrust Bank Arena. Habitat’s lease is up.

Fox says that building has been great, but she says, “As a conscientious not-for-profit, you always look for what is out there.”

The Inter-Faith lease is at a good price, Fox says.

“That becomes a nice benefit for us,” she says. “This is a very economic decision for us.”

At the new space, Habitat will have 2,200 square feet for its offices and another 2,200 square feet of common area that it will share with other tenants.

Carl Hebert of InSite Real Estate Group handled the deal.

“He is just incredible,” Fox says. She says Hebert “made our decision making easy.”

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