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Tenant Good Works

by Suzanne Licata

Antioch Bar & Grill Summer Bands

Small business has been on front lines of the coronavirus, closing during the initial shut down and again later if they fell within sectors deemed riskier for the spread of COVID-19. If open, then they’re investing in changes on the fly as orders from the state, county or city evolve while each owner/manager works to make employees, customers and vendors safe. There are heroic efforts underway to endure and make sure their small business is available to serve customers and community well into the future. Some are doing this with pizazz.

Like Antioch Bar & Grill. A Curry tenant that opened in 2018, you can find this neighborhood gathering place at the Antioch Annex 5410 NE Antioch Road in the Northland or, maybe, hear it if you come by on a Sunday and see how owner Staci Hagen transforms the parking lot into a concert, and dance, venue every week.

Antioch Bar & Grill’s Summer Concerts in the Parking Lot go from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Sundays, weather permitting. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy bands like 71 South and Allied Saints. Hagen has pivoted with the best of them to manage her business in extraordinary times while bringing the joy of live music to her community.

Longtime Curry friend and tenant B&B Theatres launched Curbside Popcorn in April. The program invited their devoted customers to preorder the theatre’s delicious popcorn (and at select locations, other yummy products like cotton candy and movie candy) online for curbside pickup Saturday afternoons. This genius idea was both fun and meaningful because 100 percent of the proceeds went to pay for the health insurance (as well as vision, dental, life and disability) for B&B’s employees furloughed as a result of the stay at home and other COVID-19 related orders that went into effect.

B&B heard from its guests that they wanted to support furloughed theatre employees. Curbside Popcorn was one answer and for those who couldn’t make it curbside, the theatre encouraged the purchase of gift cards or just to share a kind word about their favorite B&B Theatres employee story on their social channels using #bbtheatres and #moviesTogether. Talk about movie magic!                                                                     

LevelUp Kids is a sight for sore eyes, especially since it launched its vision program in January of this year. Formerly Miles of Smiles, this not-for-profit treats more than 5,000 low-income children every year with free dental care in more than 40 schools or in its permanent location at Curry’s Antioch Annex in the Northland.

The vision program reopened in May, offering free eye exams in the vision van on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Infection control protocols in the vision van are in place and are much easier to deal with than those for dental services. LevelUp Kids added dental equipment that creates a more sterile and safe environment for the staff and the patients treated in schools and the office. They include DryShields, a new all-in-one device that reduces aerosols and improves staff efficiency, and Vanguard Gold extra-oral chairside suction compressors which deliver high-efficiency filtratration of viruses, chairside biological aerosols and moisture droplets. A big investment for a small but mighty charity that knows the sooner it can deliver free dental care, fewer children will require emergency room visits due to tooth pain.

Redwood Pediatrics, a Curry tenant at 9151 NE 81st Terrace, is a full-service medical clinic specializing in the needs of children and an affiliate of Children’s Mercy Hospital. The clinic is headed by Dr. John Billharz, affectionately known by parents and their children as Dr. Buzz.

Early in the onset of COVID-19, Dr. Buzz had a mobile clinic brought in and set up in the parking lot adjacent to its Barry Pointe Medical office. By doing so, Redwood Pediatrics was able to continue all of its wellness checks and other appointments at the office while accommodating anyone feeling sick that needed attention on short notice at the mobile clinic, preventing any cross contamination.

This initiative allowed parents to schedule and keep appointments as usual for their children with assurance that doing so would not risk possible exposure to the coronavirus for them or their children.

Hillsong Kansas City, formerly The Cause Church, has been a Curry tenant at its 4646 Bellview location but it is what this church community is doing every week at 21 Design Drive in North Kansas City that is blowing our socks off. Coming alongside House of Hope, they have partnered with Go Fresh Produce and the USDA to bring to local families fresh, healthy food to meet their needs.

This free grocery pickup happens every Friday at curbside at the House of Hope, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Those unable to make the Friday pickup or need groceries prior to that can text “Grocery” to 816.408.3384. They say they’re on a journey to #OneMillionMeals! And on July 28th they met their goal!

In addition to meal distribution, House of Hope opened a women’s boutique, which focuses on bringing dignity back to women through fashion for free. Want to help? House of Hope is now accepting donations Tuesday through Friday, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at its 21 Design Drive NKC location. They are seeking hygiene essentials – toothbrush, toothpaste, antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, soap/body wash, shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, paper and feminine products as well as items for babies – diapers and pull ups of any size, formula, baby wipes, Johnson & Johnson baby soap. They also accept food and clothing donations.

It has been a joy for members of the Curry team to join other community volunteers as we roll up our shirt sleeves and help make good things happen in Kansas City!

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