June 2021 Newsletter

JUNE 2021 NEWSLETTER

GRANDPARENTS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

Meet Us in the Political Park

Monday, June 28
4:00 – 5:30 pm
Roe Park, 104th & Roe

After more than year, it’s time to get together again!

Meet Us in the Political Park to hear lawmakers from both sides of the state line recap the most recent legislative sessions. They’ll also share what specific kinds of advocacy best resonate with them and how we can maximize the impact of our efforts to curb gun violence.

It will be a great opportunity to safely reconnect outdoors. Find us at the shelter reserved at Roe Park, 104th and Roe, just north and west of Suburban Lawn and Garden. Following CDC guidelines, masks are optional. Water and soda will be provided, and feel free to bring your own snacks.

Cross your fingers for good weather and plan to join us.

At GAGV’s May meeting, we learned more about the stresses police officers face and what’s underway to alleviate their effects. Chief Byron Roberson and Capt. Ivan Washington of the Prairie Village Police Department (PVPD) discussed the stressful effects of covering 24/7 shifts, handling traumatic calls involving car accidents and suicides, even nutritional problems resulting from eating fast food in their patrol cars because officers are reticent to enter restaurants while in uniform.

In response, PVPD has implemented several programs to help, including creative scheduling, assigning mentors to new officers, increasing paid time off, remodeling police headquarters so officers feel safe and relaxed plus providing programs to promote financial security and physical fitness. The officers were joined by social worker Heather Mason of the Johnson County Mental Health Department, whose presence with police in responding to mental health calls can alleviate some stress officers in handling those situations.

Click here to view May’s program and read the minutes.

Community Forum Update

Strategies to Curb This Public Health Epidemic
Monday, October 11, 2021
Sponsor, Support & Register now!

This year’s Forum will focus on how to improve four key areas that exacerbate gun violence, including homelessness and its spiraling effects on mental and physical health.

They were the focus of a recent page one story in The Kansas City Star showing Missouri counties with the highest numbers of eviction rates also had the highest numbers of shootings. The article was reprinted in The Trace, a daily national newsletter reporting on gun violence in America. In Kansas City, a wave of evictions could push gun violence to new extremes this year.

Speakers at the Forum will highlight local efforts to improve homelessness, among them U.S. Army veteran Chris Stout’s village of tiny homes for veterans in Kansas City. Read more about Chris and his work here.

Lock It For Love

As the metro area returns to a new form of post-pandemic normal, Lock It For Love will be staffing more community events and distributing free gun locks. Five events are scheduled in the coming weeks, which means more volunteer opportunities for you!

LIFL will be working with community partners including Children’s Mercy Hospital, the KCMO Health Department and Harvesters, among others. Social distancing and voluntary mask wearing will remain in place for LIFL volunteers.

If you’ve already expressed interest in LIFL volunteering, expect an email from SignUp Genius with staffing specifics for an upcoming event. If you’d like to begin volunteering, contact us.

Since its beginning in July 2017, LIFL has distributed more than 4,000 free gun locks along with educational materials promoting safe storage of firearms.

Friday June 4: National Gun Violence Awareness Day

This day is an opportunity to remind others about the thousands of American lives lost each year to gun violence including homicide, suicide and accidents as well as the pain their survivors experience.

Here in Kansas City, GAGV prompted the cities of Kansas City, MO, plus Leawood, Overland Park and Prairie Village to adopt city proclamations recognizing the day’s importance. Read Prairie Village’s proclamation.

Last Wednesday the Kansas City Star published a Letter to the Editor from GAGV president and founder Judy Sherry calling attention to the day. See “Be Aware.”   

Here are some simple ways you can observe the day to show your support:

  • Wear your GAGV polo shirt or ball cap or anything orange.
  • Share the date on social media and explain why you’re committed to preventing gun violence.
  • Fly your American flag and add an orange ribbon to call attention to the day.

Juneteenth Celebrations

GAGV will participate in this community celebration commemorating the Civil War emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. Join us in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District for these events:

Juneteenth Cultural Parade
Saturday, June 12, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm 
GAGV president/founder Judy Sherry will drive her red car with the blue license plate. Plan to wear your orange shirt and walk along with her. We’d like to see a sea of orange shirts and will post a SignUp Genius later this week.

Juneteenth Heritage Festival 
Saturday, June 19, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm 
GAGV will distribute free gun locks at its Lock It For Love display table

GAGV Member Spotlight: Maribeth Brennaman

Growing up in Ottawa, KS, Maribeth Brennaman saw first-hand the difference one person makes. Her father Jim owned a local grocery store her grandfather started in 1919. When his regulars were struggling, Jim made sure they had food whether they could pay or not.

“The smallest denominator is where real difference happens,” Maribeth said. “I want to help and be involved in making a difference in peoples’ lives.”

Her interest in GAGV came through a 35-year friendship with board member Barb McNeile. As young mothers, they lived across the street from each other and later stayed connected, comparing notes about their PTA volunteering. That led to other shared volunteering, including the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, Johnson County Young Matrons and ultimately to GAGV, where Maribeth serves on the communications and Community Forum planning committees.

Her degree in social work from Baker University underscores her current commitment to three other community groups: Free Hot Soup, offering food at pop-up sites throughout the metro area, no questions asked; Kansas City’s River of Refuge, providing transitional housing, counseling and job training for homeless families, and StageworkX, a three-week performing arts summer camp in Olathe that builds character in students from kindergarten through high school.

“I start each day looking at a small, framed picture that says ‘Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you give,’” Maribeth said. “Everyone has something to give.”

In addition to her community involvement, Maribeth is an outside sales representative for General Mills serving metro-area Hy-Vee grocery stores. She and her husband Alan have three daughters.

Mark Your Calendar

June 4: National Gun Violence Awareness Day – Wear Orange!

June 12: Juneteenth Cultural Parade 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

June 19: Juneteenth Heritage Festival 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Both events in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District 

June 20: Happy Father’s Day!

June 28: GAGV monthly meeting from 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Meet Us in the Political Park
Our first opportunity to be together in more than a year! Roe Park at 104th & Roe.

October 11: 8th Annual Community Forum (virtual) 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Gun Violence: Strategies to Curb This Public Health Epidemic
Register here

Say Their Names

We’ve lost 14 people to homicide in the metro area since our last newsletter. We say their names here:

      News You Can Use

      In just the past five months, 234 mass shootings (defined as four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter) have occurred, including the incident in San Jose, CA, last week when nine people died, and the two shootings in Florida over the Memorial Day weekend.

      In other countries, such tragedies spur lawmakers into action. Read this article to see policy changes some countries made after experiencing their own mass shootings: Here’s how other countries have responded to mass shootings.

      Sadly, this illustration captures the tragedy of gun violence in America.

      A fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners.

      That’s according to preliminary data from Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, as reported in The New York Times, May 30, 2021.


      Grandparents Against Gun Violence is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, that focuses on issues related to gun violence in Kansas and Missouri. We are working with community partners on strategies such as distributing gun locks to help gun owners protect the children in their homes from tragedy.

      P.O. Box 11193, Overland Park, KS 66207  |  [email protected]

      Donate to Grandparents Against Gun Violence

      Facebook  •  Unsubscribe 

      JUNE 2021 NEWSLETTER

      GRANDPARENTS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

      Meet Us in the Political Park

      Monday, June 28
      4:00 – 5:30 pm
      Roe Park, 104th & Roe

      After more than year, it’s time to get together again!

      Meet Us in the Political Park to hear lawmakers from both sides of the state line recap the most recent legislative sessions. They’ll also share what specific kinds of advocacy best resonate with them and how we can maximize the impact of our efforts to curb gun violence.

      It will be a great opportunity to safely reconnect outdoors. Find us at the shelter reserved at Roe Park, 104th and Roe, just north and west of Suburban Lawn and Garden. Following CDC guidelines, masks are optional. Water and soda will be provided, and feel free to bring your own snacks.

      Cross your fingers for good weather and plan to join us.

      At GAGV’s May meeting, we learned more about the stresses police officers face and what’s underway to alleviate their effects. Chief Byron Roberson and Capt. Ivan Washington of the Prairie Village Police Department (PVPD) discussed the stressful effects of covering 24/7 shifts, handling traumatic calls involving car accidents and suicides, even nutritional problems resulting from eating fast food in their patrol cars because officers are reticent to enter restaurants while in uniform.

      In response, PVPD has implemented several programs to help, including creative scheduling, assigning mentors to new officers, increasing paid time off, remodeling police headquarters so officers feel safe and relaxed plus providing programs to promote financial security and physical fitness. The officers were joined by social worker Heather Mason of the Johnson County Mental Health Department, whose presence with police in responding to mental health calls can alleviate some stress officers in handling those situations.

      Click here to view May’s program and read the minutes.

      Community Forum Update

      Strategies to Curb This Public Health Epidemic
      Monday, October 11, 2021
      Sponsor, Support & Register now!

      This year’s Forum will focus on how to improve four key areas that exacerbate gun violence, including homelessness and its spiraling effects on mental and physical health.

      They were the focus of a recent page one story in The Kansas City Star showing Missouri counties with the highest numbers of eviction rates also had the highest numbers of shootings. The article was reprinted in The Trace, a daily national newsletter reporting on gun violence in America. In Kansas City, a wave of evictions could push gun violence to new extremes this year.

      Speakers at the Forum will highlight local efforts to improve homelessness, among them U.S. Army veteran Chris Stout’s village of tiny homes for veterans in Kansas City. Read more about Chris and his work here.

      Lock It For Love

      As the metro area returns to a new form of post-pandemic normal, Lock It For Love will be staffing more community events and distributing free gun locks. Five events are scheduled in the coming weeks, which means more volunteer opportunities for you!

      LIFL will be working with community partners including Children’s Mercy Hospital, the KCMO Health Department and Harvesters, among others. Social distancing and voluntary mask wearing will remain in place for LIFL volunteers.

      If you’ve already expressed interest in LIFL volunteering, expect an email from SignUp Genius with staffing specifics for an upcoming event. If you’d like to begin volunteering, contact us.

      Since its beginning in July 2017, LIFL has distributed more than 4,000 free gun locks along with educational materials promoting safe storage of firearms.

      Friday June 4: National Gun Violence Awareness Day

      This day is an opportunity to remind others about the thousands of American lives lost each year to gun violence including homicide, suicide and accidents as well as the pain their survivors experience.

      Here in Kansas City, GAGV prompted the cities of Kansas City, MO, plus Leawood, Overland Park and Prairie Village to adopt city proclamations recognizing the day’s importance. Read Prairie Village’s proclamation.

      Last Wednesday the Kansas City Star published a Letter to the Editor from GAGV president and founder Judy Sherry calling attention to the day. See “Be Aware.”   

      Here are some simple ways you can observe the day to show your support:

      • Wear your GAGV polo shirt or ball cap or anything orange.
      • Share the date on social media and explain why you’re committed to preventing gun violence.
      • Fly your American flag and add an orange ribbon to call attention to the day.

      Juneteenth Celebrations

      GAGV will participate in this community celebration commemorating the Civil War emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. Join us in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District for these events:

      Juneteenth Cultural Parade
      Saturday, June 12, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm 
      GAGV president/founder Judy Sherry will drive her red car with the blue license plate. Plan to wear your orange shirt and walk along with her. We’d like to see a sea of orange shirts and will post a SignUp Genius later this week.

      Juneteenth Heritage Festival 
      Saturday, June 19, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm 
      GAGV will distribute free gun locks at its Lock It For Love display table

      GAGV Member Spotlight: Maribeth Brennaman

      Growing up in Ottawa, KS, Maribeth Brennaman saw first-hand the difference one person makes. Her father Jim owned a local grocery store her grandfather started in 1919. When his regulars were struggling, Jim made sure they had food whether they could pay or not.

      “The smallest denominator is where real difference happens,” Maribeth said. “I want to help and be involved in making a difference in peoples’ lives.”

      Her interest in GAGV came through a 35-year friendship with board member Barb McNeile. As young mothers, they lived across the street from each other and later stayed connected, comparing notes about their PTA volunteering. That led to other shared volunteering, including the Johnson County Christmas Bureau, Johnson County Young Matrons and ultimately to GAGV, where Maribeth serves on the communications and Community Forum planning committees.

      Her degree in social work from Baker University underscores her current commitment to three other community groups: Free Hot Soup, offering food at pop-up sites throughout the metro area, no questions asked; Kansas City’s River of Refuge, providing transitional housing, counseling and job training for homeless families, and StageworkX, a three-week performing arts summer camp in Olathe that builds character in students from kindergarten through high school.

      “I start each day looking at a small, framed picture that says ‘Your greatness is not what you have, it’s what you give,’” Maribeth said. “Everyone has something to give.”

      In addition to her community involvement, Maribeth is an outside sales representative for General Mills serving metro-area Hy-Vee grocery stores. She and her husband Alan have three daughters.

      Mark Your Calendar

      June 4: National Gun Violence Awareness Day – Wear Orange!

      June 12: Juneteenth Cultural Parade 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

      June 19: Juneteenth Heritage Festival 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
      Both events in the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District 

      June 20: Happy Father’s Day!

      June 28: GAGV monthly meeting from 4:00 – 5:30 pm
      Meet Us in the Political Park
      Our first opportunity to be together in more than a year! Roe Park at 104th & Roe.

      October 11: 8th Annual Community Forum (virtual) 9:00 am – 12:30 pm
      Gun Violence: Strategies to Curb This Public Health Epidemic
      Register here

      Say Their Names

      We’ve lost 14 people to homicide in the metro area since our last newsletter. We say their names here:

          News You Can Use

          In just the past five months, 234 mass shootings (defined as four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter) have occurred, including the incident in San Jose, CA, last week when nine people died, and the two shootings in Florida over the Memorial Day weekend.

          In other countries, such tragedies spur lawmakers into action. Read this article to see policy changes some countries made after experiencing their own mass shootings: Here’s how other countries have responded to mass shootings.

          Sadly, this illustration captures the tragedy of gun violence in America.

          A fifth of all Americans who bought guns last year were first-time gun owners.

          That’s according to preliminary data from Northeastern University and the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, as reported in The New York Times, May 30, 2021.


          Grandparents Against Gun Violence is a 501(c)(3) organization based in Kansas City, Missouri, that focuses on issues related to gun violence in Kansas and Missouri. We are working with community partners on strategies such as distributing gun locks to help gun owners protect the children in their homes from tragedy.

          P.O. Box 11193, Overland Park, KS 66207  |  [email protected]

          Donate to Grandparents Against Gun Violence

          Facebook  •  Unsubscribe