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Village Shalom To Personalize ‘SevenDays’ Initiative For Residents, Staff

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April 13, 2014, changed everything. Since the tragic shootings at the Jewish Community Campus and Village Shalom that day, the entire community has been grappling with how to turn a violent act of hate into a positive expression of kindness and unity.

“SevenDays – Make a Ripple, Change the World” took shape to address that dichotomy. The interfaith, community-wide initiative will offer a series of events promoting faith, love and kindness throughout the week of April 7-13, 2015, to honor the memory of Terri LaManno, Reat Underwood and Dr. William Corporon. Village Shalom is not only joining forces with the initiative, but is creating its own in-house activities to address the themes of the SevenDays project.

“Village Shalom is an integral part of the community-wide effort,” said Matthew Lewis, President and CEO. “Having been a focal point of last April’s tragedy, Village Shalom has a particularly close connection to this event. It’s important that as an organization we do something separate to commemorate this anniversary in our own voice. We’re working off the theme of each day, and conducting some programs on our own that bring everyone into the spirit of the week. Overall, it will serve to unite us as a community.”

Prior to the SevenDays week of events, Village Shalom is conducting a canned-food drive to benefit the Jewish Family Services of Greater Kansas City food pantry. Staff members who donate to the drive will receive a special “Onward” t-shirt to wear throughout the SevenDays event.

Village Shalom staff members contributing to the JFS food drive will receive a t-shirt to wear throughout the SevenDays activities on campus. 

Village Shalom’s in-house SevenDays activities include:

Day 1 – Tuesday, April 7

Theme: LOVE – Write a Note of Thanks

  • Writing stations will be set up for staff members to spread love by writing thank-you notes. 

Day 2 – Wednesday, April 8

Theme: DISCOVER – Broaden Your Worldview

  • Staff members are encouraged to bring in an item related to their own heritage. These items will be displayed throughout the day to foster appreciation of the diversity of the Village Shalom family. 
  • Our friends from A.L. Huber General Contractor will host a game hour for residents. 

Day 3 – Thursday, April 9

Theme: OTHERS – Give of Yourself to Others

  • All items from the food drive will be donated to Jewish Family Services. 

Day 4 – Friday, April 10

Theme: CONNECT – Reach Out to Others

  • A.L. Huber General Contractor will sponsor an ice cream social for staff and residents. 

Day 5 – Saturday, April 11

Theme: GO – Enjoy the Outdoors

  • Purple was Terri LaManno’s favorite color. Village Shalom will honor her memory by tying purple ribbons on trees throughout the campus. 

Day 6 – Sunday, April 12

Theme: YOU – Remind Yourself That You Are Special

  • Staff members will be treated to a barbecue lunch.
  • The Epsten Gallery and artist Casey Whittier will host a “palm petal” workshop. Staff and residents are invited to make clay impressions of their palms, which will be combined to create a large work of art to commemorate the week.  

Day 7 – Monday, April 13

Theme: ONWARD – Make a Ripple to Change the World

  • This is Village Shalom’s adopted day in the community-wide SevenDays event. Staff will continue to tie purple ribbons in memory of Terri LaManno.
  • Village Shalom will participate in the community-wide Peace Walk from the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park to the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood. 

Karin McCrary, Chief Operating Officer, noted that Village Shalom is planning additional commemorations in the future. “We want to honor the memory of Terri LaManno in a permanent way, and we are considering several options that will also serve to beautify our campus,” she said.

“The most important thing is that long-lasting good will come from all of this. We are focused on positive outcomes that help us reinforce the strength of our community.”