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Examiner
  • Bill Althaus: Open invitation to celebrate the Big 6-0

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  • I know, I know – I don't look a day over 59, but this Sunday I am celebrating my 60th birthday.
    As I contemplated this milestone event, I realized that I have spent more than half my life at The Examiner. Next March I will mark my 32nd year at the newspaper.
    Therefore, I would like to invite present and former players, coaches, activities directors, co-workers and those special friends I have come in contact with over the past three decades to my party.
    I'm having a 60th birthday celebration from 6-9 p.m., this Sunday at the Grain Valley Community Center, just two blocks south of Interstate 70 on Buckner Tarsney Road. You can't miss it, as it is right across the street from Sonic.
    Presents aren't necessary, your attendance is the real present. However, if you would like to bring something, my wife Stacy and I are suggesting a small monetary gift or gift card that will be donated to the Grain Valley and Blue Springs Community Service League offices and the Regional Animal Shelter.
    I got the idea for a "Pay it Forward" party from a young man I know in Grain Valley who wanted to help those less fortunate in his community, and he did the same thing. Parker Stone, you're my inspiration.
    Ironically, it was also an idea conceived by my pastor, Brian Hetzel, at Pointe of Hope Church a few weeks ago. At the end of the sermon, he handed everyone in attendance a $5 bill and asked them to participate in a random act of kindness.
    How cool is that? Until you find someone who desperately needs a friendly smile and a little bit of goodness in their life, you never realize how far $5 can go.
    I've written about my birthday on Facebook and Twitter and realized that many people who have been a part of my life at The Examiner might not see those messages, so that is the reason for this column.
    My wife's a bit freaked out about the number of people who might show up, so please, don't expect the sandwiches, snacks and drinks to last the entire three hours.
    My buddy Todd Johns at Plowboys is preparing the BBQ – which, I am sure is the real reason most of you are coming for – and my 81-year-old mom, Stacy and her friends are cutting up enough fruit and veggies to fill the Grand Canyon.
    But this party isn't about the eats, it's about friendship, camaraderie and giving back to the wonderful communities who have been such an important part of my life.
    Hope to see you there.
    Bill Althaus is a sports writer and columnist for The Examiner. Reach him at 350-6333 or bill.althaus@examiner.net. Follow him on Twitter: @AlthausEJC

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