I’m one of those people who reads the fine print and, as I like to say, listens to fine speech.

I’m one of those people who reads the fine print and, as I like to say, listens to fine speech.

Case in point – when Jamie Kittle of City Church called me last week to tell me about an upcoming weekend event for families, I knew – knew deep down inside where skepticism is born – that there was some hidden fee, some charge.

I’m talking about Family Fun Day, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the White Oak Shopping Center Plaza in Blue Springs. As many as 3,000 people are expected to attend, which is about average, Kittle said.

“There’s lots of stuff for families to do,” Kittle said of the event, now in its ninth year.

It does sound cool, but what’s the charge? I asked.

“Nothing. It’s 100 percent, totally free.”

This can’t be true. In addition to free admission, there’s free food, free carnival games, free inflatable games for kids, a free obstacle course and a free crane ride that will lift riders 12 stories into the air (brought to you by Prestige Crane Company, by the way).

But this event helps the church, though, right?

“No, this doesn’t make any money for the church,” she said. “It costs the church money. We spend a lot of time each year to bring this to the community.”

I wonder how many other local churches can boast of such a selfless offering? If the free games and food aren’t impressive enough, there are also opportunities to win vacations and golf games.

And it was last year when something special happened at the event, something that illustrates what the church of 500 aims to do each and every day.

It seems there was a family who won a free hotel stay at the local Holiday Inn Express. The free stay was around Christmas time, but when they heard of a local family who had lost their home to foreclosure, they gave up their prize and donated it to them.

“It was special,” Kittle said. “You never know how something like that will affect a community, or how it will bring people closer together. We’re hoping for another story like that this year.”

City Church may experience an added attendance bonus. Down Missouri 7 is The Wall That Heals, a half-scale Vietnam War Memorial wall, at Pink Hill Park. It’s there until Sunday night.

“Yeah, that may help,” she said. “But I think kids may have more fun here.”

Kittle said City Church is doing well. Active members have remained steady and finances are good. I couldn’t help but believe her (would a church experiencing hard financial times embark on something of this magnitude otherwise?).

I’d like to write a future column about what churches are doing beyond normal and traditional efforts to raise money for their operations.

If anyone out there has a story to tell about how his or her church is rising above and beyond the occasion to help raise money, let me know.
 

Another store opens at Adams Dairy Landing

Kohl’s Department Store opened on Wednesday morning at the Adams Dairy Landing retail complex in Blue Springs.

Yeah, you heard that right.

Located at 1280 N.E. Coronado Drive, the new store is one of 21 new Kohl’s stores to open nationwide in September. As many as 260 local jobs will be created by its opening.

I’m not a big shopper, but I like Kohl’s for a few reasons. And this is good news for the city because it’s more revenue in a difficult economy.

Next to open are Staples and Michael’s, although I’m not exactly sure when.

On a bad note, a city official in Community Development said there has been little word on the proposed Books-A-Million store, which was announced in 2008. Whether that means it’s still a possibility or a definite no remains to be seen.