Wednesday, April 25, 2012

KCKCC Wellness Center celebrates 20th anniversary


The Wellness and Fitness Center has come a long ways in its 20 years at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

Founded in1992 in a small storage area of the Field House, the Wellness Center now occupies the entire upper level of what once was the Student Union and Bookstore on the east side of the campus. In addition to offering a weight room and some of the latest in cardiovascular equipment including treadmills, bicycles and steppers, the Center has a walking track, aerobic supercircuit, aerobic studio and a wide variety exercise classes open to the public.

Two of the founders of the Center were honored at a 20th anniversary celebration, Susie Myers, a professor and coordinator of Exercise Science; and Dr. Shirley Wendel, Dean of Allied Health and Nursing. Two of the other founders, retired KCKCC vice-president Jerry Reid and former KCKCC employee Judy Carlson, could not attend while the fifth founder, Dr. Barbara Howard, is deceased.

“It was really nice to be able to reflect on our humble beginnings and where we’ve been and trading stories and memories over the years,” said Director Rob Crane. “My understanding is that is got its start by Judy Carlson as a Masters project and she and Susie Myers took it to Dr. Howard and Dr. Wendell and then Jerry Reid who got it approved by the Board of Trustees.”

Luis Cardoza was the first director. “He hired me part-time in the fall of 1995,” said Crane, who is in his third year as director. Louise Keogh Martin So and Julie Bichelmeyer preceded Crane as directors.

Upwards of 125 persons turned out for the anniversary celebration and were treated to seasonal fruit, hummus with pita bread and chips, cheese and crackers, cake and coffee and bottled water. Door prizes included two 15 sessions with the Center’s personal trainers, 20th Anniversary Wellness and Fitness T-shirts and coffee mugs; and T-shirts, coffee mugs, cups and key chains donated by the College Bookstore.

One of the Center’s highlights of the year, the Blue Devil 5k Fun Run/Walk and Kids Trot, will be held Saturday, May 5. In addition to the 5k Run which will start at 8 a.m., there will be a complimentary pancake breakfast for participants and a Kids Trot at 9 a.m. and awards at 9:30 a.m.

Further information on the 5k Run or memberships in the Wellness Center which are available to the public can be obtained by calling the Wellness Center at 913-288-7370 or on-line at


PHOTO: Two of the founders of the KCKCC Wellness & Fitness Center, Prof. Susie Myers (left), Coordinator of Exercise Science, and Dr. Shirley Wendel, Dean of Allied Health and Nursing, were presented plaques of appreciation by Director Rob Crane at a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Center.(KCKCC Photo)