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Growing your memory and growing local businesses

Encouraging Connections, a new program operated in partnership with Vaughn-Trent Community Services, is offering a new program that begins this week.

The class is called “Connecting You with a Better Memory!” The six-week class takes place from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays starting this week at the Bonner Springs Family YMCA. The class’s instructor is Bonner resident Dwain Dewey. Participants will learn techniques to recall information you use every day.

The class is open to anyone 10 and older; to register, call Vaughn Trent at 913-441-0461 or email Debbie at director@vaughntrent.org.

Some local business notes for you:

• The Bonner Springs Taco John's, 13032 Kansas Ave., will celebrate its 25th anniversary this week (June 2-8) with a special 99-cent menu, including two for 99 cents Crispy Tacos and Bean Burritos, and 99-cent Taco Burgers and Taco Bravos. This will be at the Bonner Springs location only.

• You might have noticed some dirt being moved at an Edwardsville site on the north side of Kansas Highway 32 just a block or two west of Fourth/104th Street. No plans have been approved for the site yet, but Michael Webb, Edwardsville city manager, tells us the site was purchased by Shawnee-based McAnany Construction, a 60-year-old, family-owned business.

• Bonner’s own Adventure Zip KC has been doing some interesting things to expand their business and (hopefully) bring more people into Bonner. A couple of weeks ago, they had their first-ever KC Timber Challenge obstacle course event, with a Sasquatch for their mascot. Contestants climbed up through a school bus "wreck," scaled bales of hay and surfed down a muddy river, among other obstacles. Then, over the weekend, they were at radio station 98.9 The Rock’s Rockfest at Liberty Memorial, where they set up a zip line that allowed concert-goers to zip over the crowd. Coming up next: a Wild Women Timber Challenge, another obstacle course run set for July 27.

• In 2010, Martha Forshey of Edwardsville won InQuest Marketing’s 25th Hour Entrepreneur Challenge with her invention, the Drink Defender, a portable cup holder that attaches to any bleacher. The marketing firm, based in Kansas City, Mo., offered the winner 25 straight hours, free of charge, of marketing and research services by the firm. Now she hopes to move into a production phase for her invention. “We've done a lot since that time,” Forshey said. “We just don't have the funds for the production part.” I plan to have a story next week, but for now I thought I’d share that the Drink Defender is raising funds on Kickstarter until June 30.

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