September 7, 2013

First Annual Cancer Walk Raises Thousands for Children's Mercy

  Around 150 people participated in the Optimist Club of Sugar Creek’s 1st Annual "No Child Fights Alone Cancer Walk” on Saturday, August 24, and raised more than $2000 for the Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

     The walk, which will become a yearly event, was the idea of Michelle “Mikki” Stone, Vice President, Sergeant-at-Arms, and incoming President of the Sugar Creek Optimists.  Twenty-four years ago her son, Johnny Maddox, was born with a tumor on his leg that was diagnosed as a malignant teratoma.  At the age of 2 months, Johnny’s entire right leg was amputated at the hip, and Mikki was told her son would not live to see his first birthday.

     Having been through more than 30 surgeries, Johnny Maddox beat the odds, and at the age of 24 became the inspiration for and participated in the No Child Fights Alone Cancer Walk. He and his thankful family are looking forward to Johnny’s wedding later this month.

     Johnny’s story is an inspiration, but for tens of thousands of families across the country the battle is just beginning, and the outcomes are uncertain.  According to the National Cancer Institute more than 10,000 children are diagnosed with some form of cancer every year. Thousands will not survive, making cancer the leading cause of disease-related death in childhood.  Although survival rates have increased dramatically over the past few decades, incidents of childhood cancer have also risen.  The Cancer Center at Children’s Mercy Hospital provides state-of-the-art treatment to more than 2,000 children every year, with survival rates that are frequently above the national average.  As a publicly funded institution, donations are critical to the service the hospital provides. Mikki Stone will continue to raise money for this cause and you can help by visiting to make a donation online.

John G. Mika Laid to Rest with Military Honors

The City of Sugar Creek lost a WWII hero on August 18, when John George Mika passed away at the age of 86. 

  John fought on Okinawa and served our country in the United States Navy, both on active and reserve duty, for more than 38 years.  He had more hash marks (stripes) on his uniform sleeve than anyone at the Herald had ever seen before.  John was a company chief with the Seabees 40th Battalion and a member of VFW Post 1000 and American Legion Post 21. 

   John was a member of the “Paint Gang” at Standard Oil until he retired in 1982.  He hunted and fished and enjoyed spending time at his place at Pomme de Terre Lake in the Ozarks. His wife, Merle Maxine Mika, passed away in April of this year.  The Herald staff stands with the city in offering their condolences to the Mika family for all that they’ve lost, with gratitude for the service John G. Mika and his wife and family have given to our country and to this community.

September 2013 Extras

 Did You Know...

…the first baby born in Sugar Creek was Fred W. Hink?  This baby would grow up to be known as Dr. Fred W.  Hink, a physician who brought thousands of babies into the world, including several generations of babies born in Sugar Creek.

What Sugar Creek Means to Me

“Sugar Creek has always been my home, no matter where I lived. It was built by hard working people who devoted their lives to the American Dream and sent their children to war to fight for that dream.  Their descendants keep that dream alive to this day.”  -- Michael A. Benkovich, Jr.

Wish List

“Re-open the Cold Cave”

“Miniature Golf Course”

“Bring back the Welcome Wagon”

“Improve services for the elderly and shut-ins”

“Someplace to get breakfast in Sugar Creek!”

What do you think would make Sugar Creek better?  Email

Stan Salva to be Honored

Former Mayor Stan Salva will be honored at the Truman Heartland Gala on September 7 as “Sugar Creek’s Truman Heartland Citizen of the Year” in recognition of decades of public service to the community, including serving as Mayor of Sugar Creek for 14 years, and on the Board of Aldermen for 16 years before that.

Go Sugar Creek Meeting September 26

   The second meeting of the new community group Go Sugar Creek (GoSC) will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26, in the Training Room at the Police and Fire Building.  The group, formed by Mark O’Renick and Bill Haman, was created to “promote positive change through creative collaboration.” 

   At the first meeting in August everyone introduced themselves and then discussed the group’s guidelines, after which the residents and business people in attendance were asked for ideas about improving Sugar Creek.  At the end of the meeting the goals and ideas the group came up with were prioritized, and included neighborhood, business, and riverfront improvements and development, along with better public relations.  O’Renick and Haman were scheduled to meet with Mayor Mallinson on September 6 to discuss ways that the group could work with the city to achieve these goals.

   The group is hoping for a large attendance at the September 26 meeting.  Visit for more info.

Friends of Sugar Creek Fall Benefit

The Friends of Sugar Creek will be holding a BBQ at the Mike Onka Memorial Building on Wednesday, September 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a menu featuring smoked pulled pork and brisket.  All proceeds from the event will benefit the Sugar Creek Historical Society.

Community Service for Toni Bones

   Toni “Bones” Shelton and the City of Sugar Creek settled a codes violation dispute that had been ongoing for months and had drawn media attention from around the country.  Independence, Missouri Judge Susan Watkins was brought in to hear the case, and she accepted Prosecutor Andrea Welch’s recommendation of a suspended sentence.  Bones will be allowed to perform community service to cover the court costs.  Police Chief Herb Soule was said to suggest that Bones design and maintain flower beds for the city.

Tamburitzans to Perform September 22

The Sugar Creek Tamburitans will be performing traditional Slavic and Croatian folk music at the Fall Concert at Wells Park, Sterling and Gill, at 4 p.m. on September 22.

   The Tamburitzans were formed in the late 1960s by Mattie Butkovich, Bob Pinter, and Barry Berislavich, to teach the children of Sugar Creek how to play the instruments and music of their ancestors in the Old Countries.  Over the last four decades the musical group has played in cities around the country including a performance in Washington, D. C., during the nation’s Bicentennial celebration in 1976.

   Several of the original members still perform with the group.

More Than a Century of Education in Sugar Creek

The new Abraham Mallinson Elementary School opened its doors for the first day of school on August 14.  The school is named after one of the area’s earliest settlers, the great-great grandfather of Mayor Matt Mallinson,  and was built on land that Abraham Mallinson purchased back in 1867.

   The new school houses children in grades 2 through 5.  Kindergartners and First Graders will continue going to Sugar Creek Elementary School, which was built in 1956.

The first school in Sugar Creek was a four-room brick building named the Riverview School, built in 1906 on Chicago Street.  It is said that you could see the river from the windows on the top floor.  The kids were known to throw water on each other for fun.

  Four more classrooms and a gymnasium were added to the school in 1921, and it was renamed “Sugar Creek School.”  This school served students until the 1956 school was built.  The old school building would later be used as a Civil Defense shelter, a community building, and a haunted house, before it was destroyed by fire in 1980.  The gymnasium remains today as a community center and the home of the Sugar Creek Citizen's Civic Relief Commission (CCRC).

   The new Mallinson School is getting rave reviews from the students that attend it.  “I love it!” exclaimed Zoe Reiber, Fourth Grader.  “One thing I love is all the colors inside.  It’s beautiful! And Miss Barnes is a very nice principal.  She let us choose our own mascot.”  The mascot chosen by students was the Cardinal. “All the teachers really care and they give you the best they can so that you can have an incredible education.”

Sugar Creek Public Works -- Works!

Sugar Creek Public Works – have you ever thought about that department of the city?

   We have the best public works department in Jackson County, I bet.

   From the Director all the way to the part-time mowers, we must applaud these men and women for their dedication to their job and our city.

   They go above and beyond in their job duties, more often than not -- running up to grab someone’s trash they forgot to get out, picking up yard debris when a citizen hasn’t had time to tie it into 4-ft bundles, you can always get a smile and a wave, every day.

   This is not something new about our Public Works department, either.  As long as I have lived here it’s been like this.  Their dedication to the job shines on our city.

   You are an outstanding!!

Check out the new Historic Trail Markers on River Blvd!  More information in next month’s issue of the Herald.

   Support the CCRC!  They’ve been helping Sugar Creek families in need since the 1930s.  Call (816) 254-7234 and find out how you can help!

Would you like to announce something in the Herald?  Call Aimee Worley at (816) 254-4829 or email

Pool League Sign-Up

Deadline to sign up for the APA Pool League Travel Division is September 14.  The league will run from September 23 to December 26.   Visit Cuzzy’s Place at 718 Sterling or call (816) 461-0078 for more info.

Second Hole in One

Lucas Schwahn, manager of Stix & Stones, shot his second hole in one in seven years.  Using an 8 iron, he hit the ball 162 yards on the 8th hole at the golf course at Swope Park.